Return to Transcripts main page


Tiger Woods' Apology

Aired February 19, 2010 - 10:58   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. It is Friday, February 19th. And we are covering two very big stories for you. The crash, the scandal, now the apology. Golfer Tiger Woods expected to read a prepared statement any minute now at PGA tour headquarters in Florida. The audience handpicked, no questions allowed.

Also, more about the man who flew his plane into a building in Austin, Texas, and his victims. You watched it unfold right here in the CNN NEWSROOM. Good morning, everyone, I'm Tony Harris. Let's do this. Let's get started.

So, before Tiger Woods speaks, a reminder of how he got to this point. Early in the morning after Thanksgiving last year, he crashed his car outside his Florida home. Here's part of the 911 call.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a neighbor, he hit the tree. And we came out here just to see what was going on. I see him and he's laying down.

911 OPERATOR: Hit a tree? You mean he was in an auto act?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, there was an auto accident, yes.

911 OPERATOR: Is he unconscious?


911 OPERATOR: Okay. Are you able to tell if he's breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I can't tell right now.

911 OPERATOR: OK. We do have help on the way. What color is his car?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a black Escalade.


HARRIS: So, after refusing to talk to officers, he was issued a citation by the highway patrol. Woods is fined $164.

Then the sex scandal broke. Numerous women came forward claiming affairs with the golfer. In the midst of it, his mother-in-law is rushed to the hospital. And on December 11th, Woods announces he is taking a break from his sport.

Tiger Woods is breaking his silence today in a very controlled setting. Reporters, including CNN's Susan Candiotti, are being kept about a half-mile from where Woods is. They are at the Marriott Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra.

Woods is with friends at the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse. A simple lectern. Let's see the live shot here -- a simple lectern, a pretty simple background. You see it there in the gizmo.

Let's take it full. There it is.

Tiger Woods is to return to therapy after his public apology. Does this move rehab is image? That's one of a number of questions we will be asking throughout the morning.

Sports psychologist Jack Llewellyn joins me here in Atlanta. And in New York, Rick Cerrone, former public relations director for the Yankees. Rick Cerrone was also a damn good ballplayer in his day as well.

And Jack, let me start with you, just a quick question for you.

Need it? Necessary? What do you expect? We've got about 15 seconds.

JACK LLEWELLYN, SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST: I don't think it's necessary that he does it. You know, if he feels like this is part of getting the mud out of the water, the first step in getting the mud out of the water and clearing his mind, then I think it's probably going to be beneficial for him.


On that note, here's Tiger Woods.

TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: Good morning. And thank you for joining me.

Many of you in this room are my friends. Many in this room know me. Many of you have cheered for me or you worked with me or you supported me. Now every one of you has good reason to be critical of me.

I want to say to each of you simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in.

I know people want to find out how I could be so selfish and so foolish. People want to know how I could have done these things to my wife, Elin, and to my children. And while I have always tried to be a private person, there are some things I want to say. Elin and I have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behavior. As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words. It will come from my behavior over time.

We have a lot to discuss. However, what we say to each other will remain between the two of us.

I am also aware of the pain my behavior has caused to those of you in this room. I have let you down. And I have let down my fans.

For many of you, especially my friends, my behavior has been a personal disappointment. To those of you who work for me, I have let you down personally and professionally.

My behavior has caused considerable worry to my business partners, to everyone involved in my foundation, including my staff, board of directors, sponsors and, most importantly, the young students we reach. Our work is more important than ever.

Thirteen years ago, my dad and I envisioned helping young people achieve their dreams through education. This work remains unchanged and will continue to grow.

From the Learning Center students in southern California to the Earl Woods scholars in Washington, D.C., millions of kids have changed their lives, and I am dedicated to making sure that continues. But still, I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you.

I have made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did. I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position. For all that I have done, I am so sorry.

I have a lot to atone for. But there's one issue I really want to discuss.

Some people have speculated that Elin somehow hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving night. It angers me that people would fabricate a story like that.

Elin never hit me that night or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage, ever.

Elin has shown enormous grace and poise throughout this ordeal. Elin deserves praise, not blame.

The issue involved here was my repeated irresponsible behavior. I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame.

