Tiger Woods taking indefinite break from golf
Tiger Woods, one of the world's most famous athletes, is taking an indefinite break from professional golf to "repair the damage" he's done with marital infidelities, Woods said Friday on his website, dpa reported.
Woods said he had reached the decision "after much soul searching" and that he needed to "focus my attention on being a better husband, father and person."
Woods, who was previously seen as a squeaky clean athletic role model, has been tainted by allegations of serial infidelities with as many as 10 women around the United States including various waitresses, nightclub hostesses and porn stars.
Woods has been the focus of tabloid inquiry since he crashed his car outside his house in the early hours of November 27 amid allegations of a massive fight between him and his wife.
Since the accident, Woods has not been seen in public and he withdrew from his own tournament in Thousand Oaks, California, just days after the accident.
"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," Woods wrote. "I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness."
Woods said it may not be "possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try."
On Thursday, People magazine reported that Woods' wife Elin Nordegren may stay with the philandering golf superstar for the sake of the couple's two children, both under the age of 2.
The report said that the Swedish model herself is a "child of divorce" whose parents split when she was 6 years old.
"That's not something she's likely going to want to do to (her children with Woods) Sam and Charlie," a close friend of Nordegren told People. "She really believes in the importance of parents staying together."
Other reports that Woods was offering his wife a huge financial inducement, said to be as high as 80 million dollars, if she agrees to stay married to him for several more years in a bid to rehabilitate his tainted image.
"I would like to ask everyone, including my fans, the good people at my foundation, business partners, the PGA Tour, and my fellow competitors, for their understanding. What's most important now is that my family has the time, privacy, and safe haven we will need for personal healing," Woodsd wrote.
He asked for privacy for his family "during this difficult period."