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Sex scandal Tiger Woods tells of personal despair

By Brian Hutton

Tiger Woods yesterday compared his torment over his marital difficulties to the death of his father - but insisted his personal life was getting back on track.

In a rare public appearance the world's No 1 golfer signalled the much-publicised turmoil in his marriage to Swedish model Elin Nordegren had forced him to reassess his life.

In an unusually candid description of his despair, he likened the fallout to the death of his father and mentor Earl, who died after battling cancer in 2006.

“There are times in one's life when things get put in perspective,” he said.

“One being when my father passed, and obviously what I've been going through lately.”

It is widely reported that Woods and Nordegren have agreed divorce terms, with his wife taking custody of their two children.

Woods was speaking for the first time in Europe about the controversy since he admitted cheating on his wife at a Press conference in February.

He was competing in a celebrity charity Pro-Am at Limerick's exclusive Adare Manor, organised by Irish tycoon JP McManus.

Hollywood stars Samuel L Jackson, Hugh Grant, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones as well as sporting stars were among the household names who turned out for the five-yearly event.

Asked about his preparations ahead of the British Open next week at St Andrews, Woods revealed he would practise at home rather than at a links course.

“I need to get home ... (to) see my kids,” he said.

Asked if his personal life was at a stage where he could now fully concentrate on his game, the 14-time major winner said: “Everything is working itself out.”

After returning home from Ireland to Florida last night, Woods plans to travel to Scotland on Sunday or Monday for next week's Major championship. Woods finished three under par during yesterday's round at the charity Pro-Am contest after a poor seven over par in his opening game on Monday.

Team-mates racing jockey AP McCoy and the now-retired Mick Fitzgerald described it as a dream come true to play with the golfer.

“There were no lows, it was highs all the way,” said McCoy, from Co Antrim.

His caddy and best friend, Irish champion jockey Ruby Walsh, described Woods as a “gentleman”.

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