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Tiger Woods admits "transgressions," offers no details

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — With a public apology and another appeal for privacy, Tiger Woods acknowledged Wednesday that he let his family down with unspecified "transgressions" that he regrets with "all of my heart."

"I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves," Woods said on his Web site following a magazine report of an affair.

It was his longest statement since a middle-of-the-night car crash outside his home last week set off the greatest media scrutiny of Woods' career and his 5-year-old marriage to former model Elin Nordegren. He did not go into detail and said he would deal with his "personal failings" with his family.

Shortly after the investigation of the car accident ended Tuesday with a $164 citation for careless driving, Us Weekly reported that a Los Angeles cocktail waitress said she had a 31-month affair with the world's No. 1 golfer.

About three hours before Woods' statement, the magazine released what it said was a voice mail — provided by the waitress, Jaimee Grubbs — that Woods left on her phone three days before his accident.

"I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves," Woods said on his Web site. "For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology."

Woods' career — as a golfer, a pitchman and perhaps the most recognized athlete in the world — has been largely without blemish since he turned pro at age 20.

Three of his sponsors — Nike, Gatorade and EA Sports — expressed support or commitment to Woods.

In the most critical comment from a player, Jesper Parnevik said he owed Nordegren an apology for introducing her to Woods. She once worked as a nanny for the Parnevik family.

"We probably thought he was a better guy than he is," Parnevik told the Golf Channel from West Palm Beach.

Minnesota Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell lives in the same Isleworth gated community as Woods, and said it was "crazy" in the neighborhood. He said his wife told him paparazzi were everywhere and helicopters hovered overhead.

In its final report released Wednesday, the Florida Highway Patrol said Woods caused $3,200 in property damage, was not wearing a seat belt and was traveling 30 mph in a 25 mph zone.

The six-page report — which did not include statements from Woods, his wife or any witnesses — said Woods' SUV rubbed up against bushes, crossed over a curb, onto a grass median and into a row of hedges before striking the fire hydrant and a tree. Damage to his Cadillac Escalade was estimated at $8,000.

Far more damaging to his image was the Us Weekly story.

Grubbs told the magazine she met Woods at a Las Vegas nightclub the week after the 2007 Masters — two months before Woods' wife gave birth to their first child.

In the voice mail released by the magazine, a man says to Grubbs:

"Hey, it's, uh, it's Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor. Um, can you please, uh, take your name off your phone. My wife went through my phone. And, uh, may be calling you. If you can, please take your name off that and, um, and what do you call it, just have it as a number on the voice mail, just have it as your telephone number. That's it, okay. You gotta do this for me. Huge. Quickly. All right. Bye."

The Associated Press could not confirm Woods was the caller.

Woods' limited response after the crash — the first statement Friday spoke of a "minor accident" — fueled speculation about a domestic dispute.

"The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious," Woods said.

According to the magazine, Grubbs said she was 21 when first approached by Woods in Las Vegas. The magazine said that meeting "progressed into a clandestine on-and-off affair."

"I hope he can forgive me for doing this, and I know he probably can't," Grubbs is quoted as saying. "Whatever happens with Elin, I hope Tiger and I can reconnect and remain good friends."

'Transgressions' has Google busy

What's in a word?

Well, for Internet searchers, many aren't quite sure.

When Tiger Woods apologized Wednesday for "transgressions" after Us Weekly posted a voicemail of the world's No. 1 golfer talking to an alleged mistress, confused readers flooded Google with searches of the word in search for clarity.

Google Trends, which lists in real-time the fastest rising searches on Google, lists "transgressions" as No. 1.

The search engine gave the query its highest ranking: volcanic.

We checked the Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary for the definition:

• An act, process, or instance of transgressing: as a: infringement or violation of law, command, or duty b: the spread of the sea over land areas and the consequent uncomfortable deposit of sediments on older rocks

Detroit Free Press

Tiger Woods admits "transgressions," offers no details 12/02/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 11:58pm]
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