November 18th, 2010
08:54 AM ET

Tiger Woods says he's 'infinitely' happier now

Tiger Woods blasts out of a sand trap Sunday at the Australian Masters tournament in Melbourne. He finished three strokes behind winner Stuart Appleby.

Golfer Tiger Woods says he's "infinitely" happier now than he was just before his private and professional life exploded into scandal a year ago.

"I'm so much better now because of this past year," he said during a frank, 26-minute telephone interview Thursday morning on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike" show. "It's been very difficult for a lot of people, especially those closest to me, but I'm better for it."

On Thanksgiving night last year, Woods crashed his car outside his Florida home, an event that led to revelations of numerous extramarital affairs and liaisons and ultimately to divorce from his wife, supermodel Elin Nordegren. Woods took several months off from golf while undergoing psychological therapy.

"The worst part of it was those closest to me, the ones I loved and cared about so much, were the ones most hurt by my behavior," Woods said. "(But) I feel so much better, and everything is in so much better perspective now."

He said he would tell his children the truth about what he did, "eyeball to eyeball," when they are old enough to understand.

"They were feeling the effects of it, unfortunately, and I was responsible for it," he said.

Woods said he learned how "strong and resilient" his closest friends are.

"If you're lucky enough to have three people in your life that you're very close to, you're very blessed," he said.

He said he's been gratified by how the public has treated him since his return to the game.

"Actually, people have been more respectful and thankful and want to see me actually get back out there and do well," he said. "... It's amazing the kind of reception I get, how positive it is."

He said he is "infinitely" happier now than he was before the scandal broke.

"I was doing things that morally I knew inside I shouldn't be doing, and when you go against your core values and how I was raised as a person, you're going to struggle with that. ... I wasn't the person I used to be, the person my parents raised me to be, and I knew that."

Getting back out on the golf course at the Masters tournament in April helped him move forward, he said: "When it came down to tournament time, all the stuff I'd been going through just went away."

Although he has a new, "more balanced" perspective on life, he's still determined to be the best golfer he can be and to break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major victories.

"I have the same drive to get better. That's an everyday process. I can get better as a player and as a person, and that's what I'm trying to do," Woods said.

"I need to play better!" he added with a laugh.

As another Thanksgiving approaches, Woods said he's most thankful to have his children and have the opportunity to "teach them something new every day," as his father, the late Earl Woods, did with him.

"He always tried to teach me something. Each and every day would be life lessons, whatever they may be. I try to do the same thing with my kids, and it's just a blast."

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Filed under: Celebrity • Golf • Sports • Tiger Woods
soundoff (416 Responses)
  1. eagen

    who the heck cares!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. GOGOGAJIT

    Ummm Mr. Kavanagh, Elin was a Nanny and did "some" small time modeling before Tiger upgraded her! "Supermodel" she was NOT? Where did you get that piece of information???

    November 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. tony

    Tiger Woods is happy, but ironically, his 9 iron hasnt been happy in months.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. carlos

    GeorgeWBush.....your name says it all, just like the original one......

    November 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mikey

    Just another life lesson. Fame and fortune CANNOT buy happiness or make you a good person. You are either happy, or not, and either good or not. Being good or bad is entirely up to the individual, and all of us have in us the ability to be either very good, or very bad, which ever way we choose to go. Tiger has admitted his mistakes and is trying to lead a better life as a better person. Only time will tell if he succeeds. It's all up to him!!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karen

      I still say the only reason he's sorry for anything is that he got caught! Nothing more, nothing less. He just thought he was too good to get caught.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Radar1

      Wanna be a better person? Start by not celebrating your divorce and pretending to have a little remorse.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cannondaler

    Uh.....when did Elin become a super-model? She was another golfer's nanny when they met.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Valerie

    It is all fine and dandy he is so infinitley happy now, but to express that so publicly after humilitaing and betraying his wife in front of the entire world, just further proves what a heartless, self-serving low life he truly is.

    He is a bigger dirtbag for saying this......what a clown. Keep your thoughts to yourself, idiot. Don't you think you made yourself look bad enough???

    November 18, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Thenextstep

    Whats wrong with everyone. He had the best entertaining sports story of the year. Lets applaud Golf Clap, Golf Clap.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. aizen

    fame and fortune can buy you anything if you know what to do with it...money rules all..i would like to see most here lose their job, have no money and try to keep their families happy...happiness is a state of mind but it is complemented also by material things...if the poor hungry africans, asians haitians were so happy, they wouldnt ask for anything and continue the way they are...we multiply our happiness with materials that only cash can provide. and the notion of good and bad is a mad up one cus what seem good to one person could be bad for another...it takes 2 to get married just like it takes 2 to divorce, elin is in it for something too, she did her part in this divorce and cheating. the only thing i reproach tiger is the fact that he was dating waitress oh well i guess when your wife is a former nanny, you cant really go any higher huh? good luck to them all!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Guest2010

    He's still an A* * , and it looks like he's mentoring Tony Parker in how to cheat on your spouse, since Eva Longoria has filed for divorce from Tony after finding "hundreds of text messages" from another player's estranged wife. MEN ARE PIGS!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Zebulon Pi

    To everyone who says he's faking all this, and that it's impossible to be forgiven or to grow and heal after something like he's been through... I hope you do something terrible, and no one in your life ever forgives or forgets, reminding you daily until you pass.

    Hopefully, you reap what you sow.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • hecep

      I have on occasion been known to seep what I've rowed, but if you're not into canoeing, you wouldn't understand.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Radar1

      I love canoeing, all the water and wetness. The man in the boat...

      November 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. eddantes

    All the best to Tiger, enjoy your freedom!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. sage

    Of course he would be, he has more leeway to be a philanderer!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Gonzo

    All the judgemental hate filled losers...this story means only one thing....time to crawl out of your litle rock, throw some insults and scurry back ...to your normal dull life....

    November 18, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Radar1

      does anyone else here see the irony of Gonzo hurling insults at the people commenting here and accusing them of just throwing out insults? That's funny, Gonzo. Now take your hatred of all the people posting here, and all of the comments you have for them and go back into your own little hole and boring life.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      Too funny, Radar! Poor lil pathetic gonzo...

      November 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ames wolff

    Woods may be "infinitely happy" but he's still a POS cheater!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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