I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply.

I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to.

I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled.

Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have far -- I didn't have to go far to find them.

I was wrong. I was foolish. I don't get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me.

I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife's family, my friends, my foundation, and kids all around the world who admired me.

I've had a lot of time to think about what I've done. My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before.

It's now up to me to make amends. And that starts by never repeating the mistakes I've made. It's up to me to start living a life of integrity.

I once heard, and I believe it's true, it's not what you achieve in life that matters, it's what you overcome. Achievements on the golf course are only part of setting an example. Character and decency are what really count.

Parents used to point to me as a role model for their kids. I owe all those families a special apology. I want to say to them that I am truly sorry.

It's hard to admit that I need help, but I do. For 45 days, from the end of December to early February, I was in in-patient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I'm facing. I have a long way to go, but I've taken my first steps in the right direction.

As I proceed, I understand people have questions. I understand the press wants me -- wants to ask me for the details and the times I was unfaithful. I understand people want to know whether Elin and I will remain together.

Please know that as far as I'm concerned, every one of these questions and answers is a matter between Elin and me. These are issues between a husband and a wife.

Some people have made up things that never happened. They said I used performance-enhancing drugs. This is completely and utterly false.

Some have written things about my family. Despite the damage I have done, I still believe it is right to shield my family from the public spotlight. They did not do these things, I did.

I have always tried to maintain a private space for my wife and children. They have been kept separate from my sponsors, my commercial endorsements. When my children were born, we only released photographs so that the paparazzi could not chase them.

However, my behavior doesn't make it right for the media to follow my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to school and report the school's location. They staked out my wife and they pursued my mom.

Whatever my wrongdoings, for the sake of my family, please leave my wife and kids alone.

I recognize I have brought this on myself, and I know, above all, I am the one who needs to change. I owe it to my family to become a better person. I owe it to those closest to me to become a better man.

That's where my focus will be. I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it.

Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don't realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years.

Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.

As I move forward, I will continue to receive help because I have learned that's how people really do change. Starting tomorrow, I will leave for more treatment and more therapy.

I would like to thank my friends at Accenture and the players in the field this week for understanding why I'm making these remarks today.

In therapy, I've learned the importance of looking at my spiritual life and keeping in balance with my professional life. I need to regain my balance and be centered so I can save the things that are most important to me, my marriage and my children.

That also means relying on others for help. I've learned to seek support from my peers in therapy, and I hope someday to return that support to others who are seeking help.

I do plan to return to golf one day. I just don't know when that day will be. I don't rule out that it will be this year. When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game.

In recent weeks, I have received many thousands of e-mails, letters and phone calls from people expressing good wishes. To everyone who has reached out to me and my family, thank you. Your encouragement means the world to Elin and me.

I want to thank the PGA Tour, Commissioner Finchem, and the players for their patience and understanding while I work on my private life. I look forward to seeing my fellow players on the course.

Finally, there are many people in this room and there are many people at home who believed in me. Today I want to ask for your help. I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again.

Thank you.

HARRIS: Let's just watch this scene for a moment, Tiger hugging his mom.

Let's just have the pictures tell the story here.

That last moment, Jack, is a bit odd. That last moment.

All right, and there you have it.

More on Tiger's statement with our guests in a moment. If you missed any part of Tiger's statement, it's available to you right now at

We're back in a moment.


HARRIS: OK. So let's work through this.

Minutes ago, golf's biggest star, Tiger Woods, spoke publicly for the first time in almost three months. A lot has happened to him and his family in that time -- revelations of infidelity, treatment for sex addiction, a break from the sport he loves, now this apology.

Here's part of what he had to say to his friends, his fans and his wife.


WOODS: My real apology to her will not come in the form of words, it will come from my behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss. However, what we say to each other will remain between the two of us.


HARRIS: Tiger Woods says he will return to therapy. Does this move rehab his image? Probably too early to say, right?

Sports psychologist Jack Llewellyn joins me here in Atlanta. And in New York, Rick Cerrone, former public relations director for the Yankees.

Hey, Rick, you seem to be chomping at the bit here. We had a moment to talk about this just a moment ago in the break.

Rick, what are your thoughts?


