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. NiceOne

    Barney's newest song:

    I love me, I love me, screw my happy family...

    November 18, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. maggie

    elin is not a "supermodel". she did some part time modeling!

    November 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dc3gal

    Good for him. I know people can change and perspective can change. I don't condone what he did at all, but no one is perfect in this world and we all make mistakes. The main thing is that we learn from them and move on. There is always a price to pay for bad behaviour and his was one of the highest price. I hope he gets his game back and continues to move on in a positive way.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • nuser

      So you insult a fellow human being trying to make a point?
      How do you know, that what he is saying(Tiger) is not just fodder for the Press and an attempt to retain his career?

      November 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. happen

    Where da white tigers at!

    November 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jwc

    Spoken Like A True Narcissist

    November 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mike

    What d-bag...can't stand this guy anymore...

    November 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. hater

    I hope he fails spectacularly! Anybody that would slap a kid s hand out of the way that was trying to get an autograph is beneath contempt.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JB

    I think it's narcisissm at it's peak to appear in an article about how much happier and how much better off you are now that your wife is gone. Even if it's true, it's just a plain horrible thing to do. Honesty does not have to be cruel. if that's the way you feel, that's fine- don't run it to the media where it will needlessly hurt someone else. Someone , by the way, who did not go running to the media telling of all the things you did. I do not profess to know either of these people, but I still can see who displays more class.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. nuser

    People don't change, but they can be tutored to say the right words. What makes people think he has changed?
    Because he was caught.? What did you expect him to say? Now I am free to sc..w anyone i want to?

    November 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. grant

    Hansolo, your an idiot. you like listening to yourself speak don't you. I will prove your theory wrong and next time before you speak think! i am no longer married, and of course i had my faults and can say maybe i wasn't a great husband, but great father, dam right I am and always will be. See when you lose something and realize what you lost but have 2 precious kids that i do have, you have another chance in life to great things for your kids, be a great DAD. My kids say it and we all love each other dearly and always will. As for Tiger, I see the same, why! because he does have values, now give him that and try looking behind your own doors, we are all human and mistakes are made, doesn't make all of us bad father's. You should be a Judge Hansolo, you make decisions very quickly.

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

    People i know if hard to forgive (his only human) but if we don't. How do we expect God to forgive us for our sins. No one perfect.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      because there's no repentance there...It almost sounds like he's happy that he got everything he wanted, and this his kids are going to have to "understand" his behavior. Now he's free to do whatever his will is.... give him time, this happiness won't last.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      woops, replace "this" with "that"....

      November 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • American

      Get a grip, Abel boy. This isn't about forgiveness: it's about the consequences of one's actions, and the Leftist media glamorizing sin. Who's not forgiving him? It's not unforgiveness to call wrongdoing wrong. It's simply a fact. Get over the piety.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiff

      WOW.. what a bunch of hate ful people most of you are who replied to this lovely post

      He said he is happier because he is back to being a good decent human being and not that DOG he was out being before the scandel.. he is happy to be back on the good path!! Didn;t you even read the article

      November 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • SSS

      Forgive him for what?
      He's entertainment.
      I'd like to thank him.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • hecep

      Yes, but a very rich dog.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      He doesn't owe ANYONE ANYTHING. Except his family and some close friends. All these people hating or cheering him on, no one cares! He's either going to bounce back or do poorly and you're going to to do what most people do with their OWN lives. Just be a bystander! Get a life people

      November 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • nunnya

      lol

      November 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josie

      First of all why do we have to forgive him? If you're in a bad marriage- get out. Bottom line. Love is not cheating with or without children.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hobbes847

      No one here is qualified to pass any kind of judgment on this man. If you do, you should consider shutting your d@mn yap and do something productive. Lazy, arrogant, condescending pieces of dook.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      pookey
      give me a break, idiot. why because he is black. his skeletons came out while others are still in the closet.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      @Hobbes847 – Wow! Feeling a bit self-righteous today, are we? If he wants to make public announcements (to try and garner support), he needs to be ready for those who still consider his 'apologies' less than sincere. He gets to talk, everyone else gets to talk. See how that works? You may want to think about doing something more productive with YOUR life rather than being so defensive about someone YOU don't even know.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lizabeth Ryan

      if there's a god, I expect him/her to be better than mortal man.

