Tiger Woods to End Months of Silence on Friday

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Tiger Woods to End Months of Silence on Friday MARANA, Ariz. — Tiger Woods will end nearly
three months of silence Friday when he speaks publicly for the first
time since his middle-of-the-night car accident sparked stunning
revelations of infidelity.

However, his agent said Woods will not take any
questions from a small group of media.

“This is not a press conference,” Mark
Steinberg
said Wednesday.

It will be Woods’ first public appearance since
Nov. 27, when he crashed his SUV into a tree outside his Florida home.
Woods’ only comments since then have been made through his Web site.

Woods is to speak at 11 a.m. Friday from the
clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., home of the
PGA Tour.

“This is all about the next step,” Steinberg
said. “He’s looking forward to it.”

Still, there was strict control over the
appearance, typical of Woods’ career.

Steinberg described the gathering as a “small
group of friends, colleagues and close associates,” who will listen to
Woods apologize as he talks about the past and what he plans to do next.
He said three wire services have been invited — The Associated Press,
Reuters and Bloomberg — and he asked the Golf Writers Association of
America to recommend pool reporters.

Only one camera will be in the room to provide
live coverage via satellite. Steinberg said other writers with proper
credentials could watch from a hotel ballroom more than a mile away.

Steinberg said in an e-mail announcing the
public appearance, “While Tiger feels that what happened is
fundamentally a matter between he and his wife, he also recognizes that
he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him. He
also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends
and that’s what he’s going to discuss.”

The timing is peculiar. It will be held during
the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, sure to steal
attention away from the first big event of the year. Accenture was the
first sponsor to drop Woods when he became embroiled in the sex scandal.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said he did
not think Woods’ appearance was going to undermine a World Golf
Championship event.

“We have tournaments every week,” Finchem
said. “I think it’s going to be a story in and of itself. A lot of
people are going to be watching golf this week to see what the world of
golf says about it, my guess is. So that will be a good thing.”

As far as the PGA Tour’s part in the Woods
event, Finchem said: “We were asked to make the facility available and
to help with the logistics. That’s what we’re doing.”

Steinberg said only that Woods’ appearance
during the championship was “a matter of timing.” Asked if it could have
waited until Monday, he said, “No.”

Woods made a spectacular fall from his perch
atop golf. He was believed to have been the first athlete to gross $1
billion in earnings and endorsements and, at 14 majors, was closing in
on golf’s record of 18 majors held by Jack Nicklaus.

It all collapsed the in the morning hours
after Thanksgiving.

Over the last few months, Woods has been on
the cover of gossip magazines and the butt of jokes on national talk
shows.

In the days before Woods’ accident, a National
Enquirer story alleged the world’s No. 1 golfer had been seeing a New
York nightclub hostess. Following the crash, a stream of women came
forward to claim they had romantic relationships with Woods. One woman
provided Us Weekly magazine a voicemail she said Woods left her three
days before the crash, asking her to take his number off the phone.

Woods admitted to “infidelity” in a statement
on his Web site in mid-December and has been on an indefinite break from
golf ever since.

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