HARRIS: Whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Stop. Full stop. Full stop.

Rick, full stop. We've got to parse this out.

A disaster? Tell me why.

CERRONE: This was a PR disaster. This will be shown in colleges in the future of how not to conduct yourself.

He spoke only to -- in a horrible setting that looked like a cheap "Saturday Night Live" set. He spoke to a small group of people, directed all his comments to them.

When he talked about the families that looked upon him as a role model, he said, "What I would say to them." He didn't speak directly to them.

When he spoke about his wife and the rumors or stories of domestic violence, he got angry. He got angry again when he talked about the media. I just don't think this was the way to handle it.


HARRIS: Go ahead. Go ahead, Rick.

CERRONE: I think -- you know what? I think he's going to anger the media, because the media are the people that right now are on talk shows throughout the country. If he's trying to rehab his image, I don't think you want to shoot the people that are carrying your message. I really believe this was an embarrassing performance.

HARRIS: Boy, I want to -- oh, so many points on that I'd love to push back. And we'll get there.

Jack, what did you think?

LLEWELLYN: Well, I thought he was across the board on a lot of things. The only positive thing that I thought might come out of it, became obvious to me, that he has an awful lot of mud in the water. His mind is cluttered with a lot of stuff, and he tried to get it all out in one fell swoop.

I thought he could have broken that up. And there's an awful lot of that could have been said between he and his wife and his family, and the corporate things privately with the corporate sponsors and those kinds of things.

HARRIS: Yes. So maybe too much in the statement?

LLEWELLYN: I thought he tried to say way too much, number one. If this is part of the process to clear his mind, then I think it's a great thing. But he talked an awful lot about the treatment, and I'm not a sex addiction person, I don't think there is such a thing. So I think that's an excuse. I think until you move beyond that, and you accept the consequences of your actions, you accept what you did, you're an adult...

HARRIS: Yes. Do you think he did that?

LLEWELLYN: I don't think he did, because I think he did it in a superficial way. But he kept going to treatment and talked about having a problem.

HARRIS: Well, guys, how many times does he have to say I'm sorry, my behavior was reckless, I was irresponsible, it was stupid, wrong, bad?

LLEWELLYN: But you've got to -- I think he is, by the way. I think he is.

I think he's a very sensitive guy. I think this image by ING that was built around him growing up created such an expectation on the part of the public that he has no wiggle room. He can't --

HARRIS: Right. So there was no way for him...

LLEWELLYN: There's no way for him to do anything that's the slightest bit off that image...

HARRIS: Right, right, right.

LLEWELLYN: ... and not suffer from it. And this was way off. And so it's catastrophic.

But the point I'm trying to make, I think he's sincere. I think he's sorry. And, you know, hopefully, God willing, he should be.

But what I'm saying is, don't talk about my problem and my treatment, talk about I made these conscious decisions. I messed up. I went off base.


HARRIS: Yes. So if he had stayed on that point, it would have been a better statement from your point of view?

LLEWELLYN: Yes. Yes, because I think that would have said I'm accountable.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.

LLEWELLYN: But right now he's saying I've got a problem, I've got an issue, and that's the reason I did this.

HARRIS: I want to get back to that with you because you don't buy that, and you've never bought that.


HARRIS: Rick, you would not have been happy with anything Tiger Woods said today.

CERRONE: Oh, no, Tony, that's not true at all. I was looking forward to him coming through this.

I mean I'm a Tiger Woods fan. I think that the image that was created of Tiger Woods was unrealistic for him to live within. But what I expected to see today was some humility.

What I saw was arrogance. What I saw was anger. I really don't think he did anything to begin to rebuild his image. That's not the way I went into this today.

HARRIS: Yes. That is so interesting.

So, I'm trying to parse it out with you a little bit. Did you buy the apology, "I was reckless, I was irresponsible, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry"? Did you buy that?

CERRONE: Tony, when we went into this, and this was the way he was going to conduct with, which I didn't agree with -- I thought he should have taken questions and not set it up among family and friends -- I mean, I thought that whole scene at the end where he's hugging everyone, it was basically an infomercial.


