22 February, 2010

Year of Tiger (Woods)

Golfing star Tiger Woods apologized to his family, friends, colleagues and fans for "irresponsible" behaviour in his first public statement since a car crash in November unleashed a storm of revelations about extramarital affairs. Woods could not say when he would return to golf, admitting he had "cheated" on his wife, Elin, a number of times and saying he would continue to undergo treatment at a sex rehabilitation clinic to help repair his marriage.

"I am deeply sorry for the irresponsible and selfish behaviour I engaged in," Woods said, at times tearful as he spoke before a group of friends and family at at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He made about a 10-minute statement but took no questions from the few media allowed in the room.

Woods recounted how he had been lured by fame and celebrity into abandoning his beliefs, and admitted his reputation as a role model for golf fans and children had been severely tarnished.

"Today I want to ask for your help," he said to fans. "I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again."

Meanwhile, Dalai Lama, who admits he is relatively unfamiliar with sports did take notice when Tiger said:

"Whether you call it Buddhism or another religion, self-discipline, that's important ... self-discipline with awareness of consequences," he said. "Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse."

The Dalai Lama said that he had - somehow - never heard of Tiger Woods.

When Woods' sex scandal was explained to him, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader emphasized the importance of self-discipline.

All religions have the same idea "when it comes to adultery," he said.

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