It was a confession crafted to win absolution from even a stone-hearted prelate.
In a 316-word mea culpa posted to his website, Tiger Woods formally joined the ever-expanding community of celebrity apologists.
"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart," the Woods statement began.
"I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves," he said at the end. "For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology."
The statement was an artfully constructed attempt to ease the public-relations nightmare that has engulfed the world's most celebrated golfer for the past several days.
With that delicate putt for penitence, Mr. Woods added his name to a list that now includes retired tennis star Andre Agassi (crystal methamphetamine use), pro basketball's Kobe Bryant (adultery), Seinfeld's Michael Richards (racist epithets), talk-show host David Letterman (sex with staffers), Olympian Michael Phelps (marijuana), tennis pro Serena Williams (vulgar on-court language) and of course former U.S. president Bill Clinton (sex with an intern).
Mr. Woods's discomfiting week began with a bizarre single-car accident - a 2:25 a.m. meeting between his Cadillac Escalade and a tree and a fire hydrant near his Windermere, Fla., mansion that left him with cuts, abrasions and a mild concussion.
But it quickly segued to allegations of marital infidelity involving at least two women, and the release of a salacious series of incriminating text and phone messages to one of them, 24-year-old cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs.
In one widely disseminated message, Woods can be heard asking Ms. Grubbs to remove her name from the outgoing message on her voice mail because his wife had discovered the number on his phone.
According to the website TMZ, Ms. Grubbs later told co-workers at the Stone Rose Lounge in West Hollywood, Calif.,. that she had received a call from a blocked number. When she asked the caller to identify herself, the woman allegedly said, "You know who this is because you're fucking my husband."
Listen to voice message Ms. Grubbs supplied to US Weekly:
Life and Style magazine today added a new name to the list of Mr. Woods's alleged conquests - Las Vegas nightclub executive Kalika Moquin. Friends of Ms. Moquin ostensibly told the magazine that Mr. Woods had complained to her about being unhappy in his marriage to former Swedish model Elin Nordegren.
While providing no details, his online apologia tacitly acknowledged extramarital activities, even while trying to draw a strict veil of privacy around the scandal and his presumed attempts to pacify his wife of five years.
For Mr. Woods, the scandal threatens to unravel not only his marriage, but also his standing as the world's most highly ranked athlete in terms of earnings. According to Forbes magazine, Mr. Woods this year became the first athlete in history to gross more than $1-billion from tournament winnings, product endorsements and appearance fees. At least three companies associated with him - Nike, Gatorade and Gillette - said yesterday they would continue to associate their products with his name.
Tiger Woods's statement in words:
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