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. mahdeealoo

    No one to hurt now 'cept himself.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ODA155

    ...does anyone here know this man... personally? ..........................................That's what I thought.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      what's your point?

      November 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    No one cares about you anymore Tiger, Go Tweet Yourself.........

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

    The man obviously wanted out of his marriage, but felt compelled to stay for one reason or the other. I'm not condoning his actions but this is a very typical scenario. So please get of your high horses, or are you people just jealous of the man's success. Sounds like jealousy to me, because I find it hard to believe you all don;t understand where he's coming from when he says he's much happier. Cut it out and be happy for him, his ex-wife and his children. They are all better off than they were before the truth came to light.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      so you know all these folks personally – spend quality time with them and are any more qualified than anyone else here to make these proclamations? didn't think so.......... YOUR high horse is calling............. no one cares what it sounds like to you because you don't know any of the poster on this thread either.....

      November 18, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sociopath victim

      SO WHAT. Seriously, what is wrong with you people. Why do you excuse this behavior (by Woods or anyone) in any shape form or fashion. Having 3..4..7 relationships all at once, promising people that you are leaving your wife, telling them love etc (nope, I was not there, but, I know of this exact behavior from a man so full of himself, his ego and his public persona to be kept at all cost) – that's sick. Just sick. I don't really care how people want to live their lives – I do care that people take full responsibility of their actions and are fully prepared to suffer the consequences of having done wrong. He is a sociopath – sorry once he got caught; sorry for the consequences of being caught; doing what he was doing – knowing full well it was wrong and that he was hurting people – with no eye to other than his own need and want. Before you blow up that he is a not a sociopath, take time to become educated on what it involves!

      November 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Paige

    Miss Anne,

    Can you say "racist?" Wow. I'm a female caucasian – or :white female" as you called us. I take great exception to your remark and wonder why all of you don't realize that there are good and bad people of all races, religions, etc. We will never evolve as a whole if we do not stop looking at each other's color before all else. Sad.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • JuanitaBeasley

      You do realize this is the internet and the person who is "Miss Anne" could be a Chinese grandfather, right?

      November 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fuyuko

    He is happy because now he can shag with impunity.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    leftist media, sin, forgiveness, black people who scare me, muslims who scare me, palin for prez....

    oh brother, somebody nuke us so we can move past all this fvcking hysteria.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jeff

    Sound like a bunch of jealous stone throwers. Get over it!

    November 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The truth hurts.

    Let him celebrate. He made a mistake by getting married in the first place.

    Go Tiger.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sgt. Slaughter

    Lesson #1 DON'T MARRY THE NANNY

    LESSON #2 HAVE AN IRON CLAD PRE-NUP

    SHE'S A GOLD DIGGER

    OR IS IT A DIGGER LOVER?

    November 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jwc

    I know Jack Nicklaus. Tiger Woods will never, ever be the Man that Jack Nicklaus was, or is.

    November 18, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. taz

    Stop judging tiger n start judging these fake boobs, star striken, money hunger, future trashy reality tv star female he screwed. Afterall none of this could not hv been done without them.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Snow

    He's a poor excuse for a human. Nice husband and father. Ick.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. fuyuko

    He is happy because now he's not on the down low.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mrmras70

    You religious wacko's make me want to puke. The guy made a mistake or two has owned up to it and apologized for his behavior. Let him play golf and see what he does repentance and sin? Get your head out of the dark ages this is 2010.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
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