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Tiger finally says sorry... but where was Elin?

Disgraced golfer Tiger Woods made a fulsome apology to the watching world for his infidelity -- but there was no sign of his wife Elin.

As Woods (34) broke his near three-month silence over his adultery, praising Elin for her "grace and poise" during lurid allegations, she decided not to stand publicly by her husband.

The golfer read a statement in front of a select group of family and friends at the US PGA Tour headquarters yesterday.

The world number one's voice was at times charged with emotion as he made sweeping apologies to his wife, family, fans and business partners.

At the end of the statement he hugged his mother Kultida. She later revealed that she had whispered to him: "I'm so proud of you. Never think you stand alone. Mom will always be there for you and I love you."

Mrs Woods accused the world's media of treating her son as if he were a criminal, and said "he didn't kill anybody, he didn't do anything illegal".

Nick Faldo said Woods made "a pretty expansive apology", while Open champion Stewart Cink said: "I was moved by how difficult it seemed to be for him."

Woods told the audience "every one of you has good reason to be critical of me", and went on: "I want to say to each of you simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behaviour."

"Elin and I have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behaviour. As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words; it will come from my behaviour over time."

Woods said his behaviour was a "personal disappointment" to his friends, and that he had caused "considerable worry" to his business partners.

He said he had made his friends and family question who he was, and that he was "embarrassed" by what he had done.

At the time of the car crash there was speculation the collision took place after a fight, but Woods denied that his wife would ever hurt him, saying she deserved "praise not blame".

"It angers me that people would fabricate a story like that," he said. "There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage. Ever."

Woods said he "ran straight through the boundaries" that a married couple should observe and convinced himself that "normal rules didn't apply".

He went on: "I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them."

Woods said his Buddhist faith would help him to "be a better man" and "stop following every impulse and to learn restraint".

He has undergone 45 days of therapy for the "issues" he is facing and will continue to have treatment.

The golfer did not rule out a comeback this year. "I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don't know when that day will be. I don't rule out that it will be this year. When I do return, I need to make my behaviour more respectful of the game."

Read Padraig O'Morain, P12