HARRIS: Rick, but if he believes it's a private matter, the infidelity, if he believes it -- and I know you see it differently, but if he believes that that side of it is a private matter, why open yourself up to questions on something that you believe is personal and private?

CERRONE: You know, Tony, back in December, when he put out a statement, and in that statement he said, "I'm a strong believer in the virtue of privacy," I don't think someone that has trashed a lot of other virtues and gotten himself into this situation should be lecturing us on virtues. I simply think, and I said going into this, I said this morning, I think that he should avoid all confrontation.

He simply needed to take complete and total blame, responsibility and accountability for his actions, not bring in -- oh, and by the way, the media is stalking my 2-year-old daughter. This was not the time for that.

HARRIS: Well, is that -- so now is not the time for that?


CERRONE: Tony, do you want to begin to rebuild your image or do you want to fight with the media? It's your choice. You've got one or two.

HARRIS: I don't necessarily believe he needs to play with the media. I don't. I think he needs to go and get his life together.

I think he needs to make the apology to his family and mend the family. And I think he needs to go back to doing what he does best, better than anyone else on the planet. That's to play and win golf tournaments. I don't think he should play the media game.

Sorry. It's all right.

CERRONE: No, no. I didn't say play the media game. I said do you want to rebuild your image or do you want to pick a fight with the media? It's that simple.

HARRIS: That's a distinction.

LLEWELLYN: Well, you know, he's the greatest golfer in the world. There's no question about that.

It's up to the public now to watch golf, and watch him play golf, and put this other stuff aside, you know, because we like to watch great people. I like to watch Lebron James play, and I like to watch Kobe Bryant play. I don't watch golf if Tiger is not playing. So, let's accept the performance and enjoy the sport, and then each person individually has to make their own decision on whether or not they accept what he's said.

HARRIS: Absolutely.

LLEWELLYN: I mean, obviously, he put himself out there. I think it was -- I do agree with Rick that it was an awfully structured, choreographed environment...

HARRIS: I agree. I totally agree with Rick on that.

LLEWELLYN: ... that I thought really took away from some of the things that he had to say.

HARRIS: Yes. And the end of it was just plain awkward, walking out and shaking hands.

LLEWELLYN: You know, it's interesting, Tony, because I have a -- I hope you don't mind.

HARRIS: No, go ahead.

LLEWELLYN: In May, I have a book coming out called "Get the Mud Out of the Water," and it's about how to recover quicker from adversity. And I think that what he did today, again, if the purpose was to start to clear the mud out, and the mud that you can't clear out you compartmentalize it and go putter it in a drawer and then go play golf, if he can do that and people accept it, then this is fine.

This is a very private matter. I don't know how it ever got to be public in the first place. Because he is who he is, I know that.


LLEWELLYN: But it's such an incredibly private thing.

HARRIS: Right. Rick, that's good stuff. That's a good conversation.

CERRONE: I hope so.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes. I appreciate it.

CERRONE: Thanks, Tony.

HARRIS: Rick, appreciate it. Yes. Good having you on the program.

And Jack, as always, good to talk to you.

CERRONE: Thanks.

LLEWELLYN: You bet. Any time.

HARRIS: All right.

Tell us what you think. If you'd like to, just go to and leave us your comments. Remember, if you missed part of Tiger's statement, or you want to watch it again in its entirety, go to our Web site. Again,

We're back in a moment.


HARRIS: CNN Heroes, ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

This week's hero, Susan Burton. She's a one-time crack addict and six-time inmate who's gotten out, gotten clean and transformed her life. Now she is helping others do the same thing.


SUSAN BURTON, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: I'm writing in regards to my parole plan. I'm 21 years old with two strikes. I'm scared to relapse again. I want to be a success story. Please hold a bed for me.

We all leave prison saying I'm going to get my life on track, and you end up getting off a bus, downtown Los Angeles, Skid Row. People know who you are when you come off that bus, and you're targeted. Many times you don't even make it out of the Skid Row area before you're caught up into that cycle again.

My name is Susan Burton. After my son died, I used drugs. I just spiraled into a pit of darkness. I went to prison six times. Finally, I found rehab and I thought, I can help women come home from prison.

