Tiger Woods spoke to the media and answered questions on opening day of the Masters Tournament. (April 5, 2010)
Here are some of the highlights from Tiger Woods's press conference Monday afternoon at Augusta National.
TIGER WOODS: Sure. Well, today I got a chance to play with Craig there -- or, sorry, Craig; Freddie, and then Jim joined us on the 13th hole, and it was just what a great day today. Coming into today, I didn't know what to expect with regards to the reception, and I tell you what, the galleries couldn't be nicer. I mean, it was just incredible. The encouragement that I got, it was just -- it blew me away to be honest with you, it really did. And the people here over the years, I know they are extremely respectful, but today was just something that really touched my heart pretty good. I would also like to I guess make another little comment before we start. I know that the players over the past few months have been bombarded with questions by all of you and the public, as well, and I would like to tell all of the players, hopefully after today, after answering questions at this press conference, the players can be left alone to focus on the Masters and focus on their game, not only for this week, but going forward, as well. And certainly apologize to all of them for having to endure what they have had to endure the past few months. A lot has happened in my life over the past five months, and I'm here at the Masters to play and compete. And just really excited about doing that. I missed the competition. I missed seeing the guys out here. A lot of my friends, I haven't seen in a while. It was great to play golf again with Freddie and Jim, two of my best friends out here, and I played with Mark yesterday for nine holes and I'm playing with him again tomorrow, as well as Steve Stricker. So it's been just an incredible experience so far here at the Masters.
Q. What's been the most difficult thing for you to deal with these past few months, and how have you dealt with it?
TIGER WOODS: Well, probably two things. I think one being -- having to look at myself in a light that I never wanted to look at myself; that was difficult. How far astray I got from my core fundamentals and the core morals that my mom and dad taught me; and having to break all that down, and as I said in the interview, with all of the denial and rationalization; to cut through that, I had to really take a hard look at myself. And that's what I started finding strength and peace. And the other is the -- the other difficult part I think over the past few months has just been the constant harassment to my family. My wife and kids being photographed everywhere they go; being badgered, that's tough. That's tough on them, because it's really hard for us to heal and try and get through this as best we can.
Q. What were you anticipating today to be like for you and how nervous are you sitting here?
TIGER WOODS: Sitting here, not that nervous, no. As far as getting out there, I was definitely more nervous. That first tee, I didn't know what to expect, I really didn't, Steve. It's one of those things where I've never been in this position before. To be out there in front of the people where I have done some things that are just horrible, and you know, for the fans to really want to see me play golf again, I mean, that felt great, that really did. Usually I kind of focus on placements of shots and getting ready, but today was a little bit different. I kind of took it in a little bit more, sort of more than I think I have in a long time, and it felt really good.
Q. Do you feel the same way about your pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's records, about winning golf tournaments, or does that have to take a different perspective now considering what happened in November?
TIGER WOODS: You know, when I -- when I went through that period when my father was sick and my father passed away, it put things in perspective real quick. And when my kids were born, again, it put it in perspective. And then what I've done here, it puts it in perspective; it's that it's not about championships. It's about how you live your life. And I had not done that the right way for a while, and I needed to change that. And going forward, I need to be a better man going forward than I was before. And just because I've gone through treatment doesn't mean it stops. I'm trying as hard as I possibly can each and every day to get my life better and better and stronger, and if I win championships along the way, so be it. But along the way, I want to help more people that are -- that haven't quite learned to help themselves, just like how I was.