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. wet one

    Tiger is happier now becasuse he got a divorce now he can go out with any woman he want and there are some out there that would like to be with him for one night stand

    November 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cheryl

    He makes me sick, what a narcissus he is, he destroyed his family, and now he is happier, puleeze. What a jerk!!

    November 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Blurp

    I don't know if he doesn't want us to judge him maybe he should s t f u and stop talking to the press about his life.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Billy Dee

    I forgive you Tiger, but seriously, would you please give me your ex- wife's Email?
    Thanks.

    November 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Linda

    Maybe ol' Tiger just should've have made a commitment and fathered two children but I'm betting he'll jump right back into the marriage thing and father some more children and screw around and repeat the wonderful process that brought him to his "happy place" that he's enjoying today but is too dumb to protect. Hmmm–I'd say Brittany Spears might be next in line-or Eva Longoria???

    November 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Liz

    Dont blame Buddhism for his behavior. It has nothing whatsoever to do with what he did. In fact he was ignoring it's teachings.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Radar1

    Next up: Tiger Woods admits to being GAY

    November 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • JuanitaBeasley

      LOL

      November 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wab

    A lot of posts on here blast CNN for publishing this article. My favorite says "who cares?" Clearly you care enough to not only click on the article and theoretically read it, but to comment on it as well. As for the Tiger haters, you guys are tossing alot of stones in those glass houses of yours.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Radar1

      Yeah, the ol' "stones in glass houses" thing works here because so many of us have nailed 114 different women during our 3-4 year marriage. Oops! Guilty! I better not say anything else or I'll be a hypocrite. Wait.... when referring to the ratio, I'm not nearly as bad as Tiger. I've only cheated on my wife with 519 women but over the course of 20 years, so I'm only a fraction of the terd that Tiger is.

      Seriously, is anyone posting here more famous than they should be based on your talents? Tiger is a great golfer, it's true. But it's golf. Come on, GOLF?!? What a national hero! He self promotes, brags, pouts, whatever gets him on TV. He brought the scrutiny upon himself so back off of the people with opinions, he asked for it.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Paul

    Too bad for Erin?? Her entire family is wealthy as a result, I would have had Tiger's children and I'm a man!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • JuanitaBeasley

      XD

      November 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • vor

      Who's Erin?????????????

      November 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. "Y"

    I disagree with Pookey. Tiger isn't a dog. Dogs are very loyal and atleast they sniff their prey first!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. carlos

    that is if your children would want to see you tiger, after all you did, I really doubt it.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • JuanitaBeasley

      That's not true. My parents had a terrible marriage, but I still love my dad. I'm happy my mom decided to get out of bad situation. Nevertheless, my dad is a great person and taught me what it feels like to be loved and special. I don't like Tiger woods, but I hope his children don't end up feeling the same way!

      November 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. aizen

    oh and by the way elin didnt get much, that 150 millions or so is nothing compared to what michael jordan gave his wife and that amount wont even dent the billion dollar tiger is worth..she was never a super model, she was a nanny who modelled and got married to a rich man for his cash...who the hell calls their parents when you get proposed and say:"dad we are rich" not even i got engaged? talking about moral compass, my foot! i always say and will repeat it, you reach millions, dont ever get married, if you do get a solid pre-nup so that noone takes away your money you worked so hard for, dont fall for that if you love me you wont get a prenup thing....right now as long as tiger has found peace with himself and his life, its all that matter but again as i say, he must be a father to his kids. as for OLGA>> you are just bitter cus your father cheated on your mom and your mom turned you into a bitter woman, you shouldnt have married cus you cant trust, so dont come here and generalize things cus you are a miserable person....as for Elin, good luck to her and her next gold mine, i hope she is and will be a good mother to the kids too..i couldnt care about her or tiger, the kids are more important!!! now let the guy be, he never claimed to be a role model to noone...michael jordan is a role model to many kids till today and he is far more of a player that tiger could ever be, we need to learn how toseparate personal life with career life!!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GeorgeWBush

    How is Tiger or Tony Parker a slime bag ? Do you think either of their wives would have anything to do with them if they were plumbers or the pool boy ? Give me a break; those slime bag wives are each getting MILLIONS for the rest of their lives even though they've been whoring long before they met their respective husbands.......grow up people !!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • McCarthy

      You're a complete loser who has clearly never gotten laid in your life.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. carlos

    "Y".........wonderful post, congrats!!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. KIDS

    How can you be happy knowing your kids miss their dad?

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