Tiger Woods said Sunday that he is focused on “living a life of amends” after “living the life of a lie” in one of his first interviews since a November car crash outside his home unleashed a media frenzy amid rumors of extramarital affairs.
The brief, five-minute interview on ESPN was one of two the professional golfer granted Sunday afternoon at the Isleworth golf club near his home outside Orlando, Florida. The Golf Channel simultaneously aired its similarly brief interview with Woods on Sunday night.
Woods credited inpatient and outpatient therapy for helping him start the process toward making amends.
“It was tough,” he told ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi of the therapy. “To look at yourself in a light that you never want to look at yourself, that’s pretty brutal. … I saw a person that I never thought I would ever become.”
“Those are the two people in my life who I’m closest to, and to say the things that I’ve done, truthfully to them, is … honestly … was … very painful,” he said.
Woods told The Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman that his mentor and father, the late Earl Woods, “would be very disappointed in me.”
“I wish I could have had his guidance through all of this,” he told Tilghman. “Have him help straighten me up. I know he would have done it.”
Despite the open nature of the interviews — both Rinaldi and Tilghman weren’t restricted on the questions they could ask — the notoriously private Woods declined to go into detail about the night of the November car crash, telling Rinaldi that “it’s all on the police report.”
“Beyond that, everything is between Elin and myself, and that’s private,” Woods said.
He also declined to specify what treatment he has been seeking, but did say it will continue despite his announcement last week that he will return to golf at the Masters next month.
“I’m excited to get back and play,” he told Rinaldi. “I’m excited to get to see the guys again. … I miss competing. But still, I still have a lot more treatment to do, and just because I’m playing, doesn’t mean I’m gonna stop going to treatment.”
When asked about what reaction he expects from the fans, Woods said: “I don’t know. I’m a little nervous about that to be honest with you. … It would be nice to hear a couple claps here and there. But I also hope they clap for birdies, too.”
In closing her interview, Tilghman asked Woods about a bracelet he was wearing.
“It’s Buddhist,” he said. “It’s for protection and strength. And I certainly need that.”