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. hecep

    Okay, ladies. Here's your chance to grab a tiger by his wood.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. FED UPPPP

    He is a pig !!! way overpaid for what he does. What is this world coming to when an athlete gets paid 23 million a year , and we still have kids starving in this country . God blessed you people with wealth for a reason to see help the less fortunate "Gee i wonder what God will say when your standing at his door with your hand out"

    November 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • hecep

      God would say, "Hey! Wakeup, sleepyhead! You're dreamin'! I don't exist!

      November 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tutt

    uh – exactly when did Elin become a "supermodel"? What makes me sick to my stomach about this whole thing is that everyone – including the media – pronounced how "lucky" Tiger was to have a dyed-blonde nobody when he was the most successful, consistent athlete in the WORLD. She was along for the ride. Period. She may have modeled some underwear once or twice – but is no model or "supermodel". Sick the way the media twists sh- – , makes up things and trys to paint certain people's lives. I say he's so much better off without that golddigger! Would she have married him if he was broke – hell no! so love had nothing to do with it – which is why he found himself – repeatedly – in the arms of other women – if you can call any of those other losers "women".

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

      If Tiger was only in their arms and nothing else...

      November 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • JuanitaBeasley

      I think her hair color is natural.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      What makes ME sick to my stomach is you tuttbutt... what a pathetic loser you are.

      November 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nat

    I am glad Tiger is happy. It does make me wonder if he wasn't happy before and was following the path everyone expected him to? He will always be watched like a hawk more than ever. But now will he get married again.... prolly so. Will he tell the wife up front, there will be other women on the side. He better....

    November 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. FED UPPPP

    Well i can promise you one thing he does exist and i wont be the one crying when this country goes down the toilet. Bahahahaha

    November 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sally

    what values was he raised with that he talks about? is father was a cheater that abandoned his first wife, was a controlling father to tiger, made tiger the source of his narcissistic supply and pushed the little child to achieve the goals he himself couldn't. no wonder tiger has so many issues. these things carry on through the generations. hopefully elin will be a good mother and make sure tiger's kids turn out better than him.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. notalech

    "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."'
    Ya, great role model to others, esp. kids, esp. male kids.
    Just another young and dumb moron

    November 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim

    It has been a good year, not hearing so much about Tiger Wood. Now if Obama would disappear from the news, things would be great.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • leo

      Hey Confederate Jim,
      I bet your an unemployed 99er that had his job out sourced to India, people like you see everything in black and white, you deserve unemployment, it keeps you close to your single wide traoler...you bigot.

      December 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. FRAN

    I have no respect for him anymore. It makes me not want to watch the tournaments if he is playing.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Then I guess you're not watching a lot of golf these days. Hahahah

      November 18, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      You should have said – the tournaments in which he is playing well – then you would have been able to watch lots of golf... karma can be a bi+ch!

      November 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ben

    WOOF WOOF WOOF!

    November 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Another golfer

    It was all Elin's fault....she didn't put out

    November 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • vor

      Oh, yes she did.....she put him out. LOL

      November 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tulsa

    WOW listening to some people on here just makes me
    HATE republicans even more....unbelievable...you guys are f#@%^ng mean as hell.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Radar1

      Since when is being disgusted at a guy celebrating the demise of his family just a republican thing? Do the democrats say it's ok to do that? Clinton shouldn't have gotten in ANY trouble for his trist with monika then.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nina

    it's still all about Tiger, isn't it?
    This narcissistic, egocentric golfer still has a lot to learn.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Zelda

    Maybe you all should just shut the *&^k up and stop being such haters!!! Jealous bunch of freaks who wish you had the chance to walk a mile in this mans shoes. Get off your high horse and realize that your hating hurts nobody but you....a**holes.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Radar1

      Wow, Zelda, I would never have guessed that your legend included such pre-teen angst! Ear muffs!! Ear muffs!!

      November 18, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      zelda's mad zelda's mad – doesn't that sound like something on the grade school play ground – thought zelda would be able to relate to it......................

      November 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JohnnyP

    Now that the wife is gone, he is free to get jiggy with it all he wants.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
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