Tiger Woods appologizes

Tiger Woods made a public apology and another appeal for measure of privacy on Wednesday, and he acknowledged  that he let his family down without being specific. ”I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves,” Woods said on his Web site following a magazine on which an alleged affair is reported.

It was his longest statement since a middle-of-the-night car crash outside his Florida 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.

”Those feelings should be shared by us alone,” he said.

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 claims 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. Gillette said it had no plans to change its marketing programs. AT&T declined comment.

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, Fla., where he is in the final stage of PGA Tour qualifying.

Police said Woods’ wife told them she smashed out the back window of his Cadillac Escalade SUV with a golf club to help get him out after he struck a fire hydrant and tree.

”I would probably need to apologize to her and hope she uses a driver next time instead of a 3-iron,” Parnevik said, adding that he has not spoken to Woods since the accident.

”It’s a private thing, of course,” the Swede said. ”But when you are the guy he is — the world’s best athlete — you should think more before you do stuff … and maybe not ‘Just do it,’ like Nike says.”

But other professional athletes had sympathy for Woods.

Jason Taylor walked into the Miami Dolphins’ locker room and saw ESPN running a tease about Woods. He reached up and turned off the TV. ”Nobody’s damned business,” Taylor said.

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

”My wife is a blonde and wears sunglasses in Florida, so every time she comes out of the gate, they’re snapping pictures,” Longwell said. ”It’s a different thing than we’ve ever faced down there. It’s certainly a new wrinkle to it.

”You just pray for his family,” Longwell said. ”You pray for his wife and kids. Just pray that if what’s coming out is true that he can learn from it and move on.”

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 cover 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, OK. You gotta do this for me. Huge. Quickly. All right. Bye.”

The Associated Press could’t confirm if Woods was the caller. But the first statement on Friday which spoke of a ‘minor accident’ after the car crash fueled speculation about a domestic dispute all around.

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