Tiger WoodsDecember 3, 2015

Tiger Woods says he's "best friends" with his ex-wife in his most revealing interview ever

We learned a lot from Tiger Woods' Tuesday press conference. The 14-time major winner has no timetable for a return, seems content with his career if this is it, and has gotten really good at video games. On Thursday, we learned even more from Woods through an interview he did with Lorne Rubenstein and Time Magazine. The usually guarded superstar was unusually candid discussing his life. The entire interview is fantastic and well worth your time, but here are some of the highlights:

Tiger hates watching golf on TV

"I can’t remember the last time I watched golf. I can’t stand it. Unless one of my friends has a chance to win, then I like watching it. I watched Jason [Day] win the PGA. But it was on mute. It’s always on mute and I have some other game on another TV."

Woods also took a shot at the media, in particular those on TV. He said "there's no accountability in what they say." Curiously, Woods thinks the one exception is Ian Baker-Finch. He refers to him as "Finchy." Obviously.

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Tiger and Elin are BFFs

"In hindsight, it’s not how I would change 2009 and how it all came about. It would be having a more open, honest relationship with my ex-wife. Having the relationship that I have now with her is fantastic. She’s one of my best friends. We’re able to pick up the phone, and we talk to each other all the time. We both know that the most important things in our lives are our kids. I wish I would have known that back then."

And this:

"We’re like best friends. It’s fun. She talks to me about her life, I talk to her about my life. We try and help each other out on all occasions. And we work through it with the kids, the parenting program. She is one of my best friends now, and it’s all because of my kids."

Speaking of his kids. . .

Tiger would choose them over golf

Woods tells Rubenstein that being able to be active in his kids' lives is more important than his golf career. He says he values his time with them more than anything. "Now I know what my dad felt like when we’d go out there and play nine holes in the dark," Woods said.

RELATED: 8 things we learned from Tiger's Tuesday press conference

Tiger takes the blame for his divorce

"I’ve taken the initiative with the kids, and told them up front, 'Guys, the reason why we’re not in the same house, why we don’t live under the same roof, Mommy and Daddy, is because Daddy made some mistakes.' I just want them to understand before they get to Internet age and they log on to something or have their friends tell them something. I want it to come from me so that when they come of age, I’ll just tell them the real story. But meanwhile, it’s just, 'Hey, Daddy made some mistakes. But it’s O.K. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. But look what happened at the end of it. Look at how great you are. You have two loving parents that love you no matter what.'"

We have Tiger vs. Jack all wrong

You know that story about Tiger having Jack Nicklaus' records hanging above his bed as a child and wanting to pass his 18 major titles? Well, according to Woods, we've gotten that wrong. Woods says what he actually had posted was an age-related list of accomplishments by Nicklaus, including the first time he broke 80, the first time he won a tournament, the first time he won a major, etc. He did not have a list of Jack's 18 majors.

Rubenstein then asks, "Have you beaten most of those?"

"I beat them all. I beat them all."

Tiger!

Actually, not everyone got that wrong. In the 1997 biography, "Tiger," author John Strege, a fellow GolfDigest.com teammate, writes that a Golf Digest list of Jack's accomplishments and his age "became Tiger's blueprint for his golf future." Nice job, John.

But back to the Q&A, Tiger also told a couple of incredible stories like. . .

The time his daughter saved him in the backyard

"I’ll never forget when I really hurt my back and it was close to being done, I was practicing out back at my house. I hit a flop shot over the bunker, and it just hit the nerve. And I was down. I didn’t bring my cell phone. I was out there practicing and I end up on the ground and I couldn’t call anybody and I couldn’t move. Well, thank God my daughter’s a daddy’s girl and she always wants to hang out. She came out and said, 'Daddy, what are you doing lying on the ground?' I said, 'Sam, thank goodness you’re here. Can you go tell the guys inside to try and get the cart out, to help me back up?' She says, 'What’s wrong?' I said, 'My back’s not doing very good.' She says, 'Again?' I say, 'Yes, again, Sam. Can you please go get those guys?'

Ah, the blessing and curse of having a huge backyard. You can disappear back there, but you always have "those guys" around working on it.

And that time he tested out a knee brace before the 2008 U.S. Open

"I’m playing at Big Canyon—which was my home course in Southern Cal [Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach]—and I went out on the back nine. It was the first time I had played a round of golf—I hadn’t played a round since the Masters. I hadn’t walked a golf course yet until I get to the Monday of the U.S. Open, when I first walked nine holes. And I tried to play with this knee brace on, and we’ve tried, I don’t know how many, umpteen different types of knee braces, lengths, size, cuts, I tried them all, all different companies.

"Well, the problem was, knee braces don’t allow you to rotate—a golf swing, you need to rotate. So I went out and played nine holes. I think I’m a pretty good golfer—you know what, I think I’m a damn good golfer—but when I went out there on my home course and I lost eight balls in nine holes. I shot 54, not long before the U.S. Open, and I’m grinding my butt off, and I said, O.K., you’re the No. 1 player in the world, and you just lost eight balls on a home course that you could play blindfolded, and I shot a 54. This is going to be an interesting week."

It certainly was. Woods won in dramatic fashion at Torrey Pines, topping Rocco Mediate in a playoff for the most recent (last?) of his 14 major titles.


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