'I tried to stop and I couldn't stop': Woods
Tiger Woods has acknowledged "living a lie," saying he alone was responsible for the sex scandal that caused his shocking downfall from global sporting icon to late-night TV punchline.
"It was all me. I'm the one who did it. I'm the one who acted the way I acted. No one knew what was going on when it was going on," Woods told The Golf Channel in one of two interviews Sunday night.
A second interview was aired on ESPN, which will also televise the first two rounds of the Masters. Woods plans to end four months of seclusion and return to golf at the tournament next month.
"I'm sure if more people would have known in my inner circle, they would have stopped it or tried to put a stop to it. But I kept it all to myself," he told the Golf Channel.
Later in the same interview, Woods referred to his serial adultery by saying, "I tried to stop and I couldn't stop. And it was just, it was horrific."
Woods answered questions on camera for the first time since his early morning car crash last November, yet again divulged few details about the crash, his marriage, his stint in a rehabilitation clinic or his personal life.
Woods insisted those matters would remain private, just as he had in a statement on his website right after his crash and again Feb. 19 when he apologized on camera in front of a hand-picked audience but took no questions.
"A lot of ugly things have happened. ... I've done some pretty bad things in my life," he told ESPN.
More text messages
Last week, a woman who claims to be one of Woods' mistresses released an embarrassing transcript of text messages she said he sent her.
Woods admitted that four months of nearly non-stop public ridicule had caused him shame.
"It was hurtful, but then again, you know what? I did it," he told the Golf Channel. "And I'm the one who did those things. And looking back on it now, with a more clear head, I get it.
"I can understand why people would say those things. Because you know what? It was disgusting behaviour. It's hard to believe that was me, looking back on it now."
Asked by ESPN to describe the lowest point, Woods replied, "I've had a lot of low points. Just when I didn't think it could get any lower, it got lower."
He did, however, look more comfortable and composed than he did last month, wearing golf clothes and smiling several times when talk turned to the Masters. Woods said he couldn't wait to get back, though he had reservations about how he'll be received.
"I'm a little nervous about that to be honest with you," he told ESPN. "It would be nice to hear a couple claps here and there."
Woods plans to end more than four months of seclusion and play at Augusta National, one of the most tightly controlled environments in golf.
CBS boss Sean McManus, whose network televises the final two rounds of the Masters, speculated it "will be the biggest media event, other than the Obama inauguration, in the past 10 or 15 years."
A number of news outlets had submitted requests to the Woods camp for interviews. Both ESPN and the Golf Channel were notified late last week that Woods would agree to a five-minute interview Sunday afternoon with no restrictions on questions. CBS, which televises the Masters, was also offered an interview but turned it down.
"Depending on the specifics, we are interested in an extended interview without any restrictions on CBS," spokeswoman LeslieAnne Wade said.
The interviews were conducted at Isleworth, the gated community in Windermere, Fla., where Woods lives. He asked, however, that the interview not be aired until the PGA tournament being played in Palm Harbor, Fla., finished.
Golf Channel spokesman Dan Higgins declined to speculate whether the release of a string of embarrassing text messages from a woman who claimed to be a Woods mistress influenced the timing of the interview.
"I can't speak for them," he said. "I have no idea."
Jim Furyk, who is both a friend and rival of Woods, called the interviews "part of that natural progression before he comes back."
Furyk was handed a transcript shortly after winning the Transitions Championship in Palm Harbor.
He characterized what he read as "pretty much the same stuff that we already knew, but I think it's good for him to get his face out there and have people see him.
"They are going to make their judgments," he added, "but I think it allows him to kind of move on and get focused for the next thing."