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. golf fan

    It's unfortunate that there are so many unhappy people in the world. The very idea that someone can not forgive another's transgressions is a clear admission to his own perfection. I don't know any perfect person other than God and if he has forgiven Tiger then who are you NOT to?

    November 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      Ah – when you're being so judgmental yourself, it's a good thing to keep God out of your remarks.... just a tip...

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

    How can he say he's happier now? How can you be happier knowing the anguish and heartache he put his wife, children and family through. Let's not forget this wasn't just an affair, it was lots of them. Not just one indiscretion, lots of them. Really? He's turned over a new leaf?

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

    I agree with Kim . . how can he be happier after what he has done to his wife and kids?? He's ruined his kids for life. And he thinks all he has to do is "I'm sorry; I've learned my lesson; I'm a better person, yada, yada, yada". He's just sorry he got caught!!!! Sure he's happier now . . . now he can fool around with as many women as he wants and he doesn't have a wife to answer to!! My question is . . why did he bother to get married?? Oh yeah, EGO!!

    November 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mamamia

    elin was never a supermodel.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. The Wise Man

    God Gifted -> People Love his Golf -> Earned loads of Money -> Cheated on his wife (not yours) -> God Gifted -> People Love his Golf -> .....

    Why do you care?? Just enjoy his Golf!

    November 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiger Woods

      Thanks Wise Man!

      November 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. joseph

    what make me sick ,is what people are saying about tiger wood, is it beacuse is a successful, and the best golfer in the WORLD. And let me tell you guys their nothing any body can do about it, he`s so much better off than you guys, CNN YOU HAVE THE BEST JOURNALIST

    November 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dante13

    I would surmise he means he is more ‘content’ with himself as opposed to ‘happier’ because he isn’t living in guilt, filth, and secrecy anymore (‘the truth will set you free’, as it were). He’s on the road of atonement with his family, his friends, and the public. A previous comment regarding his being ‘controlled’ most of his life has merit, methinks. I wonder if he ever really had any time by himself to ‘grow up’ between his father and Elin(?); adding to that great talent and wealth would be a risky recipe for anyone to handle. I think he’s on the right road. Let’s hope he can handle the scrutiny. People CAN change.

    November 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ana

    Supermodel Definition = highly paid popular fashion model: a fashion model who is extremely well paid and in very high demand by fashion designers and photographers.

    Am I to take anything else in your article to be correct when you can't get a simple fact as that correct? If you want someone to take your articles seriously, get your facts correct. Who edits these things?

    Don't get it twisted, I like what I know about Elin and think how she handled the whole matter was tasteful and that she kept her kids 1st.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Henry

    I don't forgive Tiger for anything because he didn't do anything to me that I have to forgive him for. He's good at golf, sucky at dealing with his fame and fortune in regards to his personal life. Hopefully he'll grow from the experience. Maybe he won't. Its not up to the peanut gallery to decide his fate.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steve

    his wife was quite instable. i still don't know how she avoided prosecution for assault.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      Idiotic post

      November 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. hope120

    The biggest phony I have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Miss Anne

    TIGER YOU WERE WITH THE WRONG FEMALE. YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH INSENSITIVE GREEDY FEMALES WHO ALL THEY WANTED WAS FAME AND WEALTH AND SHE GOT BOTH.

    MAYBE, YOU SHOULD SEEK OUT A BLACK FEMALE UNKNOW AND POOR WHO HAVE VALUES. HAVEN'T YOU LEARNED THAT IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MIGHTY $$$$$$$$ WHEN IT COMES TO WHITE FEMALES AND THOSE OTHER TYPES.

    A NICE CHURCH MATURE FEMALE THE BLACK FEMALE IS NOT TRAINED TO LOOK AT A MAN FOR HIS $$$$$$$$$$ YES, THERE ARE SOME BUT IT IS SUCH A SMALL PERCENTAGE. YOU ARE IN FLORIDA AND IN SOUTH CAROLINAS THERE IS A TOWN CALLED GREENVILLE CHECK OUT THOSE BEAUTIFUL BLACK SISTERS THERE AND MANY ARE WELL EDUCATED AND MOST OF THEM HAVE THEIR OWN HAIR, TOO.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • ODA155

      STOP YELLING AT YOUR COMPUTER... TIGER CANNOT HEAR YOU!

      November 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • USC10

      OK... pull the race card- His wifes color had nothing to with it, TIGER CHEATED ON HIS WIFE!!!!! That is wrong no matter what color you are. She was/is a model she didnt need is money or fame she had her own LONGGGG before she met him. Do some research before you start calling names next time, dear.

      November 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. hope120

    The biggest phony I have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hope he can live with his lies.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bes

    no kidding? He fells better? Nah...........

    November 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. USC10

    BAHAHA yeah, cause he figured out its easier to sleep around when youre not wearing a wedding ring!

    November 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
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