JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Tiger Woods is to return to therapy after he speaks publicly for the first time about his infidelity, according to a letter from PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem that was obtained by The Associated Press.

Finchem's letter to the PGA Tour policy board and other officials explained why Woods chose Friday to make his first public comments, which are to be televised live by all the major networks.

Woods' statement comes during the Match Play Championship, sponsored by Accenture, the first company to drop Woods as a pitchman.

"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 the letter. "Accordingly, there was very little flexibility in the date for the announcement."

Woods is to speak at 11 a.m. EST from the clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour. He has not been heard from in 78 days since a magazine released a voice mail that he allegedly left one of the women to whom he has been romantically linked, pleading with her to remove his number from her cell phone.

Woods crashed his car into a tree outside his Florida home Nov. 27, an incident that led to revelations of infidelity.

His tightly controlled talk will not include three designated members of the Golf Writers Association of America. That group's board of directors voted not to participate.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"I cannot stress how strongly our board felt that this should be open to all media and also for the opportunity to question Woods," said Vartan Kupelian, president of the 950-member group.

"The position, simply put, is all or none. This is a major story of international scope. To limit the ability of journalists to attend, listen, see and question Woods goes against the grain of everything we believe."

The Associated Press, Reuters and Bloomberg News were invited by Woods' agents, along with three pool reporters designated by the GWAA. No questions were to be allowed.

Security was tight by Thursday afternoon, with the main road to the clubhouse blocked off. Media were headquartered in a hotel a mile away.