The day we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived: Eighty-five days after he crashed his Escalade, Tiger Woods will apologize to his wife, his family and his fans regarding his well-publicized marital affairs in a highly-orchestrated media event Friday, after which he will re-enter his sex rehab.
Of course, we’ll be right there when it happens at 11 a.m. EST at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and RadarOnline.com will bring it to you live!
The million dollar question: Will wife Elin Nordegren be at his side when he talks?
RadarOnline.com has learned that Team Tiger is certainly pushing for it – But she has said no.
“There has been non-stop strategy sessions at the house between Tiger and his people,” an insider told RadarOnline.com. “And from an image standpoint, everyone feels it would be much better for Elin to be there. After all, he’s apologizing for his behavior. People are going to be a lot more receptive to his apology, if they see his wife has accepted his apology.”
But Elin won’t attend when Woods will make a statement — expected to be 5 to 7 minutes in length — and will not take any questions during the tightly-controlled media event.
The PGA will hold a news conference at Noon EST to respond to Tiger’s statement. The PGA statement will come one hour after Wood’s televised public apology.
The reclusive Woods was spotted on a run Thursday with a friend. He has moved back into the family’s Windermere, Florida mansion, while Nordegren is currently staying at a house in the Lake Butler Sound estates, a gated community about a mile away. Our source told us that Tiger was pressuring Elin, who has not worn her wedding ring since the scandal broke, to be there — but he came up short.
“She’s not the type of woman to be used as a prop,” our source said.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Thursday that Woods will be returning to his sex addiction therapy follow Friday’s event.
“As we understand it, Tiger’s therapy called for a week’s break at this time, during which he has spent a few days with his children and then will make his statement before returning,” Finchem said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “Accordingly, there was very little flexibility in the date for the announcement.”
Tiger’s agent, Mark Steinberg, said Thursday that Woods is using the media event to rebuild bridges with a fan base that has dwindled in the wake of the scandal, reflected by millions of dollars of lost endorsements since the story broke. (AT&T and Accenture have dropped him as a spokesperson; according to Nielsen, Woods’ last televised commercial was a 30-second Gillette ad that ran November 29.)
“While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally a matter between him and his wife, he also recognizes that he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him,” Steinberg said. “He also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends, and that’s what he’s going to discuss.”
The couple’s 5-year marriage — which produced two kids, 2-year-old Sam and 1-year-old Charlie — has been on the ropes since Woods’ November 27 car accident. The incident was preceded by an explosive fight after the National Enquirer reported Tiger had been involved with New Yorker Rachel Uchitel.
Since then, Woods has been accused of affairs with more than a dozen women scattered across the United States.