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. easymark

    Ummm ... supermodel? Don't think so.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sharon O

    Waiting for the Joslyn James press conference some time in the next 48 hours. Any time he has spoken in the past 12 months, Gloria had had her up in front of the cameras whining about how Tiger did her wrong. Tramp!

    November 18, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. steve

    yeah, he can legally get aids now.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. TF-121

    You can SPIN this or try to convince YOURSELF of all the WONDERFUL and POSITIVE things that came out of this HORRIFIC NIGHTMARE YOU CAUSED your EX-WIFE, CHILDREN, YOUR MOTHER and YOUR DEAD FATHER, but the reality is .....,

    YOU–Eldridge Woods, DO NOT HAVE A GOOD AND DECENT MORAL COMPASS, AND NEVER HAD ONE WITHIN YOU.
    YOU are a BETRAYER, and will BETRAY anyone in your life. IT is in your MORAL DNA and always has been.

    Lets see if we are to understand your BEZARR logic,

    – Your BEAUTIFUL LOVING, DEVOTED, FAITHFUL wife LEFT YOU and TOOK the CHILDREN because of your
    DISGUSTING MORAL COMPASS.
    – You are FAMILY-LESS now. Other than your (PASSIVE, CHEATED-on by your father) MOTHER.
    – You state "YOU'VE NEVER BEEN MORE HAPPY".

    YOU ARE A REALLY MORALLY BANCKRUPT NARCOCIST LOOSER.

    GETS AIDS AND DIE..

    ELAN, It WAS YOU, THAT GOD BLESSED AND REMOVED THIS DEMON TIGER WOODS, FROM YOUR LIFE.!

    November 18, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Translation

      His name is Eldrick, not Eldridge. I didn't bother to read your rant any further than that.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Translation

      PS: Maybe see a therapist about your rage and man-hate (and an English teacher about you "spelling challenges")?

      November 18, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • mejazzbo

      Oops! There's a hater.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • egad

      that is too much hate this early, I'm going back to bed

      November 18, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey

      WOW!!!! I hope the local authorities are aware of you.

      And again, "loving, devoted, faithful wife"...? How do you know that? Like I said previously, only Elin and Tiger know what went on in their relationship. Perhaps she was all of those things, perhaps not. Not for you to judge.

      November 18, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      NARCOCIST LOSER... damn i hate it when people spell loser wrong

      November 18, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • tki

      Nice One,
      You have so much animosity. You might want to release all of that pent up anger. It's not good for your health...you might have a brain aneurysm and this world will no longer be able to enjoy your wonderfully insightful and profound comments.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Melinda

    Father of the year! Another baby daddy – just what more kids need!

    November 18, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. But seriously folks...

    Tiger missed the cut last weekend, but still managed to get in thirty-six holes... ba-dum-cha! Have fun Tiger...

    November 18, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. mejazzbo

    A hard lesson. Now DO NOT go out and get married again. It's far more enjoyable to be half rich and single than married and miserable.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Refuter

      I'm pretty sure he's still "whole" rich.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. PaulC

    I can understand the source of his happiness but he could have done it in a less painful way.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. HPNIII

    He might be happier, but I bet he sure ain't richer. Kick ass Elen.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. Fight Club for Men - Not only President also a Member

    I'm not sure what is big news here – "Famous young billionaire gets lots of play and is happy?"

    November 18, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. sidoj54

    Poor Tiger :o( Like alot of celebs have a great think going,get too big for their britches and screw it up, never to be the same again.You had everything–Tigger old boy....YOU BLEW IT !!!

    November 18, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Xuxun

      When I saw the headline that Tiger is definitely happier, I thought he just bought, and is now the proud new owner of the Mustang Ranch!

      November 18, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jsizzle

    so he got the kids?

    November 18, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. Blurp

    His ex is probably infinitely happier because she won't catch anything or be humiliated publicly anymore. I me I me....narcissistic jerks should stay single.

    November 18, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. Vince

    God forgives.

    November 18, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Xuxun

      Really? Hhm... God created Adam & Even and then got angry at them for eating the forbidden fruit just to test them, that in all His wisdom, He should have known they would have flunked! In His anger, He banished them from the Garden of Eden, and punish them with mortality. Noticed any cemtery or Funeral Homes around where you live?

      November 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lindita

    He is ill-wisher and from this kind of person everery thing happen. In my opinion send him on a Zoo. Thank you

    November 18, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
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