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'I love Elin with everything I have. And that makes me feel even worse'

TIGER Woods has admitted that he had been "living a lie" in his first public interview since news of his sex scandal broke in November.

The champion golfer granted US sports networks ESPN and the Golf Channel a no-holds-barred five-minute interview, during which he spoke candidly about his marriage to model Elin Nordegren, the low points of his life and how he will spend most of his days making amends to the people he hurt.

Tiger revealed that it was most difficult explaining the extent of his "transgressions" to his wife of six years and his mother.

"They both have been brutal, they both have been very tough, because I hurt them the most. Those are the two people in my life who I'm the closest to. And to say the things that I have done, truthfully to them was very painful."

In spite of being linked to several different women before and during their marriage, Woods said that he wed his wife simply because he loved her and explained how upset she was when she learned of his infidelities.

"Why? 'Cause I love her. I love Elin with everything I have. And that's something that makes me feel even worse. That I did this to someone I loved that much.

"She was hurt, very hurt, shocked, angry and she had every right to be," he added.

Although he would not go into depth about the extent of his infidelity, he said: "Well, just one is enough. And obviously that wasn't the case, I've made my mistakes. And as I've said, I've hurt so many people, and so many people I have to make amends to, and that's living a life of amends."

Woods recently spent nearly two months in a rehabilitation clinic, where he is believed to have been treated for sex addiction, and said that he still has a lot of treatment to undergo before heading towards recovery. "I was living a life of a lie, I really was. And I was doing a lot of things ... that hurt a lot of people. And stripping away denial and rationalisation, you start coming to the truth of who you really are and that can be very ugly.

"I've done some pretty bad things in my life and it all came to a head. But now, after treatment, going for in patient treatment for 45 days, and more outpatient treatment, um, I'm getting back to my old roots."

Tiger would not give the details of the run up to his now infamous Thanksgiving Day car accident outside his home, simply stating that all the information was in the police report.

He is admittedly a "little nervous" about the reaction from his fans when he returns to golf full time, but is still "excited" about returning to the game.