In the end it wasn’t Oprah or Barbara Walters that got the first Tiger Woods interview. Here’s the story about Tiger’s talk with ESPN from ew.com:
In preparation for his much-anticipated return to competitive golf next month at the Masters, Tiger Woods gave five minute interviews with the Golf Channel and ESPN today and talked about getting “out of control” and being “disgusted” with his behavior. Interviewed at the Isleworth Country Club in Windermere, Fla., Woods also talked about how he thinks his late father would react if he were alive today. ”He’d be very disappointed in me,” Woods told Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman. “We’d have numerous long talks. That’s one of the things I miss, I miss his guidance, wish I could have had his guidance through all this to have him straighten me up.”
Woods, whose eyes appeared red while talking to Tilghman, talked about his experience in rehabilitation even though he didn’t specify why he was undergoing treatment. “Being there for 45 days you learn a lot,” he said. “You strip away the denial, the rationalization and you come to the truth and the truth is very painful at times and to stare at yourself and look at the person you’ve become…you become disgusted.”
When asked how he got out of control, Woods explained it was because he was “going against core values, quit meditating, I quit being a Buddhist. I felt I was entitled. I hurt so many people by my reckless attitude and behavior.” As for the children who consider him a role model, Woods hopes time will heal all wounds. ”I’m trying to become a better person each and every day. The proof in pudding is over time.”
Woods told Tilghman that he plans to continue seeking therapy and is now wearing a Buddhist bracelet that represents “protection and strength.” As for the state of his marriage, Woods would only say “we are working on it” and declined further comment.
He recognizes that he’s become a punch line for many people. “It was hurtful. I did it. I’m the one who did those things,” he told the Golf Channel. “Looking back on it now, I get it. I can understand why people would say those things. It was disgusting behavior, it was hard to believe it was me.”
Over on ESPN, Woods talked to Tom Rinaldi about why he felt the need to issue a public apology. “I owe a lot of people an apology. I hurt a lot of people. Not just my wife. My friends, my colleagues, the public, kids who looked up to me. There were a lot of people that thought I was a different person.”
As for returning to play golf April 8 at the Masters, Woods told ESPN, “I still have a lot of treatment to do. Just because I’m playing doesn’t mean I’m gonna stop going to treatment.”