Below is the statement issued by Woods on Friday:
By Tiger Woods
I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children. I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness. It may not be possible to repair the damage I've done, but I want to do my best to try.
I would like to ask everyone, including my fans, the good people at my foundation, business partners, the PGA Tour, and my fellow competitors, for their understanding. What's most important now is that my family has the time, privacy, and safe haven we will need for personal healing.
After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person.
Again, I ask for privacy for my family and I am especially grateful for all those who have offered compassion and concern during this difficult period.
When he will return to action is anyone's guess. It is not even clear that Phil Mickelson could take over as World No 1 if Woods decides to take five or six months off.
A dream scenario for Irish fans would be to see Woods skip the Masters and the US Open and return for the JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am at Adare Manor from July 5-6.
The charity event, which Woods has verbally committed to playing for his friend JP McManus, is held every five years in the week before the British Open.
In a statement, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said: "We fully support Tiger’s decision to step away from competitive golf to focus on his family. His priorities are where they need to be, and we will continue to respect and honor his family’s request for privacy. We look forward to Tiger’s return to the PGA TOUR when he determines the time is right for him.”