Woods to skip Bay Hill and Play Masters in Augusta

Tiger Woods called Arnold Palmer to apologize for not competing in his upcoming tournament at Bay Hill. WoodsTiger Woods Photos instead will make his post-sex scandal comeback at Augusta national Golf Club where he will play in the Masters April 8-11.

The world’s No. 1 ranked golfer player and Associated Press Athlete Of The Decade made the announcement in a prepared statement yesterday.

“The Masters is where I won my first major and I view this tournament with great respect. After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta,” said Woods.

“The major championships have always been a special focus in my career and, as a professional, I think Augusta is where I need to be, even though it’s been a while since I last played.”

Woods will have to work out the rust while trying his best to ignore all the certain distractions surrounding his personal life and infidelities while trying to win in a tournament he has not won since 2005.

Woods has not competed since Nov. 15 when he won the Australian Masters in Melbourne.

A few weeks after that win, he was involved in a one-vehicle accident in front of his home, where his wife Elin Nordegren admitted smashing out the window of his Cadillac SUV with a golf club.

The couple would soon become the main attraction for both mainstream media and tabloid journalists after several women came forward admitting to affairs with the golfer.

After avoiding the media and going into hibernation for several weeks, Woods finally confessed to the affairs after voice mail messages involving he and one of his alleged lovers were made public.

After avoiding the media for several more weeks, he put together a monitored conference that felt more like a funeral than an apology where several friends and family members attended to listen to him read a rehearsed statement. After the reading,  the golfer refused to accept any questions from the couple of hand-picked members of the media.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational that Woods is skipping is a tournament he has won the last two years and six times overall. This will be the first time Woods has not played in PGA Bay Hill event that is a short drive from his home in Isleworth.

“I called both Joe Lewis and Arnold Palmer and expressed my regrets for not attending the Tavistock Cup and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. I again want to thank them both for their support and their understanding,” said Woods. “Those are fantastic tournaments and I look forward to competing in them again.”

In a recent interview, the Golf Channel asked Palmer about that conversation. “He had some zip in his voice,” Palmer told the network.

“He sounded just fine. He knows what he wants to do with his life and the way he’s going to handle it, and I guess we’re going to give him that respect. I would think for Tiger it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be something that’s going to take him a little time to get used to. He expressed his regret for not being able to play. He said that he was sorry, that he really didn’t feel his game was up to speed to start playing this early.”

More Tiger:

Woods Apology Felt More Like a Funeral  – Sports Climax

Woods Voted AP Athlete of the Decade – Sports Climax

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