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. MrNoDoze

    Of course he's happy. He can nail down any piece of real estate he wants now.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Sally

      Good one!!

      November 18, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      He is one of many who never should have gotten married. It's a lifestyle for some, but not for all. He may be a great Dad, but being a devoted husband wasn't his thing. Too bad society doesn't stress the need for people to find their own way and not force people into a one size fits all lifestyle called marriage..

      November 18, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      You go boy!

      November 18, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Jill American

      Jesus – you are absolutely right about Tiger should not have gotten married and the pressure that is put on people to conform to one single idea about marriage.
      Tiger showed early in his career that he had no respect for women and with this he disrepected both his wife and daughter ... as women. He will have to face this for a long time coming, when his children are old enought to understand, eyeball to eyeball, that is if they want anything to do with him at that time.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Isaiah

      Thank you, Jesus!!!!!

      November 18, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Katzandra

      I'm so happy you're happy. Not. You're a loser... you career is dead and so is the general respect people had for you. And to all the *Insert CNN censorable word here* who slept with you who knew you had a wife... seriously get some self respect.

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

      I am trying to figure out who forced Tiger into marriage. Many athletes remain single for years; only choosing to marry when they are supposedly ready for the commitment. On the other hand, many athletes have remained faithful husbands despite successful careers. It seems odd to blame Tiger's woes on the marriage arrangement as a whole.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • golfisforadultsonly

      Hopefully, Tiger will respect the game of golf for the first time ever and stop the temper tantrums. Bad sportsmanship gets old.

      November 18, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Hansolo

      Whooy... Being a poor husband all but guarantees being a poor father. It may not show now but it will. I am not saying one can't be a great single father. But single fathers who were poor husbands make poor fathers. There is a character flaw that cannot be erased simply by getting a divorce. That is also not to say that all divorced men were poor husbands. Just covering the bases before the flames come out.

      November 18, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • B. Smith

      Tiger screwed up and made some bad decisions. (I genuinely believe he struggled with his conscience as anyone who has one would) But he was weak in the face of so much temptation and he should be given a chance to redeem himself. Those of us who refuse to grant him that should remember it when we want forgiveness for our own mistakes.
      Good luck Tiger. Stay strong.and I hope you stay on the right path.

      November 18, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • What th?

      You really meant "female" realestate didn't you?

      November 18, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • maine golf

      Happier but its not showing in his golf game.
      He was golfing better when he was married and getting some on the side

      November 18, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • CDP

      uhmmm...when did Elin become a "supermodel"....before or after the nanny job?

      November 18, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • SUE

      B. Smith, I am with you. Seems to me there is a lot of people that have nothing to do but judge others. Get a life people!!! Sweep your own door step before you sweep the steps of others. Just because the man can play golf doesn't mean he isn't human. Forgiveness is the key for true happiness. GET SOME

      November 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • evoc

      Sure he's happier now, without that pesky wife to deal with. The truth came out, and he managed to survive it. He's probably happier now than he's ever been.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Xuxun

      .... but which he can't afford to do least it causes another scandal!

      November 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • RealDeal

      Jill American.....Nice try. Here are the facts: Women rate and choose male partners based on status/money. Most men dont have enough status/money to be in a position to have multiple high quality partners (ie tons of the hottest chicks). Thus, most men have to settle for one partner, usually not the partner they would prefer. Thought experiment: if your husband suddenly became a movie star and started getting tons of attention from supermodels, how long would he stay with you? Your miserable cellulite a$$ would be down the road.

      The problem with your comment is that youre doing what a lot of women do when they see a man who appeals to womens' desire for status taking advantage of his position: they spin the situation and shift the blame from the women, who should be blamed for fixating on status, to the man, who is just taking advantage of womens' status fixation. They use language like 'no respect for women' and even that the man has 'low self esteem', all intended to make the man look deficient. Its an all too obvious attack, stemming from female bitterness at seeing a man having unlimited control of his mating life, as opposed to having women (notably some wife like you) make his choices for him. Dont be so damn predictable.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • J G

      Men were never meant to be monogamous. Why do people act so surprised when people cheat? Do you think that all the people that cheat are really bad people? One of these days we'll grow out of the puratanical roots and realize we're human beings, not automatons.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • cado

      Did you say 'boy'?

      November 18, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. david campbell

    Dadt is better left alone.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Smart One

      Wow you're dumb.

      November 18, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. david campbell

    New start treaty should not be ratified

    November 18, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Smart One

      Wow, you're REALLY dumb.

      November 18, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • not too smart

      yeah smart one, you are a genius... dummy

      November 18, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • what!?

      Um...what exactly does this or DADT have to do with Tiger's life? Do you know what article you have just read???

      November 18, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Tiger appointed to cabinet post

      you didn't read the news today did you?

      November 18, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Vote for Pedro

    of course the man is happier now. are you kidding? why is this even a story? to enlighten the clueless women in the audience?

    November 18, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jean Whiting


      November 18, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • J G

      Single men are always happier. There's a reason every single one of my guy friends that is married tells me to enjoy myself. Most of them simply believe marriage is the price you have to pay to have children..

      November 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Truth

    Infinitely happier and way worse at golf.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Infinite Naysayer

      That isn't really saying much, since he is still one of the best players in the world and makes infinitely more money than the majority of us will make through out our lifetimes. Just saying...

