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Tiger Woods says he got married for love

March 21, 2010 |  5:20 pm


Tiger Woods just gave five-minute interviews to Tom Rinaldi on ESPN and Kelly Tilghman on the Golf Channel. Of the two short-lived and relatively gentle inquisitions, the most uncomfortable question came from Rinaldi, who said to Woods, "I ask this question respectfully. Why did you get married?"

Woods answered, "Why? Because I loved her. I love her with everything I have."

Rinaldi was able to ask 21 questions in his five-minute interview and Tilghman asked 21 as well. Tilghman made note of the Buddhist bracelet that Woods was wearing.

ESPN did the first interview, Golf Channel the second. Golf Channel spokesman Dan Higgins said the top-ranked golfer in the world had stipulated, that besides the five-minute limit on the two interviews, the broadcasts be delayed until the finish of Sunday's PGA Tour event, which was delayed by rain. ESPN's Vince Doria also said Woods' representatives asked that the interviews not be promoted until after 3:30 Pacific time, a stipulation to which both networks agreed.

Tilghman's most notable question: "For a man who's so disciplined physically and psychologically, why couldn't you say no?"

Woods replied: "I don't know; now I know. It's part of what I learned in treatment, being there for 45 days you learn a lot. You strip away the denial, the rationalization and you come to the truth and the truth is very painful at times and to stare at yourself and look at the person you've become. You become disgusted."

Woods would not characterize what sort of treatment he's undergoing though he referred to his treatment in both interviews. The side-by-side interviews began to get organized Friday night.

Tilghman also asked Woods, "How will your therapy affect your 2010 schedule? I'm assuming you'll have more in-patient therapy ahead?"

Woods said, "Yeah, I will have more treatment, more therapy sessions. As far as my schedule going forward, I don't know what I'm going to do, Kelly. Last year I didn't know because of my knee. It was still uncertain. And this year, with all the things that I've done I don't know what I'll be doing either. That, to me, is a little bit bothersome too in a sense that I don't like not knowing what to do. But what I know I have to do is become a better person and that begins with going to more treatment."

Woods said that only he was to blame for his downfall and that he kept his affairs a secret from those closest to him.

"It was all me," he told Tilghman. "I'm the one who did it. I'm the one who acted the way I acted. No one knew what was going on when it was going on. I'm sure if more people would have known in my inner circle, they would have stopped it or tried to put a stop to it. But I kept it all to myself."

Woods did not give any details about the Thanksgiving night crash, his marriage or his private life, other than talking about continuing treatment.

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

And the man who has dominated his sport because of his steel nerves and unparalleled focus admitted he'll be nervous when he returns to competitive play at the Masters.

"It would be nice to hear a couple claps here and there," he told Rinaldi.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Tom Rinaldi asks Tiger Woods one of 21 questions during a five-minute interview with the world's No. 1-ranked golfer. Credit: ESPN / Associated Press