I pick them up, bring them back to the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miss Burton is like a mother to all of us. She offers you a warm bed, food, like a real family. BURTON: I want to see you shine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She made me want to change my life.

You proud of me, Miss Burton?

BURTON: Sure. You came a long way.

I want the women who realize that they have something to contribute. This is giving life. That's what it's all about.


HARRIS: You know, since 1998, Susan Burton has helped more than 400 women get their lives on track.

To nominate someone you think is changing the world, just go to


HARRIS: Tiger Woods taking his first swing at a public apology less than 30 minutes ago. You saw it right here live on CNN, taking no questions and reading from a prepared script. Tiger Woods says, sorry.


TIGER WOODS, PGA GOLFER: Starting tomorrow, I will leave for more treatment and more therapy.

I would like to thank my friends at Accenture and the players in the field this week for understanding why I'm making these remarks today.

In therapy, I've learned the importance of looking at my spiritual life and keeping in balance with my professional life. I need to regain my balance and be centered, so I can save the things that are most important to me, my marriage and my children.

That also means relying on others for help. I've learned to seek support from my peers in therapy and I hope someday to return that support to others who are seeking help.

I do plan to return to golf one day. I just don't know when that day will be.


HARRIS: Tiger Woods publicly apologizing today for the infidelity that tarnished his once golden image. Golf has been Woods' life from the age of two when he was seen on national television putting with comedian Bob Hope. More on his phenomenal career with CNN's Terry Badu (ph).

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TERRY BADU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN first sought up with Tiger Woods in 1992 at the age of 16, a year after he had become the youngest ever U.S. Junior Amateur champion. He'd repeat the feat a year later and play in his first PGA Tour event in Los Angeles.

Woods enrolled at Stanford University in 1994, when he'd play his first major, the Masters, becoming the only amateur to make the cut. The next two years would put Tiger on the map for good. In August, 1996, Woods announced he was going pro, signing deals for $40 million with Nike and $20 million with Titlist. They were the highest endorsement contracts in golfing history. He'd win two events in three months and in the same year became "Sports Illustrated" "Sportsman of the Year." Age, just 20.

WOODS: For me I can't comprehend the magnitude of this award because I've never been in the limelight like this before.

BADU: It was April of '97 when he won his first major, claiming the Masters by a record 12 strokes in a week where he set a total of 20 records at Augusta.

In June, 1999, he began a three-year sustained period of unprecedented dominance. During that run, he won 17 events in two seasons, including six straight PGA tour titles. And by winning the 2001 Masters, he became the only man in the modern era to hold all four major titles at once.

In May, 2006, though, his world collapsed when his father, coach and mentor, Earl Woods, lost his battle with cancer. Tiger spent nine weeks in mourning, returned to action at the U.S. Open, but missed the cut for the first time at a major since he turned pro.

However, in 2008 the U.S. Open was the scene of perhaps his finest hour when in the midst of an injury-hit season he won the title in a 19-hole playoff, a victory achieved essentially on one leg as two days after winning he entered the hospital for major knee surgery.

His absence from the game had a marked effect on TV ratings for the PGA tour, so his return to action eight months later was greeted with a huge fanfare. And though the first athlete to win $1 billion didn't win a major last year, he did pick up six PGA tour titles and also won November's JBWere Masters in Australia, the last tournament he played before the scandal broke.

Terry Badu, CNN, Atlanta.


HARRIS: Boy, the blog is heating up. Man, is it hot! Tell us what you think, go to I wish I could pull up some of these comments now. Leave us a comment and remember you can watch the statement from Tiger Woods in its entirety on our website. That's at

We're back in a moment.


HARRIS: All right, let's get you caught up on our top stories now.

Authorities in Austin, Texas, are still trying to piece together what caused a man to fly a small plane into an office building. Joe Stack apparently was enraged at the IRS; the tax agency has offices in the building. Two bodies have been recovered from the site.

President Obama visiting the foreclosure capital of the country. He is holding a town hall meeting in Las Vegas where he will unveil a $1.5 billion assistance program. The money will go to five states hit hard by the housing crisis -- Nevada, California, Arizona, Florida and Michigan.

