Tiger to come clean on SportsCenter

Tiger Woods is to end his silence on Friday, an event that will be carried live on an ESPN SportsCenter Special at midnight HKT.

The world number one, in hiding since the November 27 car crash and subsequent lurid allegations about his private life, is expected to make a public apology and then reveal when he will make his comeback.

But it is understood that Woods will be taking no questions from press and television reporters invited to attend.

He has been fighting to save his marriage to Swede Elin Nordegren and was reported to have attended a sex addiction clinic after his admission of “transgressions”.

The likeliest date for his return to the sport is the made-for-television Tavistock Cup match between the star-studded members of the Isleworth and Lake Nona clubs in Florida on March 22-23.

Woods plays at Isleworth and they are the hosts this year. He might follow it with his PGA Tour return at the Arnold Palmer Invitational later the same week.

The Masters, of course, is in April and if he plays there as well he will have the chance to move only three behind Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors – but what a different atmosphere his every appearance is going to have from now on.

A statement from Woods’ manager Mark Steinberg read: “Tiger Woods will be speaking to a small group of friends, colleagues and close associates at 11am (4pm GMT) at the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

“Tiger plans to discuss his past and his future and he intends to apologise for his behaviour.

“This will not be an open media event. However, it is understood that there are many media who are interested in what he has to say.

“In order to accommodate as best we can, we are working to arrange pool coverage of Tiger’s remarks.

“There will be network pool cameras providing coverage of his talk. The feed will be available live to any network or station that wishes to air it.

“A limited number of print and wire service reporters will be in attendance and will share their notes, colour and background on a pooled basis.”

Tim Finchem, commissioner of the PGA Tour, said he will be present when Woods makes his statement, but added that he knew nothing about the content.

Finchem said: “I am pleased he is going to make some comments and I want Tiger back playing as soon as he has dealt with what he left the game to deal with. I don’t want him back before that.

“I’m just going to wait and see what he says. We were asked to make a facility available and help with logistics. I don’t know what his plans are and what he is going to do once he has finished his rehab.”

Finchem does not believe the timing is to clash with Accenture’s sponsorship of the World Match Play in Arizona. They are one of the companies who have stopped using Woods in their advertising.

Steinberg also commented: “While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally between him and his wife, he also recognises that he has hurt those who are close to him.”

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