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. NiceOne

    Glad to see that he's happy now. His life was soo hard before. I can't imagine the struggle. How did he manage to last as long as he did? I would have been a complete WRECK if I had to deal with having millions of dollars, a beautiful wife, a huge home, nice cars, and on top of all of that he has to go GOLFING on a regular basis?!? I mean, seriously, how could ANYONE cope?

    November 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. pockets

    "When it came down to tournament time, all the stuff I'd been going through just went away." Its just that easy folks. Play a game of whatever and all the bad stuff just goes away, Hmmmm what's wrong with this picture, anyone? How is the meditation going, how is the return to Buddhist values going? He can bang away now and no doubt he is, that's why he is infinitely happier now. Its only a game Eldrick, its only a game.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BDean

    Given that 50-60% of married men cheat (various research studies), I think there are a lot of hypocrites on here writing in. Yes he made a mistake- a mistake that a lot of men make. He has admitted it and worked on himself. Get over it. Unless you are his wife or kids, its really none of your business anyway.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lindita

    You take off your big mask that you cover your face in front of the people. Now you told us a true face. Thank you

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

    Jesus (the above poster, not the real one) is wrong. Society should embrace the human nature and should encourage that marriage vows be taken more seriously. By no means am I saying that marriage is for everyone, clearly it's not. But if society wasn't so focused on being SELFISH, a lot of things would be better. Ok, so Tiger screwed up and they're divorced. Fine. But if society was a little less focused on people being their own diety, temptations like Tiger faced wouldn't have been as difficult to resist. So Tiger's divorced, wonderful. Should we really be celebrating the breaking of vows, or should we be saying "too bad it didn't work out?" either way acknowledges that they are divorced, but do you all hear yourselves with your "sigh of relief" that Tiger is getting back on track without his wife? This is nothing short of another tragic end to a sacred vow due to purely selfish shortcomings and lack of self control. Yeay, Tiger! Great job.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earl Joseph Gaines

      Jesus is definitely right.! Marriage is a joke! It is not for everybody, definitely not in this insane society!

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

      Only part of what he said is right. Marriage isn't for everyone. Did you even read my post, or just blindly reply after reading the first few words? I'm simply saying that we shouldn't celebrate the end of a marriage. Accept it, yes, celebrate it? No. He only got divorced because he got busted. He wanted his little "family" for show, and he wanted the 'strange' on the side. Not cool. If he didn't want the marriage, get divorced, THEN get with other women if he wants.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Glenn


    November 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    Living proof of the old axiom "Show me a supermodel and I'll show you a guy who's tired of sleeping w/ her". Deep down, I don't think humans are hardwired for monogamy.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jamin0

    I'm happy for him.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. nancy

    The wife is a gold digger. She got her collateral and is set for life.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sean McKenzie

    Shut up "Jill-Amerian" your idiot rant is just retarded. "if they want anything to do with him", we dont know the whole story. Do you really think every single thing about their entire marriage came out? No, it did not. What he did was wrong, there is no denying that. Tiger only got married because his dad wanted to see that before he passed away. Tiger just tried to make his Dad happy before he died. He made a mistake, he has owned up to it, now everyone needs to shut their pie-hole, and worry about their damn lives.

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

      I agree!

      November 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • NiceOne

      I love how you idiots make excuses for him. If he didn't want to be married, he should have gotten divorced and THEN found some strange rather than pulling his family through the mud. Sean, you're the retard. Try thinking for yourself rather than mob mentality.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. okerry

    Of course he's "infinitely happier now". Life is now all about HIMSELF with no one else dragging him down and getting in the way (like his wife who loved him, and his own two children). Tiger Woods is the poster boy for Narcissistic Personality Disorder and now that he is free to be 100% selfish 24/7, of course he's "infinitely happier".

    November 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. What th?

    Now if he can just "nail" the game of golf again.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earl Joseph Gaines

      And after he breaks Jack's record (18 majors), matures and understands that all woemen are the same, he should nail Erin again; I would!

      November 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. geo

    Hope you never win another golf tournament! You are are a sleeze!!! Anyone who can be happier for cheating on his wife and children is SICK!!!!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • BDean

      You're an idiot. Someone makes a mistake and divorces... so now they should be miserable the rest of their life? Good for him that he is happy. I know from experience that I learn the most form the bad/negative times. If he learned something about himself and changed, of course he will come out of it a happier person. He is still a father...just not married anymore. Let's hope he is a happier/better person from all of this and he can also be a better father to his kids.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. What th?

    They need a "LIKE" button on this site.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lynn

    Why doesn't he ever say anything about his wife? He never says I love and miss my wife or that he wish he never did what he did to his wife. It is almost like he just did not want to me be married to her, maybe that is why he did all the cheating. He did not seem to make any effort to work things out either. I think it is very interesting.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
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