World No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods of the United States said Wednesday that he has committed "transgressions" and let his family down after newly published allegations that he had an extramarital affair. Woods issued the statement after a woman claimed to be having an affair with the golfer.

In a statement on his Web site, Woods did not say what his transgressions were.  But he said he is "far short of perfect" and is "dealing with his behavior and personal failings" behind closed doors.  Woods denied that physical violence played a role in his car crash early last Friday outside his Florida mansion.

His statement came after a celebrity magazine - Us Weekly - published a story alleging that Woods has had a 31-month affair with a 24-year-old Los Angeles cocktail waitress.

M. Gary Neuman is a family counselor in Miami Beach, Florida and the author of the book The Truth About Cheating:  Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It.  He says that sex and physical attraction often have little to do with marital infidelity.

"Most cheating men talk about an emotional breakdown both within their marriage and in themselves that makes them primed for an alluring relationship and an emotional attachment with other people," Neuman said.  "So we have to become much more aware of what's going on in our marital and personal lives emotionally."

Neuman says that most American families spend fewer than 12 minutes per day talking to one another.  He says that for families to rebuild trust, those who cheat need to express true remorse, not merely regret for having been caught.  Cheating spouses need to evaluate their own emotional health and the behavior of their extramarital partners. 

Tiger signing autographs at this year's AT&T Tourn
Tiger signing autographs at this year's AT&T Tournament

Many observers have questioned how the scandal might affect Tiger Woods' lucrative endorsement contracts with high-profile advertisers like Nike, Gatorade and AT&T. 

Sports Illustrated magazine writer Michael Bamberger says that the current problem will not harm Tiger Woods, who made more than $100 million in endorsements last year.

"It is going to have no effect on him whatsoever," Bamberger said.  "If anything, it humanizes him.  Nike would re-up [renew their contract with] him in a minute.  Nike would never fire him.  If they did, somebody else would wind up paying him way more than Nike is already paying him."

In his Internet statement, Woods asked again for the media to respect his privacy and said "personal sins should not require press releases."  He promised to be a better husband and father, and apologized to his fans.

On Tuesday, Woods was charged with careless driving and fined $164 for crashing his sport utility vehicle into a fire hydrant and a tree early Friday morning.  Woods was slightly injured in the wreck, which focused international attention on his family life.

Woods decided to skip playing in a tournament this week that he hosts in California to benefit his charity foundation.  He also canceled a Tuesday news conference.  He cited minor injuries sustained in the accident, adding that he would not compete in any more golf tournaments until next year.