Appear in public to admit you messed up, Watson urges Woods

By Bernie McGuire

DUBAI (Reuters) - Tiger Woods needs to show some humility and appear in public to admit he "messed up" by cheating on his wife, eight times major winner Tom Watson said on Wednesday.

The world number one has taken an indefinite break from the sport after admitting in December on his website (www.tigerwoods.com) that he had been unfaithful to his wife.

Woods apologized for his actions in that statement but the outspoken Watson said he needed to go even further if he was to rebuild his image in the sport.

"Tiger has to take ownership of what he's done," the 60-year-old Watson told reporters as he prepared for this week's Dubai Desert Classic.

"When he comes back, he has to show some humility to the public. If I were him, I'd come back not at a golf tournament but out in public first.

"That's what Tiger is going to have to do.

"He messed up. He knows he messed up. The world knows he messed up and he has to take ownership in that.

"It's going to be interesting to see how he handles his return to public life. I wish him the best."

Watson also suggested the 14 times major winner would need to clean up his act on the golf course if he wanted to be considered one of the great ambassadors of the sport by his peers.

"I feel that Tiger has not carried the same stature as other great players that have come along like Jack (Nicklaus), or Arnold (Palmer), Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, in the sense that there was language and club-throwing on the golf course," said Watson.

"He needs to clean up his act and show the respect for the game that the people before him have shown."

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)