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. taz


    November 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sociopath victim

    Hey "American" you write: "Leftist media glamorizing sin".. Noooo idea how or what that is all about!?! I am about as liberal and leftist as you can be. Heck I am dang close to a socialist! However, I despise the behavior of Tiger Woods.

    To forgive Tiger is not up to me; but to those he hurt. I as a consumer will have nothing to do with this dirt ball; I have been a victim of same behavior from a man – a through-and-through sociopath. He too is in the middle of a heavy fall. And he will come out on the other side feeling better than he did before the fall as he is released from his strangling web of lies -- I on the other hand will be forever damaged as I have learned just how cruel human kind can be; and that no one is to be trusted.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hutch

    All of this hatred toward Tiger. Yes, what he did was wrong and he paid and is paying the price for that. But people mess up, that's just the nature of humans. You hear this type of stuff everyday so it wasn't surpprising then and isn't surprising now. Only because he was Tiger Woods that this became an issue. He may never be the golfer he was because mentally this will always be with him and we know golf is a mental game. But he'll have his share of fourth and fifth place finishes and make a ton of money, will probably have a few more ladies in his life until he settles down, and will probably be happy in his old age. But a lot of people are wishing nothing but bad things for this man. We all need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves have we ever done anything wrong. I hope he will do what's right going forward and I wish him all the best.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sociopath victim

    Alton writes he wanted out of his marriage.."

    SO WHAT. I am not talking of Tiger here – but seriously, what is wrong with you people. Why do you excuse Tiger Woods in any shape form or fashion. Or maybe more correctly, why do you excuse this behavior? Having 3..4..7 relationships all at once, promising people that you are leaving your wife, telling them love etc (nope, I was not there, but, I know of this exact behavior from a man so full of himself, his ego and his public persona to be kept at all cost) – that's sick. Just sick. I don't really care how people want to live their lives - I do care that people take full responsibility of their actions and are fully prepared to suffer the consequences of having done wrong.

    November 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. taz


    November 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BJ

    Ummm...generally when people preface comments with "I'm not a racist..." they are!

    November 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • TruthPersonified


      December 27, 2010 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. drew

    Really dont care if the comment were by a a chinese grandfather, redneck tobacco chewing grandfather, or straight out black was still racist

    November 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JuanitaBeasley

      I am sure you're right, but try not to be upset by an obvious troll.

      November 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kelly

    Hey jim..why dont u disappear underneath ur white sheets along with the rest of your KKlK grand wizard...then the world would really be a better place...

    November 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kelly

    So sad and scary becuz People like jim are ur next door neighbors who often utters the infamous quote....' SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE BLACK' we are here 2 stay sir

    November 18, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. taz


    November 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. taz


    November 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. pam


    November 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lucky


    November 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kelly


    November 18, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bhudda Betty

    I'll make ya a happy tiger!

    November 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
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