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

      He's a pig!

      November 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pip Gazebo

      erm... I assume the sycophants conducting the interview didnt have the guts to ask him "Gee,
      Tiger how can you teach your kids a new thing everyday when you are playing golf in a different city every week and
      the rare times you are at home they are living in a different house with their mother? Gee Tiger, you wouldn't be lying again would you? Just because we are being nice to you to get this interview doesnt mean we are going suspend rational thought." Any man deserves a second chance, but he is clearly demonstrating how little he appreciates it.
      It's funny, many blacks felt proud to be represented by him a little while ago, but now, it is racists that are proud of him, for affirming their beliefs... I am not racist in any way, but I can see how racists are glad to see Tiger affirm their berliefs about black people,....Earl is real proud Elrick.....

      November 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaliman70

      No man here can say that they would do different in his shoes. With all that pu$$y been thrown at you at all times, 24-7 day in and day out, $hiiiiit I would of screwed around too.

      November 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lou

    TOTAL UNREPENTANT NARCISSIST

    November 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bman

      I'm glad for Tiger coming out , making the comments. He is THE GREATEST GOLFER who ever played the game period, no question..who cares about his personal life.. It was unforntunate and amazing how the media tried to F^%k him up over the last year.. But he'll be fine and will continue to dominate.. Funny when some white guy like Stve Nash cheats oin his wife and divorces, the media leaves him alone and there like hes still a good guy..
      As far as Jack's record its a no brainer.. took him 29 yrs to win 18 majors.. and Tiger only 10yrs to win 14. Do the math folks.. Its on next season for him...

      November 18, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      BMan, he only came out because he was confronted. If he had his way, he probably would have kept this up for as long as he could get away with it. All the while enjoying the benefits of a loving and trusting wife and lying to his kids about the importance of honesty and respect. Leave the racial card at home and stop arguing about his skills as a golfer, as if that had anything to do with this issue.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • decredico

      The choice here between the haters and the apologists is an easy one. Tiger is an urepentent liar and narcissist.

      Infinity times zero is still zero.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kobe

      I'm an athiest, and even I know that Jesus said, "Do not judge your brother for the splinter in his eye, when you have a plank in your own." You Christians are so unlike your Christ, it's ridiculous. It's as if you believe you're God himself, all high and mighty. Why should Tiger repent to your god?

      November 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • revmouse

      @Kobe, If you knew what Jesus said in context you would also know that his next statement was that once you have removed the plank from our own eye you will be able to judge rightly and help your brother remove the speck from his eye. Jesus wasn't saying we don't have license to judge. He was saying that to judge properly we must first deal with our own sin issues and then we can help others with their sin issues.

      November 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Suerte

    Tiger has been told what to do, how and when to do it all his life. His father was all controlling. He was expected to get married and have a family. I would bet he never got to do anything he wanted finally when his father died he was free. Too bad for Erin though

    November 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • dollorbil

      I am sure he is infinitely more happy. He can score a hole in one anytime he wants it.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sequin

      Agree...he's free to do what ever he wants and not feel guilty is all that he is saying. Shame Elin had to find out the hard way. I'm sure his story will continue just like OJ. Sad

      November 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1gemini

      are you serious? His father was a lying cheating MF'er too, where the heck do you think he learn to cheat from? Like father like son....

      November 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      #1 you're making a lot of assumptions there when you don't really know anything about him or his family personally – and #2.... like OJ?!!! Totally ridiculous comparison! Tiger may be a dog, but to compare him to a murderer? Are you a total moron?

      November 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kittybling

    He's happier now because he can pick and choose freely...

    November 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      You betcha!

      November 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bubba

    Yup, he now ranks up there with all the other over paid pro athlete slime bags. Maybe he and Tony (I'm a Slime Bag) Parker can compare notes.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kobe

      or maybe you're just jealous because these rich, athletically superior people can get all the punani they want.

      November 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
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