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Superstar golfer Tiger Woods, who took an indefinite break from the game in December after admitting he cheated on his wife, said on Friday he intended to return to professional golf one day, but he did not yet know when.
"I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don't know when that day will be. I don't rule out that it will be this year," said Woods.
In his first public appearance since revelations of marital infidelity caused his spectacular fall from grace, Woods apologized for what he called his selfish and irresponsible behaviour.
Woods, one of the great golfers of all time and a huge draw for sponsors, said that he had undergone 45 days of therapy and had "a long way to go" in repairing his personal life.
He said he would be returning to the treatment centre — which he did not identify — starting on Saturday.
The 34-year-old American was speaking to reporters at the headquarters of the US PGA Tour in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
His appearance was carried live on cable television and widely watched. There had been speculation he might be set to announce a date for returning to golf.
Woods said he was "deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behaviour."
"I was unfaithful, I had affairs, I cheated. What I did was not acceptable and I am the only person to blame," Woods said.
"I brought this shame on myself."
He defended his wife and denied media speculation that there had been physical violence between the couple. The speculation arose after a bizarre minor car accident in November outside woods' Florida home in the middle of the night.
"Elin never hit me that night, or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence (in our family)..." Woods said.
Woods did not take questions after his statement to a small and tightly controlled gathering of reporters.
He gave no account of what actually happened to cause the accident when he crashed his car outside his home. It was that accident that snowballed into tawdry revelations about his personal life.
Numerous women claimed to have had affairs with Woods in the days that followed.
Woods did not give any details of his treatment, but he has reportedly been treated for sex addiction in Mississippi.
Robert Boland, professor of sports management at New York University, said of Woods' appearance that the golfer was not yet out of the crisis.
"It established boundaries for how he will return and may help him reestablish his brand effectively ... I think this crisis can't really blow over until he returns and plays golf," Boland said.
"Sponsors are asking themselves, 'if he's not playing golf, why are in this relationship.'"
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