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. Frank


    To have been able to come home every day to a Blond Swedish Model and play golf for a living and be worth close to a billion dollars.If thats not the American Dream I do not know what is. matter what you say,you screwed up big time.

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

      I love all these posts suggesting Tiger was crazy for cheating on a blonde model. How shallow can you get!? Is that all it takes? Please describe in detail Tiger and Elin's married life for me. Those two people are the only two who really know what went on in that relationship. I guess since Elin is attractive, that's all that matters, huh?

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

      Who cares that she was blonde and Swedish? Just 'cause that's your fetish doesn't mean it's someone else's. Personally, I find darker, Mediterranean women to be much hotter.

      But anyway, any man his age with his kind of money would have probably done the same thing. People need to lay off Tiger. He should have simply not gotten married so young. As long as he takes care of his kids, I wish him all the best.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Med. women

      but they don't age well, get kind of haggy looking, swedes age much better

      November 18, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. hassa

    Tiger is moving on w/his life & hopefully everyone else will also.
    David Campbell – what does DADT & the Start Treaty have to do with this column? Agree w/Smart One.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Gonzoaster11

    He learned nothing.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bea

    I bet his wife and kids are happy to hear that he's so much happier now. Especially after he destroyed their lives!

    November 18, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Refuter

      Oh, please. Half a billion bucks TOTALLY ruined this chick's life, I'm sure.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan Haas

      I don't think either his ex-wife or his children's lives have been ruined. She has multi-millions and now can go after another multi-millionair or billionair to dig for gold. The kids are with their father who will buy them anything their heart desires. Since he is happier now, I'm sure they are too.

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

      She'll never have to work a day in her life and the kids will be able to afford the best of everything - all because of Tiger.

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

      Wow... it's amazing how shallow the Americans have become: Money will buy you anything... including happiness?. Tiger's family WAS destroyed by his infidelity and there's not enough money in the world to repair that damage. It's incredible how America has lost its core values and thinks money can solve anything. Well... what about spirituality? that's why there are so many adolescents lost: Suicides or killing classmates for fun. I agree with Bea: After reading this article I bet his family won't feel any better.

      November 18, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Olga

      As a woman, as a wife, as daughter of a man who was a cheater i want to tell all of those who applaude Tigger and are "very very happy" for him, those that think that money fix everything that there is no money in the world that make your children feel better about the kind of father unfortunately you had to had. There is no money that help you to get over what you father did and the way his actions affected your life and relationships either as daughter or ex-wife. He can be as good golfer as he wants he is not going to make anyone happy never and in the end he will never be happy either.what goes around turns aroudn and i am plenty of examples out there.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • jennifer

      oh yes, because money, and not a good role model, is what the kids want. i feel sorry for his daughter....who will know that his father choose tramps over a solid relatioship with her mother.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. luililee

    He's infinitely happier now???? Than he was before the whole incident???? You have got to be kidding me.... With what he put his children through??? He's happier now?????? Infinitely????!!!!! God help him.

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

      you know what? Should this surprise us. He's clueless on morals and priorities. Statement shows his true colors. He is back being the same person as before, hiding the truth and doesn't have any idea he is doing it

      November 18, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ben

    He should have never gotten married to this gold digger.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • jaw

      Elin is so not a gold digger, you are so far off base it is not even funny

      November 18, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • DavidM

      Tiger was the only gold digger in this relationship!

      November 18, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    Who the hell cheats on a supermodel?

    November 18, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • jaw

      Tony Parker does

      November 18, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Refuter

      Rich men who can have any supermodel they want. LOL

      November 18, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Translation

      People who realize that being a supermodel doesn't make a person kind or caring or good. Plenty of supermodels who are attractive on the outside and rotten on the inside.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |

      LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!! She was not a supermodel! She was a NANNY!!!!!

      November 18, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. See the truth

    Those who are wishing well for a liar who is still telling lies need to wake up. He says he went against what he learned by how he was raised. What?? His old man was teaching him life lessons alright, how to live, how to act. Look it up, Earl was also a skirt chaser and a crude man! Tiger is full of crap! He still has a long way to go to learn who he really is.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. bisch

    This is no knock on Elin, she seems like a good person and is very hot. Tiger's an idiot for cheating on her. But, the article says she is a "supermodel" which just isn't accurate. She modeled but the term supermodel is reserved for models with a worldwide reputation (as a model) with multi-million dollar contracts.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Refuter

      Exactly. She was a nanny who did some modeling on the side - but by no means was she making supermodel money in her own right.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. phil

    We are soooo glad that YOU feel better. It warms our hearts knowing that YOU are happier now.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sgt. Slaughter

    She was another pro golfers freekin nanny

    What was he thinking marrying the nanny???

    Arguably the most expensive piece of A$$ of all time.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • jennifer

      Yeah, and he was the biggest mistake of her life. Hurts getting cheated on by your husband and the father of your children, whether you are a supermodel or just a regular one.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Corvette Lover

    I like playing golf and I like watching really good golfers play golf. However, I'm really tired of the celebrity life blurbs that come across as "news". The fact of the matter is Tiger should never have been married. He enjoys the attention from the ladies as a result of his success. Let's face it, if Tiger was a middle school math teacher, I doubt Elin would have ever looked his way.

    I know we're approaching the one year anniversary of his Thanksgiving night event, however can't we just watch him play golf?!

    November 18, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • jennifer

      And if she wasn't flat out gorgeous, he never would have looked at her! What's your point?

      November 18, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dean

    Let's see, lost a good looking wife and family and many millions of dollars and hasn't won a golf tournament since and is infinitely happier. Maybe he could send me the rest of his money and become totally ecstatic.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan Haas

      Fame and fortune are not necessary to be happy. To be happy, any person must be satisfied with who they are first and foremost and, I think, Tiger has finally found that stage in life. More power to him and I bet his children are thankful that he is comfortable and happier than ever before now.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Refuter

      Stan – pretty much what I said, except that CNN censored my post. Don't know why, though. Didn't insult anybody or use any profanity...

      November 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. on the beach

    He sounds manic-depressive on a high right now.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. m

    he probably means that he has come away being a better person with a better understanding – what he SHOULD have said. i don't know why men throw away a good thing for trash. but that's how low men are. unfortunately, those women have no boundaries or morals and will continue to always be alone and trashy. it's all abt the kids now though. i find elin to be a strong mother and he and she would work together to raise their children. it's not easy to find the man you are with, father of your children, is cheating with dozens of women. i can't imagine the betrayal one feels. yes, there is temptation out there, but that is why it's called self-control and having a moral compass...sad but i am glad she is on her own and hope she is happy. women are strong, and having money certainly helps fight such situations. shes never had to worry about paying rent or the meals for her kids. unfortunately, lot of women – and men – don't have that privilege. good for her.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
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