The golf superstar and the first African-American to earn a title, Tiger Woods sat down with TIME magazine in a tell-all interview in facing real possibilities that somehow his record-setting career might be over by the time he turns 40. Plus, he reveals some exclusive details about his controversial divorce with his ex-wife Elin Nordegren, and his recent split with all-time Olympic skier Lindsay Vonn.
The 39-year-old golfer shares with TIME, his inability to watch golf games while he describes the unnecessary feeling of what it’s like for him in rehab and his recovery.
“I walk 10 minutes on the beach," Woods shared. “That’s it. Then I come back home and lie back down on the couch, or a bed.”
“I can’t remember the last time I watched golf,” he continually admitted. “I can’t stand it. Unless one of my friends has a chance to win, then I like watching it.”
Woods has also set his own recovery goals and even told TIME that there would be a point where he will not go back to playing again.
“There’s no timetable,” he said. “And that’s a hard mind-set to go through because I’ve always been a goal setter. Now I had to rethink it, and say, O.K., my goal is to do nothing today. For a guy who likes to work, that’s a hard concept for me to understand. I’ve learned a little bit of it, I think. I know that, one, I don’t want to have another procedure. And two, even if I don’t come back and I don’t play again, I still want to have a quality of life with my kids. I started to lose that with the other surgeries.”
The golf champ also reveals that there are things he could have done differently with his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, 35, where he could have been "more open and honest with her."
“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.”
They say that when it comes to relationships, there are only a few chances where one can only realize the true meaning when it’s gone, and as for Woods, the only time that he was able to know the exact meaning was when:
“Either that’s the position I was in, or I took advantage of opportunities," he recalled. “But, when it comes down to it, right down to it, it’s just having a more open, honest relationship with my ex-wife when we were married. Our frustrations would have come out if we had talked about it and been open and honest with each other. Which we are now, and it’s absolutely fantastic.”
And as for Lindsey Vonn, 31, whom Woods dated for three years (and ended last May of this year) - when asked what was difficult for both of them and knowing that they were so committed the relationship.
“Well, with Lindsey, what was hard is we never had time together,” he admitted. We’re texting each other. It was a great relationship, but it was so hard, when I’m training to do my sport, it takes umpteen hours to do, and I can’t travel, except to my tournaments, because I’m here dedicated to my two kids. Meanwhile, most of her summer is spent in South America, at training camps in Chile and Argentina, and then you’ve got her season, which is mostly in Europe. And I can’t travel because I have the kids—my off weeks I’m devoted to my kids—and I have to be here. It’s a relationship that was fantastic, but it just can’t work on that level. It just could not work. It was doing an injustice to both of us."
Though Woods had a tough past relationship but he never fails to attend the needs of his children. To him, it is very important to build a strong relationship with the kids and has even acknowledged his past transgressions in conversations with his grade-school children.
"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,” Woods told TIME. “I want it to come from me so that when they come of age, I’ll just tell them the real story.