Cheating Woods takes ‘indefinite break’

2009-12-12 10:32

IN a stunning decision, golf superstar Tiger Woods announced

yesterday he was putting his game on the backburner to try and save his

marriage, as he admitted for the first time being unfaithful.

Woods said he was taking an “indefinite break” from the PGA Tour

and apologised, pleading for forgiveness. He also vowed to become a better

husband to his wife, Elin Nordegren, and father to his two young children.

“I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my

infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children,” he

said in a statement on his website.

“I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and

that I ask forgiveness.”

Woods, who has not been seen in public for the past two weeks, has

a two-year-old daughter and a 10-month-old son with Nordegren.

“After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite

break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better

husband, father and person,” he added.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said yesterday they would not try

to rush Woods into returning to the sport.

“His priorities are where they need to be, and we will continue to

respect and honour his family’s request for privacy,” Finchem said. “We look

forward to Tiger’s return to the PGA Tour when he determines the time is right

for him.”

Ten women have been romantically linked to the billionaire golfer,

whose private life has come under the glare of public scrutiny since he crashed

his car in late November.

Woods was taken to hospital on November 27 after hitting a fire

hydrant and a tree, two days after a tabloid reported he was having an affair

with New York club hostess Rachel Uchitel.

Woods, who turns 34 on December 30, was first linked to Uchitel,

who has denied the affair despite a report on celebrity gossip website TMZ that

a friend of his flew her to Australia when Woods was there for a tournament.

Cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs (24) played a voicemail, which she

claims to be Woods talking, to support her claim they had a 31-month


Also on a list compiled by Fox News are porn star Holly Sampson

(36); Kalika Moquin (27), a Las Vegas club manager; model Jamie Jungers (26);

Mindy Lawton, a 33-year-old waitress from Orlando; and three unidentified women,

two from British reports and another waitress from Orlando.

“It may not be possible to repair the damage I’ve done, but I want

to do my best to try,” Woods wrote Friday.

Woods usually does not start his season until the former Buick

Invitational in San Diego at the end of January so if he takes “indefinite”

leave it could be some time before he tees off again.

He had knee surgery last year and spent eight months recovering.

Television ratings dropped 50% with Woods absent from the Tour.

It is not known if he will be ready to return in time for the first

major of the season, The Masters tournament, in April.

PGA golfer Jesper Parnevik reiterated to ESPN that he made a

mistake in linking up Woods with his former nanny.

In 2001 Nordegren met Woods through Parnevik and his wife


“I vouched for the guy,” Parnevik told ESPN’s Outside the Lines

show. “I told her this is the guy that I think is everything you want. I was


“I am sure she felt very lonely and very small in the whole hoopla

and chaos when her world was turned upside down.”

American golfer John Cook calls Woods a close friend and says he is

sticking by his pal.

“He put himself in this position,” Cook told ESPN. “It is

disappointing but he has admitted to it and he is dealing with it.”

Woods earned an estimated $118 million (about R880?million) last

year in prize money and endorsements.

According to Forbes business magazine, Woods is the first athlete

to have broken through the billion-dollar earnings mark.

The sporting icon has won 14 major championships and counts Nike,

Gillette, AT and T, Accenture and Tag Heuer among his sponsors.

Aged just 25, he became the first man to win the US Open, the

British Open, the USPGA and the Masters on a roll to make him the first

simultaneous holder of all four major championship titles at the same


The media promptly dubbed the achievement the “Tiger Slam” as

opposed to a Grand Slam, given that the wins straddled 2000 and part of


In 2002, he emulated Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus in winning

back-to-back Masters tournaments.

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