Tiger Woods spoke at a press conference for the first time since the car accident in November that touched off a tabloid firestorm about his serial infidelities in his marriage to Elin Nordigren.

At the press conference held at 11 am Friday, Woods read from a prepared statement that amounted to a lengthy apology to his family, fans and sponsors. "I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you. For all that I have done, I am so sorry," Woods said. "I had affairs, I cheated. What I did was not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame."

The only news reporters in the room were hand picked by his managers and representatives. When he finished his statement, he went on to hug his mother, who was sitting in the front row. Elin was noticeably absent. Woods confessed that he had been in therapy and would return the next day for treatment. In reference to when he will return to the PGA Tour, Woods said that he is still uncertain. “I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game,” he said.

The golfer urged the paparazzi to leave his family alone, especially his wife and children. He said that while he understood people wanted to know whether he and Elin would remain together, that that would remain a private matter between them. Woods specifically denied the rumors that Elin had beaten him on the night of his car crash.

Turning to his spiritual life, Woods said that he had become too concerned with his desires and fame and had strayed from his Buddhist upbringing. He reflected that he hoped to get back to the values and morals of Buddhism during his recovery. “I ask you to find room in your heart to one day," he concluded, "believe in me again.” –NATASHA ALLOWAY

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