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. joe

    Tiger Woods says he's 'infinitely' happier now... he must have dropped out of college to speak like that

    November 18, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Russ

    Tiger should be happy. He can now see that he and his career are going to survive this. His golf game seems to have suffered though. He has to get that back on track or his endorsements and golf course design business may go into a tailspin. The good thing for him now is that nobody expects him to be perfect anymore. As for Elin, she came out of it with a mega settlement which will keep her and the kids in the life of luxury.

    November 18, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jason B.

    Good grief...he's still claiming he "crashed" his car?

    November 18, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • BDean

      Unless that tree got up and ran into his SUV, I think there is no argument that he had a crash.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason B.

      It just always looked funny to me that he runs into a tree at 20 MPH, bangs up his car that much, and knocks him out that Elin has to smash 2 windows to get him out.

      I'm guessing she whooped on him, busted his windows, and then they "crashed" his car to give a cover story.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lindita

    In a Zoo he will be happy. His origine is from a jungle that's why. The monkey is waiting for a female to come in front of him. Thank you

    November 18, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. How True

    The comment by Jesus below couldn't be more on the money. Well said.

    November 18, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rod C. Venger

    Tiger's the same old misogynist that he was before the car wreck. Always talking about how his father did this or his father did that, has he ever once mentioned his mother? Nah. She's the invisible woman, getting no credit at all for having raised his. His father pushed him into golf, but if golf is all that Tiger is, I'm glad that I'm someone else.

    November 18, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Pimp

    Pimpin ain't easy and Tiger found out the hard way!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. John Doe

    I love how all the people who post just happen to be perfect. Read the book"the human condition"
    In some respects we are no different than animals by nature.

    November 18, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Tiffany

    I am glad that Tiger is happier now. What people have to understand is marriage is not for everyone. Why do people have a problem with that?

    November 18, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Xuxun

      Not that we don't agree that marriage is not for everyone, nor that we have a problem with that. The point is: Why then did he got married? And brought 2 kids into this world who are now part of his mess. The problem and issues, Tiffany, are IRRESPONSIBILE conduct and FAMILY BETRAYAL of the first order!

      Is it any of our business? Definitely NOT. But if you're a public figure, everyone has an opinion (which is not to be confused with "business")

      November 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • NiceOne

      Yeay, he's happier now. The problem isn't that he got divorced, at least not in my book. He cheated, got busted, and lost his wife. The problem is that people are actually celebrating a divorce. The deterioration and breaking of sacred vows is not an event to celebrate. It's a divorce, people, with a kid involved. Yea, Tiger, we're glad your happy. Come on, really?

      November 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jayla

    Yep, hurting all the people I love and making their lives more difficult makes me infinitely happier too! NOT!! The only person Tiger loves and ever loved is himself. Why won't he just admit it?

    November 18, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Jamin0

      Why do you care?

      November 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xuxun

      I like to respond to JaminO. I don't know if it's a matter of "caring". But since Tiger has found his perspective and moral center, and when he speaks, the golf world listens, I for one found merit in Jayfa's statement.

      After all the hurt and betrayal - happiness? Sounds like some Greek tragedy: one has to go through Hell, and bring everyone with you (no less) so as to realize finally what Happines is. Yep!

      November 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Refuter

      Are you saying that Tiger should wallow in misery forever, just because he made some mistakes? Maybe he shouldn't have cheated on his wife, but my understanding is that she's getting very hefty compensation for putting up with it. People are so judgmental. I'm so sure you have never done anything wrong in your life.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dany

    Tiger should neverhave married, but after all in said and done, he still is a great athelete. Elin is no super model, she was a nanny and after all is said and done, she made out like a bandit.

    Do you seriously believe that any of these hollywood wives love anyone but themselves. she made bank and got paid.

    November 18, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. mdn

    Since when did Elin become a "supermodel". I believe that she was a nanny for another golfer's children when she met the Tiger. I don't think that modelling shorts or whatever for the Sears catalogue qualifies her as an "Ubermodel".

    November 18, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. Pioneer

    Of course he is happy now. Who needs to be bothered by that pesky little family thing

    November 18, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. badboy2

    Good for you Tiger! I know you don't want all the women in the world to come down on you. However, if you got with that many women, your wife may not be all that people think she is. Like most beautiful women, she was probably good to look at, but not much else.

    November 18, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. lsummey

    TO katzandra, HIS CAREER IS DEAD LMAO IT'S JUST GETTING WARMED UP SWEETHEART GET OVER YOURSELF AND STOP TALKING LIKE A SIMPLE MINDED LOSER THAT YOU ARE...

    November 18, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
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