      November 18, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      The truth is .... he will comeback and much better. Be happy Tiger! Don't mind this moral mongers, who thinks they are perfect.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Flash Harry

      Hey Truth do you want to know the truth. The truth is that you wish you had Tiger's worst golf game. The truth is that you never will. Must make you very sad ):

      November 18, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • John Dowling

      I hope you aren't trying to say the marriage helped his game. He did pretty well without her. Check the pre-marriage/children record.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. J_2010

    I am happy for him 🙂

    November 18, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      Me too. Yes, he made mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Everyone is saying "He should have never gotten married," but people need to stop focusing on what COULD have been. He is coming back, back from all the media and horrible things the public is saying about him. He can't change what already happened but he can do things differently from now on. He is turning his life into something good, giving himself a second chance to be happy. Good for him. If people helped each other and understood people make huge mistakes more than they put people down, the world would be better.

      November 18, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. geeeno

    continuing narcissism

    November 18, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. jane

    I am very very happy for Tiger Woods. He deserves a second chance and I'm so happy he has moved on in the right direction. This is wonderful, and Tiger, I wish you the very best life ever. Congratulations.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      He had the best life ever. A loving wife, beautiful children. He threw it away for street trash. What exactly does he have to offer the world? So he can golf. Big deal.

      November 18, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Lean

      Josh, none of it is any of your business. If the man was miserable and making his wife and kids miserable because his internalities were inconsistent with his externalities, then the best thing that could have happened already did. Most people have their own personal reasons for having such deep-seeded anger over this one out of hundreds of celebrity failed marriages. What's yours?

      November 18, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Maggie

      Lean: "Internalities" and "externalities"? Taking Psychology 101 are we?

      November 18, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • pockets

      Yes he only made 114 "transgressions" wasn't it.....hmmmm but then again, he is all the better for it. I'm sure he will end up with crotch rot.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • NiceOne

      Lean, I'm just going to bypass the comments about your vocab, it's just too easy. So, anyhow, Wow! Such a staunch supporter of Tiger. The problem with your whole comment isn't what internals struggles we have, it's how much should we drag our families through the mud? Did he want to be married? Did he NOT want to be married? Who knows? But if he didn't want to be married, he could have ended it BEFORE he started sleeping with other women. THAT would have been a much better thing and he knew it at the time. Any guy who wants to cheat knows that. But the idea of getting away with it is a bigger part. He was thinking only of himself. Your psychoanalysis is WAY off. He simply loves himself way too much to be in a relationship with anyone else. You choose to celebrate the demise of his marriage and family when you should be ashamed of him for choosing to cheat and trying to get away with it. You congratulate him for finally moving on, yet he is at fault for his own problems.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. K jacktown michigan

    i think i would have been a bad guy still, hes a saint again!

    November 18, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. Truth

    Hey Tiger this will only make you stronger. Everything I believe happens for a reason. Just enjoy life to the fullest, and keep making a difference, don not be like the great entertainer Michael, you have allot to offer this world therefore , do not dwell on the past but the great future that you have ahead.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. Anon

    "It's been very difficult for a lot of people, especially those closest to me, but I'm better for it." I'm better for it? So sad

    November 18, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • lbw

      Don't see what's changed. It was always all about Tiger, it's still all about Tiger, It will probably always be all about Tiger.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Viz

      he's better off and happier for it because he doesn't have anything to hide now. before that he had to monitor his cell phone, keep it locked, clean out incriminating evidence hourly. Now he can just do whatever he wants and he's not living a lie.

      He probably means "it's a big relief to get *that* over with" (meaning the divorce, and bad publicity)

      This is an indicator of selfishness, narcissism, and no real remorse beyond what it meant to his wallet. Not judging, just stating fact. A real man would have never gotten married in the first place. He'd have simply played sugar daddy to someone that would have his kids for him and told her the deal up front. You are what you are, why hide it and try to be someone you aren't?

      There are plenty of similarly shallow attractive women that would take him up on a deal like that if it meant a comfortable life and income.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    jane.. Your a loser..

    He's sorry he got caught.. Hopefully he will continue to lose and one day be forgotten..

    November 18, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Lean

      John, i'm afraid it is you who sounds like the loser. You talk as though you believe the person you are perceived to be by others will be enhanced by wishing for another's misfortunes (Tiger's). In that case, I wish Tiger all the best.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • J G

      Why do you care so much John? It's Tiger's life, not ours. Amazing how many people obsess about this stuff.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. aizen

    good for you stay single and just date, remember that once you reach a million, no women on earth will marry you for you especially if she was a nanny...stay single and date all the hot girls out there as you like, you deserve it BUT please take care of your children, they deserve a dad that will always be there for them. as for the mom, who cares? she was and still is a gold digger and got what she wanted all along..oh next time the need to marry comes, get a good lawyer and a iron solid pre-nup to protect all the money and properties you have worked so hard for and no woman or man contributed for...

    November 18, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Maybe she prefers silver

      Since when do "supermodels" not make loads of money from their own career? It doesn't say "model Elin Nordegren," it says "supermodel." Why do you assume she is she a gold digger?

      November 18, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      Elin was never a "super" model. She did modeling, but to call her a "super" model is a stretch. That term is only reserved for the likes of Gisele and maybe a few others.

      November 18, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. DavidM

    I bet that really makes his ex-wife feel good!

    Just another case of how too much fame and fortune can ruin people. Everybody deserves a second chance and I just hope he uses his to the betterment of others instead of himself.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. jimmy

    I Like Jane's comment

    November 18, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
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