‘It’s always there, in the back of his mind. He doesn’t like to talk about it — or even anything that was happening at that time of his life. It’s painful to him.
‘But he persevered and made himself into a better man.’
The day after Thanksgiving in 2009, Woods crashed his car outside his mansion in Florida, with his then-wife Elin Nordegren breaking the rear windows with two golf clubs.
While Tiger called the incident a ‘private matter’, reports soon surfaced about the golfer having a mistress, with more than a dozen women coming forward alleging they had sex with the star.
Woods – who has two children, Sam, 11, and Charlie,10, with Elin – issued a statement reading: ‘I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves.’
And in a statement issued in 2010, after Tiger completed 45 days of in patient therapy, he said: ‘ I was unfaithful. I had affairs, I cheated. What I did is not acceptable. And I am the only person to blame.
‘I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them. I was wrong, I was foolish. I don’t get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me.
‘I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife’s family, my friends, my foundation, and kids all around the world who admired me.’
The scandal saw Tiger lose most of his lucrative sponsors, and by 2017, he had plummeted to 1,199 in the world golfer rankings – after being number one before the cheating allegations.
Tiger and Elin share custody of their children, and Sam and Charlie were there to watch their father win at the Masters.
Speaking at a press conference after his win, Woods said: ‘It means the world to me. Their love and their support, I just can’t say enough how much that meant to me throughout my struggles when I really just had a hard time moving around.
‘Just their infectiousness of happiness; you know, I was going through a tough time physically. There was a lot of times when I really couldn’t move and so that in itself is difficult.’
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