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***The Official 2010 Golf Thread***

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Tiger Woods apologised to his fellow professionals and addressed a wide range of issues in his first full press conference since the lurid revelations about his private life broke.

The world number one, who returns to competitive action on Thursday at the season's first major after a near five-month break from the game, was facing the assembled media ahead of The Masters at Augusta.

Before taking questions from reporters, Woods chose to apologise to his peers for the constant questioning on his actions they have endured since he opted to take a break from the game.

"I'd like to tell all the players after today hopefully they can be left alone to focus on the Masters and their game for this week and going forward," he said.

"I apologise to all of them for having to endure what they've had to endure over the last few months.

"A lot has happened in the past five months, I'm here to play and compete and really excited about doing that. I missed the competition."

Woods, who made his first public golfing appearance during a practice round with Fred Couples earlier on Monday, also admitted he had been "blown away" by the reception he was afforded by fans at Augusta.

In recent weeks he admitted to nerves about facing the public again, but after being given encouragement throughout his round on Sunday he acknowledged the reception had "touched my heart pretty good".

He also insisted he would make a conscious effort to appreciate his fans more having accepted he had not shown them enough gratitude or respect in recent years.

Drug denial

Woods then went on to insist he had never used human growth hormone (HGH) while recovering from injury.

The 34-year-old admitted he had been treated by controversial physician Dr Anthony Galea, who is under federal investigation in a drugs case.

Galea visited Woods at his home during the latter's recovery from knee surgery and Woods acknowledged he had received a treatment known as "blood spinning."

However, he added: "He (Galea) did come to my house, he never gave me HGH. I had PRP (platelet rich plasma) treatment."

Asked if federal agents had contacted him in relation to Galea's case, Woods continued: "They contacted my agent and will get full cooperation whenever they need me, but right now they haven't asked for my time."

Asked about the injuries he suffered in a car accident in November last year which led to the revelations of numerous extra-marital affairs, and why he did not speak to police, Woods added: "I had a busted up lip and pretty sore neck and that was it.

"I did everything to the letter of the law, my lawyer gave me advice and I followed that."

When quizzed about the most difficult part of his situation, the American said: "Having to look at myself like I never want to look at myself, how far astray I got from my core fundamentals and morals my mom and dad taught me.

"All the denial and rationalisation, to cut through that took a hard look at myself.

"The other difficult part has just been the constant harassment to my family, my wife and kids being photographed everywhere they go.


"The fact I've won tournaments is irrelevant compared to the damage I've caused."

Woods also revealed he would continue to undergo the therapy he has been receiving during his self-imposed exile.

"Will I stop? No. I will continued with my treatment," he added. "That's not going to stop in the near future.

"I've come out a better person for it than when I went in.

"I did it to take a hard look at myself and that is what I did."

He revealed he had missed his son's first birthday to embark on his course of therapy, saying: "Probably just prior to Christmas I made the decision to enter rehab. That was a very difficult time. Because of the time frame I missed my son's first birthday and that hurts.

"That was very hard...something I regret and probably will for the rest of my life."

Woods then confirmed that wife Elin would not be attending The Masters this week, but insisted he was still as focused as ever on winning, declaring: "I will try and go out there and win this thing."


But he then added: "The fact I haven't really played at all, that's a little bit concerning."

However, he said he was delighted to be teaming up again with caddie Steve Williams, stating: "To have Stevey back is tremendous. He's a great friend, always has been, always will be.

"We've had a long talk and it was a great talk as well."

However, he was adamant that winning golf tournaments would now be of secondary concern in comparison to his lifestyle, saying: "It's not about championships, it's about how you live your life. Going forward I need to be a better man than I was before."

to see the full press conference go to http://www.skysports.com/golf/ and click woods apologises to peers

Cheers for that Stu mate (tu)

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Fairly generic press conference from Tiger. While the various affairs and cheating on his wife doesn't really make a difference to me, the PED thing does so I hope his involvement with this suspect doctor doesn't mean much.

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Cant wait for this to finally start always enjoy the masters, been watching most of the tournaments that have been on over the last month or so but the masters is the first big one of the year and that I have been most looking forward to. Will be good to see Tiger back also, can see this one being a great tournament :D:praise:

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i think we will, he kept going on about how he finds the game fun again, and while he was going about lying and stuff he didnt enjoy playing the game. Now, even in his conference he was smiling alot more talking about playing on Thursday.

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Just listening to clips of Tiger's interview from yesterday...

Saying how happy he is now, happiest he's been in years.

And then the way he answered "same as always, im going out to win this thing", sounded very ominous.

I fancy him to win it this year.


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1 more dAy till it starts av put on Wilson each way aswell also anyone with an iPhone the masters app is available now it's great a used the austrailan open one for the tennis they up date every 30 seconds

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How can anyone not like Mickelson

I don't really have an opinion on him. Would be nice to see him win mainly due to what he's going through re his wife, and mum.

But that can wait, I want Tiger Woods to win, and what a story that would be!

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How can anyone not like Mickelson

I feel sorry for him, and what his wife is going through- but everything I've ever heard and read about him points to him being a dick to most of the other guys on the tour. Maybe he's changed?

I also think he's wildly overrated by the golf media.

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The spectators love Phil Mickelson, he's one of the most popular golfers, and has a lot of time for everyone - but supposidly he's not liked by his peers, mainly because he thinks he's great, and is so big headed. Get's called FIGJAM, which stands for fcuk I’m great, just ask me.

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