You know, grownups will pinch a chubby baby's cheeks and, you know, shriek with delight, oh, that's so nice, that's so cute. But a plump baby may not be such a laughing matter. New research indicates eating habits can set the stage for obesity by the third month of life. Doctors discovered 90 percent of overweight 3-month-olds maintained a weight trajectory that made them obese by kindergarten.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta has today's "Fit Nation Report."


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Was that there were red flags as early as three months of age. And usually by about two years of age, about half the people who are going to go on to become obese as adults had already started to become obese as very young children. And that's specifically what the study was looking at. They found some of these early habits really start very, very young in life and they had some specific tips on what parents or caregivers should specifically do.

First of all, really keep in mind that babies, even at a young age, sort of know when they're full. The brain does a pretty good job of telling the stomach enough is enough when it comes to food. And make sure those habits, those sort of innate habits are reinforced, very key. Babies know when they're full, watch for those cues, and talk with your pediatrician often. For example, if a woman is breastfeeding and a baby stops suckling, that's a good clue. If a baby is taking formula, they suddenly turn their head away, that's also going to be a good clue.

A lot of people always ask for rough guidelines when it comes to eating. Take a look here, but again, keep in mind these are very rough guidelines. The first few weeks of life two or three ounces of feeding. About two months, four ounces per feeding. At about six months, five to six ounces per feeding.

Also, keep in mind that at some point when the baby starts to go from pure liquids to starting to add some solids, at meal time make sure you keep those foods separate. Don't try and take cereal, for example, and grind it up into the formula or into the milk because the way that a baby's stomach and mind work as far as that hunger connection, they really are looking at the volume of food as opposed to the amount of calories. So making sure that they still are getting the same amounted of liquid and then adding solid foods as well, that will do a pretty good job of making sure they're not overeating.

But again, the real bottom-line message here, something that we've talked about before, is that the cues and some of the indicators, the red flags if you will, for obesity start at a very young age, as early as three months of life, and they can be controlled at that age as well.

Back to you.


HARRIS: All right, Sanjay, appreciate it.

Tiger Woods' apology isn't being accepted by all. Boy, that's the case. A couple of comments from the blog here.

Star Padilla (ph) says, "He sounded very monotone and robotish," OK, "just reading off the apology script. I mean, I commend him for giving an apology, but it was just so bland."

One more very quickly here. Barbara says, "I, I, I, me, me, me, my, my, my must have been said 200 times. It is still all about Tiger."

More of your comments coming up here in the CNN NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: You know, starting Monday credit card companies will be playing by new rules, but what has happened before the changes has consumers fuming. Gerri Willis has the story.


GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR (voice-over): Consumers have had it with their credit cards.

KATHLEEN DILLON, OPTED OUT OF CREDIT CARDS: I paid my bills on time, I've been penalized for no reason.

REV. ROGER GENICH, FACES INTEREST RATE HIKE: They don't care that I've been with them for 30 years and that I might have a history with them. That's the bottom line.

WILLIS: Kathleen Dillon and Reverend Roger Genich dealing with the unintended consequences of credit card reform. Facing tighter regulations, credit card issuers have been changing policies before the law goes into effect on Monday.

Among the new credit card rules, interest rates can't be raised on existing balances or on accounts that are less than a year old. And above the minimum payments must be applied to highest rate balances first. Those changes will cost banks money, $11 billion each year, and lenders are looking for new sources of revenue.

NESSA FEDDIS, SENIOR COUNSEL, AMERICAN BANKERS ADMINISTRATION: Interest rates will be a little bit higher across the board, it will be harder for people to get cards. Limits will be lower. And beyond that, card companies are looking at annual fees, a reduction in the promotional rates, maybe a reduction in rewards programs.

WILLIS: That's already happening. Roger found out his Citibank credit card was raising his interest rate for future purchases from 18.99 percent to 29.99 percent.

GENICH: They said it was due to no fault of my own.

WILLIS: He was late with two payments in his 30-year history before he received the notice of his future increase.

(on camera): So what was it like opening the letter from a lender you worked with for 30 years and they're telling you they are going to jack up your interest rate?

GENICH: You know, I think now it is a faceless, compassionless, exploitive institution.

