Tiger Woods: "I Tried to Stop and I Couldn't Stop"

Golf great takes questions on camera for first time since November

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Tiger Woods tells ESPN he's a "little nervous" about the reception he'll get at the Masters when he returns to play golf next month.

    Tiger Woods says he just "couldn't stop" the reckless behavior that eventually flipped his life upside down.

    Answering questions on camera for the first time since his early morning car crash last November and the string of infidelity allegations that followed, Woods told the Golf Channel that he had lost sight of his "core values."

    "I quit meditating, I quit being a Buddhist, and my life changed upside down," he said in one of two five-minute interviews that aired Sunday night. "I felt entitled, which I had never felt before. Consequently, I hurt so many people by my own reckless attitude and behavior."

    When the Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman asked if there were moments he thought about curbing the behavior, Woods replied: "Yeah, I tried to stop and I couldn’t stop. It was just, it was horrific."

    The golf great acknowledged "living a lie," saying he alone was responsible for the sex scandal that caused his downfall and that no one in his inner circle was aware of his misdeeds.

    "It was all me. I'm the one who did it," he said. I'm the one who acted the way I acted. No one knew what was going on when it was going on."

    As he had last November, Woods again provided few details about the crash, his marriage, his stint in a rehabilitation clinic or much of his private life.

    "A lot has transpired in my life. A lot of ugly things have happened. ... I've done some pretty bad things in my life," he told ESPN, also on Sunday.

    But Woods acknowledged more fully than in any of his previous statements that the 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 behavior. It's hard to believe that was me, looking back on it now."

    Woods, dressed in golf clothes, was more comfortable and composed than during his only previous public outing. He said he couldn't wait to get back to playing golf, though he had reservations about how he'll be received when he returns to golf next month at the Masters.

    "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.

    A number of news outlets had submitted requests to Woods 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, Florida, where Woods lives. He asked, however, that the interview not be aired until the PGA tournament being played in Palm Harbor had 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 mistress to Woods influenced the timing of the interview.

    "I can't speak for them," he said. "I have no idea."

    Meanwhile, former George W. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer told the Associated Press that he was no longer working with Woods after a brief stint as a strategist for the golfer.