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. Endun

    When I read this article, The first thing in my mind say" Yeah you are happier now because you can do what ever you want, You can hang out with any women infinitely without having to worry of getting caught.
    Tiger, You can't say I am happier now.
    Happier times should be when you were with your family, your wife, your kids. That's what you should have done.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loki42

      Well in an ideal world you would be right. But he was obviously not happy in his marriage. So he is happy now that it is over, the scandal is behind him, and his life is moving on. Can't say that his response is all that surprising.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie K

      1) "Tiger, You can't say I am happier now."
      2)"Happier times should be when you were with your family, your wife, your kids. That's what you should have done"

      1) He can and he did, because he probably is.
      2) You're in no position to say what anyone should or shouldn't do – one "should" only decide these things for oneself.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Akhan

    Is it a little odd that he is infinitely happier now that he has been DIVORCED??

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

      Uh, no – it's not surprising. Being in an unhappy marriage is why people GET divorced (as my kid would say, you just won the "Duh!" badge 😉 And while it doesn't excuse what he did, nobody here knows what it was like inside their marriage.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      Dallas – DUH – you're missing the point. A real man (or woman) if they are that unhappy, get the divorce FIRST, then start playing the field. Besides, cheating on that level very seldom has anything to do with the spouse or the state of the marriage.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Yea right

    You lost your wife, your kids, your career, your reputation and a ton of money, but you're happier and better off for it? Keep telling yourself that.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Sure seems like he's being a tad insensitive to his ex-wife by saying this so soon after the divorce and actually saying he's happier than he was with her and the kids as a family unit. I wonder why they had kids in the first place, shame on him if he brought them into this world while still having relationship issues with his Elin.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie K

      He still has his kids, his career, his reputation, and a ton of money – and can hit anyone he wants without feeling guilty – doesn't sound like misery to me.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • tutt

      He's happier! No longer married to a woman he never loved who didn't love him cause it was all about the $$ & don't think he'll mindlessly marry another dyed-blonde nothing to show for her life but her new last name & access to $$. Hopefully, the next time he says "I do" it will be with someone he has something in common with now that he knows the meaning of "love" which has absolutely not a damn thing to do with what you look like. They're both better off – he should've passed on her in the first place – waste of his time, money & life.

      Learn from the past Tiger. Please.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • RealDeal

      "Keep telling yourself that"..........youve got to be kidding me. This guy is one of the most famous men and one of the most eligible bachelors in the whole damn world, he still has more money than any of us can imagine, and he just got rid of that ball and chain wife of his, do you really think he has to 'delude himself' and cry himself to sleep as you suggest? You moron.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. American

    Who the heck cares what Tiger Woods is feeling?! This guy's a creep, and you glamorize him as an icon to look up to. This is why nobody listens to CNN. THIS is news? You guys at CNN are desperate. I suppose the next story will be that Tiger is even MORE infinitely happier now that he can get FREE fondling services courtesy of TSA for every flight he takes! This adds new interest to gaining more "Frequent Flyer Miles."

    November 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • More American than YOU

      Except that people like you keep reading the articles and leaving comments....so...You probably care a little (even though you won't admit it to yourself), and you at least consider it worthy enough to read...And you obviously listen to CNN if you're reading and commenting...

      November 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • More American than YOU

      Oh, and what the heck does TSA have to do with any of this? He flies in private charter jets from private airfields...

      November 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Golt Nut

    I was always taught if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all. We've all made mistakes, so why should it be any different for Tiger. All the nasty comments out there, unnessecary. Tiger is one of the most talented golfers in the world, actually the Best golfer in the world so why should his personal life be splattered all over the news. It's been a year, put it to rest people and let him get on with his life and golf. Sounds like there is a lot of jealousy out there?

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

      Well said, there are tons of haters in this world.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • nuser

      Just a minute! Tiger wanted that interview printed. it is called damage control. No one is jealous here1

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

      So because he's the world's best golfer he should get away with doing whatever he wants? There's a reason he gets paid as much as he does with sponsorship deals, it's because he's supposed to be a role model. He knew what he was getting himself into when he chose to fool around and then try and lie and hide it from the press for so long. He's getting exactly what he deserves.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Radar1

