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In the presence of topless dancers, Tiger Woods played the shy little kitty cat -- but it was all just an act for the strip club regular, insiders tell the New York Post.

Prior to his explosive infidelity scandal (revelations began emerging in late November), Woods made a point of visiting NYC strip club Scores whenever he was in the Big Apple. Former Scores manager Tony Lombardi tells the Post that the married 33 year-old golfer always pretended he was a "virgin to strip clubs."

To cover up his extramarital pursuits, the convincingly "innocent" athlete relied upon an entourage who would broker introductions to attractive women at clubs. "He'd just point and say 'Who's that?' and they'd go over and sayd 'Tiger Woods wants to meet you.' And they would never leave together," club magnate Rocco Ancarola says in the paper.

Ancarola adds that it's common practice for club owners to cover up for the indiscretions of wealthy, famous patrons. "We in the business do that without thinking about it...You tend to protect the celebrities."

The article also claims that Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, made a deal with the National Enquirer -- killing a story about one Woods affair by promising the athlete on the cover of Men's Fitness, owned by the same publisher as the tabloid.

The New York Daily News adds that friends in Woods' inner sanctum were aware of his cheating but failed to speak up.

"A lot of us who love him saw this coming," one longtime friend is quoted as saying. "We said, 'You've got to be careful. It's really getting too raggedy.' In his own mind, he may not have thought he was doing anything wrong."

The pal adds that the athlete "was under a lot of pressure. He thought he was just letting off steam. He thought of it as a perk."