WILLIS (voice-over): For its part, Citibank says, quote, "... price increases are necessary, giving the doubling of credit card losses... and regulatory changes."

Kathleen has had to opt out of three credit cards because of impending interest rate hikes.

DILLON: It was scary for me, because I work two jobs, I don't have a lot of money, and that left me with very little access to emergency fundage, if needed.

WILLIS: But consumer experts say the card act does level the playing field.

GREG MCBRIDE, SENIOR ANALYST, BANKRATE.COM: There are some unequivocal wins for consumers in the new credit card legislation.

WILLIS: It's estimated consumers will save at least $10 billion a year because of the new law.

But for Kathleen, this is one relationship that's already soured.

DILLON: I'm just paying them down. And I won't use those companies again.


WILLIS: Well, bottom line, you really have to open your mail from your credit card company. That's the only way you're going to find out about these new got-you fees and rate hikes. If you've gotten a notice for changes you don't like, you have the right option to opt out, which means to keep your terms the same, but you won't be able to make new purchases on that card -- Tony. HARRIS: All right. And, Gerri, if you would, give us a tease, if you would, for this weekend's "YOUR BOTTOM LINE." Can't let you go before you do that.

WILLIS: Yes, absolutely. Well, 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning, "YOUR BOTTOM LINE" right here on CNN, we're going to be talking about these credit card -- credit cards out there, how they're making your life more difficult, what you can do to be safe. And, Tony, frankly, how you might find a new card if you're frustrated with your old one.

HARRIS: Yes, yes, absolutely. All right, Gerri, have a great weekend, appreciate it, thank you.

WILLIS: Thank you.

HARRIS: Let's do this, got some blog comments on the Tiger Woods' statement.

What camera am I working from here? All right.

I'm going to read it from the computer, from our blog page, which is I don't remember all the time.

This is from Janet, who writes, "I thought he was very real. Rick Cerrone," who was our guest right out of the statement, "is obviously so mired in PR BS," hey, hey, hey, "and thinks the media rules everything, that he doesn't realize the average person or fan needed to hear him speaking like a sincere real person."

Eh, he was reading from a script, though.

"Not a PR-packaged slick athlete." It was kind of slick.

All right, "People are sick of listening to athletes read what their PR handlers give them as opposed to an honest, candid response." I know, he felt like he was reading.

All right, and this from Andy, "Obviously it was a well- orchestrated media conference, but saying it was a disaster is ridiculous. Saying he is making the media angry, media just needs to report the story and that's it. OK, regular people will watch this and decide for themselves, by the way, and get his message. He did what he needed to do with the attention span that people have today, they'll forget, forgive, and he'll be back to playing golf and making millions in no time."

Yes, you know, time for Tiger to get back to work. OK, if you'd like to respond,

All right, we are rounding up more reaction to Tiger Woods' big apology for the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM. We'll bring you comments from sports fans as well as more of your feedback.

Plus, we expect to hear from the PGA commissioner Tim Finchem, and you can watch his comments live right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: OK, Tiger Woods apologizing for his indiscretions. It went down this hour in a carefully staged appearance at PGA Tour Headquarters in Florida. CNN international sports anchor Justin Armsden is in Arizona, and he's actually covering the Accenture World Matchplay Tournament. Its' the event on the PGA Tour this week.

And, Justin, are you getting some reaction to this statement from pros there?

JUSTIN ARMSDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR (via telephone): Not just at the moment, Tony. Play gets underway here in about an hour or so, the PGA Tour has set aside a specific area for the players to talk about Tiger when they come out. So we are expecting that imminently.

But I got reaction from Nick Faldo who is here working as a commentator as well, had an in-depth chat with him. He made the point that everybody seems to identify that it is still carefully stage managed, Tiger needs to answer some of those questions as well.

And of great concern to player, former player like Nick Faldo, that there was no indication from Tiger as to the timeframe as to when he plans to come back. He didn't rule out this year, but of course, he's still focusing on therapy rather than getting back to golf. And I think all the golfers agree that they want to see Tiger back on the course as soon as possible.

HARRIS: Yes. All right, absolutely. Justin, give us a bit of a heads up when you get reaction from some of the players.

We're back in a moment. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.