views

Woods fears hostile crowd reaction on his return

“I tried to stop and I couldn’t – it was horrific”

Therapy has given world No1 new-found strength

CRESTFALLEN world No1 Tiger Woods last night admitted he is nervous about his impending return to competition following the scandal over his numerous affairs.

In his first media interviews since the storm surrounding his private life broke, Woods said he regretted and tried to stop his “disgusting behaviour”.

The 14-time Major winner added that he had been lying to himself as well as those around him but, with the aid of therapy, was feeling stronger than ever.

Woods will make his playing comeback after more than five months away from the course at the Masters at Augusta on 8 April, and is unsure of what reception will greet him.

“I’m a little nervous about that to be honest with you,” said the 34-year-old. “It would be nice to hear a couple claps here and there. But also hope they clap for birdies, too.”

The American’s clean-cut public image has been shattered by the episode, which began when Woods crashed his car outside his Florida home in the early hours of 27 November.

“I was living a life of a lie. I really was,” he added. “And I was doing a lot of things, like I said, that hurt a lot of people. And stripping away denial and rationalization you start coming to the truth of who you really are and that can be very ugly. But then again, when you face it and you start conquering it and you start living up to it. The strength that I feel now, I've never felt that type of strength.”

Several women have claimed to have had affairs with Woods, who remains married to wife Elin, and he admitted that although “just one is enough”, he had cheated repeatedly.

“I tried to stop and I couldn’t stop, it was horrific. It was disgusting behaviour,” he said. “I hurt a lot of people, not just my wife. My friends, my colleagues, the public, kids who looked up to me.

“There were a lot of people that thought I was a different person and my actions were not according to that. That’s why I had to apologise. I was so sorry for what I had done.”

On why he went off the rails, Woods said: “I had gotten away from my core values as I said earlier. I’d gotten away from my Buddhism. And I quit meditating. I quit doing all the things that my mom and dad had taught me. And as I said earlier in my statement, I felt entitled, and that is not how I was raised.”