      How many pro golfers that are REALLY good do you suppose keep their business to themselves? If Tiger wasn't so egotistical we wouldn't be hearing much at all about him despite his numerous discrepencies. He brought this fame upon himself and now he gets to deal with it. Jack Nicholas keeps a very low profile, so does Fuzzy. Tiger is a perfect example of whats wrong with the "new" blood in sports. He's a gloryhound and is now paying the price. It has nothing to do with jealousy. He is CELEBRATING the demise of his marriage and family. Messed up priorities. Things really were settling down about him so he brought this up. He could keep a low profile if he wanted, but he can't do it.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      Has to do with if he's gonna make public statements to try and garner approval with the public, the public can respond. If he'd keep his mouth shut, there wouldn't be these threads. So take your 'jealousy' notion and put it where the sun don't shine... LOL

      November 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dale

    seems like tiger only cares about himself.hes happier now?yeah,he can go and screw anything that moves and doesn't have to worry about getting caught.he is no role model.all he cares about is himself and his money.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chris

    that's my big beef with buddhism...the unimportance of family because of its roots in physical attachment. There is no commitment requirements because "the nature of the universe is change." That doesn't lead to growth, that just leads to being a leaf tossed by the wind.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Umm...

      THAT'S your big beef with Buddhism? That might be one of the silliest things I've ever heard. I know a lot of Buddhists who are happily married and don't cheat on their spouses... And Tiger Woods isn't really a Buddhist anyway. He just likes to lean on it like millions of Americans lean on Christianity even though they don't practice what the preacher preaches. They just label themselves in that way to make justify their existence.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LivNSail

    Who cares?

    November 18, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GO TIGER

    So many haters in this world, people have nothing better to do than post stupid comments. GO TIGER, BE HAPPY.

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

      and leave a wake of destruction in your path, go go go! Sorry, but I come from a divorced family... One mans selfishness rips everyone else to pieces.. I feel terrible for his ex wife and kids. If we're haters its only because we hate seeing someone happy and gloating after hurting so many people he's close to, seemingly without expressing remorse and seeking forgiveness.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • nuser

      No one hates this man, they simply sees him for what he is . Have you ever watched him on the golf course?
      He is a spoiled brat!

      November 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yep

      Exactly. Anyone who has watched his career should know he was a brat long before he was married and long before any of this. It's always been about him. His dad is made out to be a hero, but he told him his whole life that he was different and so much more special than anyone else. His dad didn't teach him about values, he taught him to be selfish. Sorry, but it is what it is. His dad was a womanizer just like he was. The "you want it, go get it" mentality is all about Tiger's addicition to power (not s-e-x like he is portraying it).

      November 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. STAB

    Yo Tigger, Just put your pants down below your azz and join the rest of them.. Otherwise, we infinitely DONT CARE!

    November 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scrappy

    Doesn't CNN have fact checkers? "supermodel Elin Nordegren"... ummm... NO... she was a clerk at a clothing store and then a nanny before she married Woods NOT a model...

    November 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Don

    He is an ass and not sorry for anything..........I am glad he is failing and hope he continues his downward spiral for being such a conceded idiot!!!!!!!! Yeah, I bet everyone is more respectful now! What a joke and liar STILL!

    November 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Laura

    Just because what makes him happy is not aligned with your ideals doesn't mean he is miserable or just lying to himself. He doesn't owe any of you anything. Why are you so upset that he has worked out his issues? He apologized to the people hurt (not you) and is moving on with his life. We all have obstacles and trials. Life is too short to sit around regretting mistakes that you made. He already paid emotionally and financially. Let him move past it and enjoy what's next.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      Then HE needs to stop making public statements like this one. HE (or you) can't have it both ways!

      November 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Really!?

    Of course he is happier, now he can sleep with anyone he wants and not have to worry about his wife finding out! He is a pig.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • mamacita

      he is happier now? really.. who would believe that? after inflicting so much pain in the people who love you the most! ither you want to believe that or you really still don't care about anybody else but you!

      November 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike Johnson

    What is wrong with you people ... why is there a need for "we" and "us" to forgive him .. what did he do to us? The only person who has anything to forgive him for is his wife .. and all other , mind your own business. And mind you, 95% of the people her would have tapped the same holes if they had been given the opportunity.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Radar1

      Mikey, Most of us aren't asking him to ask US for forgiveness, we're just disgusted that he's celebrating his DIVORCE. To be more respectful, he should have just gone back to golf, played hard, maintained a low profile like most other very talented golfers, and just kept his mouth shut. Instead, just when his name wasn't swirling around the cnn/fox headlines anymore, he comes up with his big divorce celebration. No class. He brought the fame upon himself, now he needs his little fanboys to defend him.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      TIGER is keeping this going. If HE shut-up there wouldn't be these threads. BTW – you're a crude pig yourself.

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