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Tiger Woods says missing son's birthday 'something I probably will regret for the rest of my life'

April 5, 2010 | 12:39 pm

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AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The most compelling and humanizing moment of Tiger Woods' 35-minute mea culpa?

It came when Woods acknowledged having missed the first birthday of his son, Charlie. That occurred Feb. 8, toward the end of his 45-day stay in rehab.

"That hurts a lot," Woods said. "I vowed never to miss another one after that. It was something I probably will regret for the rest of my life."

Woods spoke of his many regrets Monday during his first session with a full media contingent, calling his behavior "pretty brutal." He came across as sincere, accommodating and relaxed.

He didn't bristle at a single question and felt comfortable enough to respond to one long query with: "That was a long-winded one there, bro."

Woods opened by making two points: He said he was "blown away" by the encouragement of the Masters galleries during his practice round Monday morning.

"It was just incredible, the encouragement I got," he said.

He also apologized to his fellow PGA Tour pros for their being "bombarded" by questions about the indiscretions in his personal life.

"Hopefully after today the players can be left alone to focus on the Masters," he said.

Woods strongly denied any wrongdoing regarding treatment he received from Canadian doctor Anthony Galea, who has been charged with supplying HGH to elite athletes.

Woods said he chose Galea because the doctor had worked with many athletes. And Woods needed treatment not just for the torn ACL in his left knee but also, he disclosed, a torn Achilles in his right leg.

"He never gave me HGH or any [performance-enhancing drugs]," Woods said. "I have never taken any illegal drug, ever."

Woods shed a small bit of light on the SUV accident that came during the early-morning hours after Thanksgiving.

He said he got a "busted" lip that required five stitches and a "pretty sore neck."

But asked why he avoided an interview with police, he replied: "I did everything to the letter of the law. My lawyer gave me advice, and I followed that advice."

Woods again declined to specify what he was in rehab for.

"It's personal," he replied. "Thank you."
 
-- Teddy Greenstein
 
Photo: Tiger Woods speaks to the press Monday at Augusta National. Credit: David J. Phillip / AFP / Getty Images.
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