Reuters - Thu, 18 Mar 02:18:00 2010
US President Barack Obama is sure Tiger Woods will still be a "terrific golfer" when he returns to competition, but acknowledged that he had "betrayed his family".
In an interview with Fox News, Obama was asked his thoughts on Woods's decision to return to golf at next month's Masters, the first Major of the season.
Woods has not played in a tournament since November last year after disappearing from public view following tabloid revelations about his marital infidelities.
"I think that Tiger has acknowledged that he betrayed his family; that is a personal issue that he has got to work out," said Obama, himself a keen golfer.
"I hope they've worked it out and I am sure he is still going to be a terrific golfer."
At the US Tour event in Tampa, Kenny Perry, who lost in a play-off at last year's Masters, agreed that Woods would still be a great player and urged the public to forgive him.
"We have all made mistakes. It's like any sickness, like alcohol, drugs, you name it; there's so many things out there that people get hung up into and it grabs you and just can't get away from it for whatever reason," said Perry.
"I hope we are that country that will forgive, and give him a second shot. Everybody deserves a second chance."
Asked how he would react if he bumped into Woods on the practice range at Augusta, Perry said: "I'm going to go give him a hug. I'm going up there and get right in his face and tell him if I can do anything for him, let me know.
"I'm here to help you."