A remorseful Tiger Woods admits in a first-person story he wrote for Newsweek magazine that his dominance in golf made him feel “invincible” and led to the multiple affairs that eventually ended his marriage.
“Golf is a self-centered game, in ways good and bad. So much depends on one’s own abilities,” Woods wrote for the latest issue of Newsweek. “But for me, that self-reliance made me think I could tackle the world by myself. It made me think that if I was successful in golf, then I was invincible.”
Woods is identified at the bottom of the Newsweek op-ed piece as "founder of the Tiger Woods Foundation, which has helped educate more than 10 million kids."
Woods was contrite when discussing the effects his infidelity, which came to light when Rachel Uchitel came forward almost a year ago, had on his family.
“I can never truly repair the damage I’ve done, especially to my family. But I can keep trying,” wrote Woods, whose divorce from Elin Nordegren was finalized Aug. 23 and cost the world’s No. 2 golfer $110 million. “What endures in the record books are the achievements won through competition. What endures in our actual lives is the love of our family and the respect of others. I know now that some things can and must change with time and effort. I’m not the same man I was a year ago. And that’s a good thing.”
Woods reflects on a sordid lifestyle that came to light after a car accident on Thanksgiving weekend 2009.
“Last November, everything I thought I knew about myself changed abruptly, and what others perceived about me shifted, too,” he wrote. “I had been conducting my personal life in an artificial way—as if detached from the values my upbringing had taught, and that I should have embraced.
“The physical pain from that car accident has long healed. But the pain in my soul is more complex and unsettling; it has been far more difficult to ease—and to understand. But this much is obvious now: my life was out of balance, and my priorities were out of order. I made terrible choices and repeated mistakes. I hurt the people whom I loved the most. And even beyond accepting the consequences and responsibility, there is the ongoing struggle to learn from my failings.”
He is scheduled to be a guest for two segments Thursday on ESPN Radio’s "Mike & Mike in the Morning."
As he approaches the one-year anniversary of a Thanksgiving night car accident that wrecked his image, these are some of the signs that Woods is entering a rebuilding stage.
"It’s a positive step for him," said Mark Steinberg, his agent at IMG. "He’s making the effort to do some things different."
Now that his life has unraveled publicly, Woods believes he has finally benefited from looking within.
“At first, I didn’t want to look inward. Frankly, I was scared of what I would find—what I had become,” he wrote. “But I’m grateful that I did examine my life because it has made me more grounded than I’ve ever been; I hope that with reflection will come wisdom.”
Woods said he spends some evenings alone with his two children, and it’s helping him appreciate what he had overlooked.
"Giving my son, Charlie, a bath, for example, beats chipping another bucket of balls. Making mac and cheese for him and his sister, Sam, is better than dining in any restaurant," he wrote.
He ends the op-ed piece by writing, "I’m not the same man I was a year go. And that’s a good thing."
Steinberg said it has not been decided if Woods will make an appearance on television during the next few weeks.
Woods, who lost his No. 1 ranking two weeks ago to Lee Westwood, recently returned from two weeks of tournaments in Asia and Australia, where he posted consecutive top 10s for the first time this season, but didn’t come close to winning either one. By failing to defend his title in the Australian Masters, it marked the first time in his career he went a calendar year without a win.
He next plays the week after Thanksgiving at his Chevron World Challenge, his final tournament of 2010.