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Woods speaks on retirement, failed marriage, being a dad


woodsIf he has to choose between golf and being a dad, then Woods would choose the latter every time, hands down.

Unfortunately for Woods, he may have to make that choice sooner than later. After three back surgeries in the last 20 months, including a pair in September and October, Woods is facing an uncertain future in terms of his recovery and as a pro golfer.

However, in a wide-ranging, in-depth interview with Lorne Rubenstein for Time Magazine, Woods seems like a man at peace with what he has accomplished.

“Put it this way. It’s not what I want to have happen, and it’s not what I’m planning on having happen. But if it does, it does,” Woods said.

“I’ve reconciled myself to it. It’s more important for me to be with my kids. I don’t know how I could live with myself not being able to participate in my kids’ lives like that. That to me is special. Now I know what my dad felt like when we’d go out there and play nine holes in the dark.”

Throughout the interview, however, Woods paints his future not so much as a choice as much as a question of how far his back will allow him to go moving forward.

At a minimum, he wants to be an active father, restoring the kind of basic functionality that he doesn’t have now.

Woods said Tuesday at the Hero World Challenge that he hasn’t started rehab yet and is limited to walking. Woods painted an even bleaker picture of his current day-to-day.

“I walk 10 minutes on the beach,” he said. “That’s it. Then I come back home and lie back down on the couch, or a bed.”

Woods, as most back-surgery patients are aware, knows he’ll never fully recover from these back surgeries.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be 100 percent healthy, but as close as you can to that point, that would be nice,” he said.
“As long as I don’t have the pain, then I don’t think there would be an issue. I will probably play through a little bit of pain, aches and pains, as you get older, you have more aches and pains.”

Reflecting on his past, Woods told Rubenstein that he often came back prematurely from previous injuries, chalking it up to young bravado. He delved more into the legend of his 2008 U.S. Open win on what amounted to one leg, saying just before that 19-hole-playoff win over Rocco Mediate that he shot a nine-hole score of 54 on his home club at the time.

Woods also talked about his relationship with his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, saying they’re “best friends” and have a deeper kinship as parents and people some five years after their divorce. He acknowledged that he should have been more honest with Nordegren about their relationship, their mutual frustrations and that transparency may well have saved their marriage.

Woods also said he’s spoken in vague terms to his two children, Sam and Charlie, about his infidelity, making it clear to them that his choices led to his and Elin’s separation.

Woods’ kids, now that they’re older, have given him an alternative purpose besides golf that wasn’t there.

“Prior to that, when I didn’t have kids, it would never enter my mind,” he said. “Are you kidding me? What am I going to do, go bass fishing? No. But now to watch my kids and play sports and to grow up and participate, and even teach them how to become better, oh my God, it gives me so much joy. I can’t imagine not being able to do that as I get older.”

Regardless of whether or not Woods returns to pro golf, and at times, he read like a guy who was more keen on walking away than soldiering on, Woods remained upbeat about his place in golf history. He may not have passed Nicklaus’ major mark, but Woods said that was never the goal.

“It was all age-related,” Woods said of the poster of Nicklaus’ accomplishments on his wall growing up. “To me, that was important. This guy’s the best out there and the best of all time. If I can beat each age that he did it, then I have a chance at being the best.”

Woods said he beat all of those marks. However, Woods was reluctant to compare himself to Nicklaus.
“You can’t compare eras,” he said. “You really can’t.

“It’s like, O.K., who’s the better [pro basketball] center: Bill Russell or Shaq? You just can’t say who was the best because the game has changed so much. Jack crossed so many eras because he played for so long, and he was in contention for so long. The same could be said for Sam Snead. How many eras did he play through? He ended up winning, what, at 54, when he won at Greensboro? I think you have to be able to say you’ve played in so many different eras, and I have.”

• Culled from

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