Federer says ‘worst has passed’ for Woods

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Miceli: The dawn of a new Tiger Woods?

Golfweek’s Alex Miceli reacts to Tiger Woods’ Feb. 19 statement at TPC Sawgrass.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Roger Federer believes the worst is over for his “good friend” Tiger Woods and hopes to see him back on the golf course, local reports said Monday.

“Tiger is a good friend of mine,” Federer told the English language daily The Gulf News. “What’s happened to him has been hard to watch over the last three months, right down to when he made his apology. I am sure he’s headed in a better direction now. The worst has passed.”

On Friday, a somber and composed Woods made his first public appearance since he crashed his car into a tree outside his family home three months ago, setting off shocking allegations of rampant extramarital relationships.

He admitted he cheated on his wife, said he was “deeply sorry,” but did not say when he will play golf again.

Federer was in the Gulf city-state to play in the Dubai Championships. The top-ranked tennis star, a four-time winner in Dubai, pulled out of the $2 million tournament Sunday because of a lung infection.

Federer said hoped to return at Indian Wells on March 11, but made no promises.

He did say he’d like to see Woods back playing golf soon.

“It’s been hard to watch from far away, but I would love to see him back on the golf course,” Federer was quoted as saying. “It’s what he does best.”

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