Disgraced sports star Tiger Woods' return to golf has been a big success - he's having "a great day" at the Masters Tournament in Georgia.
Woods feared fans would turn on him after spending five months away from the sport to repair the damage his infidelity had caused in his personal life - but, at a press conference on Monday (05Apr10), he revealed he had been welcomed back generously during a practice round on the fabled course.
He told the gathered accredited media, "The galleries couldn't be nicer... everyone was just incredible, and the encouragement I got, it just blew me away... It touched my heart pretty good."
He also took a moment to thank his fellow golfers for what they've had to "endure" since news of Woods' affairs broke in November (09).
He added, "I know that the players over the past few months have been bombarded by questions... Hopefully after today, after answering questions in this press conference, the players can be left alone to focus on the Masters and focus on the game... I certainly apologise to all of them for having to endure what they've had to endure the past few months.
"I'm here at the Masters to play and compete... I missed the competition, I missed seeing the guys out here."
Questions immediately took Woods back to the car crash at Thanksgiving (26Nov09) that kickstarted the stories about the problems the golfer was having at home with his wife Elin Nordegren. The star collided with a tree after an alleged late-night argument with his wife.
Woods has refused to comment on the incident, but told reporters at the press conference, "I had a busted up lip and a pretty sore neck and that was it. I had five stitches in my lip... I did everything to the letter of the law. My lawyer gave me advice and I followed that advice."
The golfer also told the members of the press they would notice a change in his attitude on the Masters course this week - because he wants to be more respectful of the game and his fans.
He explained, "I made a conscious decision to try and tone down my negative outbursts and, consequently, I'm sure my positive outbursts will be calmed down as well... (I'm just) trying to be more respectful of the game, and acknowledge the fans... and show my appreciation for them.
"I haven't done that in the past few years and that was wrong of me. So many kids have looked up to me and so many fans have supported me over the years."