Tiger Woods Takes 'Break From Professional Golf' Amid 'Infidelity,' Prostitute Rumors

"I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person."

ByABC News
December 11, 2009, 1:17 PM

Dec. 11, 2009— -- Tiger Woods says he will take "an indefinite break from professional golf" to cope with the ongoing fallout caused by "my infidelity."

"I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children," he wrote late Friday on his official Web site. "I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try."

The announcement came after new reports from both sides of the Atlantic claimed the golfer paid for sex with prostitutes and that Woods and wife Elin Nordegren are considering an escape to Sweden to plan their next move.

Woods' use of the word "infidelity" apparently amounts to his first public admission that he was unfaithful to his wife amid claims by multiple women, in the weeks since his Nov. 27 auto accident, that they had affairs with him.

"After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf," Woods wrote. "I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person.

"Again," he added, "I ask for privacy for my family and I am especially grateful for all those who have offered compassion and concern during this difficult period."

Neither Woods' statement nor a subsequent one by his agent, Mark Steinberg, offered a timetable for Woods' return to golf.

"As his agent and friend, I stand fully behind Tiger and support his decision wholeheartedly," Steinberg wrote. "What Tiger and his family need now is time away and private space so that they can recover from all that's happened and try to restore some well-being to their lives.

"The entirety of someone's life is more important than just a professional career," Steinberg added. "What matters most is a young family that is trying to cope with difficult life issues in a secluded and caring way. Whenever Tiger may return to the game should be on the family's terms alone."