Tiger Woods announced today that he will be taking an indefinite leave from competitive golf in order to repair the damages to his marriage which his actions have caused.
This is perhaps the biggest fallout yet from the past two shocking weeks which have been filled with allegations of extramarital relationships with several women.
"I need to focus my attention on being a better father, husband and person," Woods stated on his Website on Friday.
This announcement comes a fortnight after Woods crashed his car into brush, a fire hydrant and a tree, setting up a series of stunning revelations in which it has been revealed that Tiger has had illicit affairs with up to nine different women over the last three years. The allegations have ultimately derailed the career and legacy of the worlds number one golfer, who for thirteen years has rarely made news off the golf course.
"I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children," Woods said. "I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try."
Woods has not been seen in public since the accident occurred.
Tiger gave no indication when he might return, and in a world where forgiveness can depend on success for an athlete like Woods, 2010's four major tournaments provide ample room for Tiger to overcome the transgressions that have played out.
The Masters, where Woods has won four times, is April 8-11. The U.S. Open is at Pebble Beach, where Woods won by a record 15 strokes in 2000, and the British Open returns to St. Andrews, where he has won twice by a combined 13 shots.
Tiger is actively pursuing the record 18 Major Championship titles won by Jack Nicklaus. Woods, who did not win a major in 2009, has 14. Tiger is two wins ahead of Nicklaus's pace through 50 major tournaments played.
2010 will be the second straight year the PGA Tour season begins without its biggest star. Woods missed much of last year due to reconstructive knee surgery. He missed in total 8 months.
Tiger's sponsors have not strayed away, however. Although Tag Heuer, a watch company which is one of Woods' largest endorsement deals, pulled placards of Tiger from its stores in Australia. The company stated the decision had nothing to do with the recent revelations involving Woods.
Bloomberg, a site which ranks the world's most marketable celebrities and athletes, had Woods at number 6 previous to the accident and revelations. The site now has Woods at 24.
We now ponder what might be next for perhaps the most recognizable athlete known to man.
The events seem to have overshadowed, and perhaps ruined, the legacy and career of the world's top ranked golfer. However, this is a day and age where success may forever outweigh wrongdoings. So with that said, can golf's most dominant player ever overcome the tragedies that have transpired?