And other things he said at the 2010 Masters golf tournament press conference.
Media outlets can only show the public three minutes per hour of the Tiger Woods press conference that went down earlier this afternoon in Augusta, Georgia, per an agreement with Masters officials.
Smart move, as there was a smattering of soundbites that could be played on loop for the next few days: I meditate religiously again like I used to... When you live a life where you're lying all the time, life is not fun... And the fact I won golf tournaments I think is irrelevant. I'm just trying to put the ball in the hole.
Below, all the bits that you would be hearing if it weren't for the semi-gag order:
A sex scandal is just as painful a a busted knee -- only in a different way.
Q. What was tougher -- this or ACL?
TIGER WOODS: I would have to say this emotionally and the ACL physically by far.
To quote his notorious womanizing father...
Q. What does this do to his legacy?
TIGER WOODS: Well, my dad -- it's amazing how he says things that comes back. In order to help people, you have to first learn how to help yourself, that's what he always used to say. I never understood that. When I was in treatment, I wrote that down; I looked at it every day, and learning how to help myself, I can therefore, I can help more people going forward, infinitely more, than I did prior to all this.
Did he want to be caught? He doesn't know.
Q. We've come to know you as a guy who controls things around you pretty tightly... it leads to wonder why you would leave so many loose ends, and is there almost some element of you wanted to get caught?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. All I know is I acted just terribly, poorly, made just incredibly bad decisions, and decisions that have hurt so many people close to me. That's enough.
On dealing with the difficult things: what they are and how he did it.
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.
Buddhism, Buddhisms and more Buddhism.
I meditate religiously again like I used to, going back to my roots with my Buddhism with my mom. I need to do these things the way I used to do it. And unfortunately I got away from that, and I just lost that and unfortunately also lost my life in the process.
Awkward questions about Elin and Ambien.
Q. Will Elin and the kids be joining you this week at the Masters, and if not, is that a sign that she's not ready to support you yet and should you be making this return so soon to the game?
TIGER WOODS: Elin is not coming this week, no.
Q. So should you be returning to the game so soon with -- time repairing your relationship?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I'm excited to play this week.
Q. Did Ambien play a role in the car crash? You were described by the witnesses as mumbling, snoring, obviously sockless and according to the police hospital record, you were admitted as a possible OD?
TIGER WOODS: Well, the police investigated the accident and they cited me 166 bucks and it's a closed case.
He spent his son's first birthday in sex rehab.
Well, probably just prior to Christmas I made the decision to enter rehab. And having spent Christmas Day with my family was just incredible and then having to go off from there into treatment; that was a very difficult time, because what people probably don't realize is that because of the time frame of it, I missed my son's first birthday. And that hurts. That hurts a lot. I vowed I would never miss another one after that. I can't go back to where I was. I want to be a part of my son's life and my daughter's life going forward and I missed his first birthday. I mean, that was very hard that day and something I regret and I probably will for the rest of my life.
How he sidesteps a question on the particularities of living a "completely secret life"
TIGER WOODS: Well, I think how I was earlier in my career, I was at peace, and I've had some great years. Unfortunately what I've done over the past years has been just terrible to my family. And the fact I won golf tournaments I think is irrelevant. It's the pain and the damage that I've caused, you know, my wife, my mom, my wife's family; my kids going forward are going to have to -- I'm going to have to explain all this to them.
You know, that's my responsibility. I did it. And I take full responsibility for it, and as I said, winning golf tournaments, I think through all of this is irrelevant compared to the damage I've caused.
How he fooled so many people for so long.
TIGER WOODS: You know, Tom, I fooled myself, as well. As I said, I lied to a lot of people, deceived a lot of people, kept others in the dark; rationalized, and even lied to myself. And when you strip all that away, you start realizing -- when I strip down all of that away and start realizing what I had done, the full magnitude of it, it's pretty brutal. I take full responsibility for what I've done, and I don't take that lightly.
What happens to a Tiger in sex rehab? He realizes what a tool he is.
Q. You said you felt entitled to what you were doing before, at the same time how were you able to rationalize that in your mind while it was going on?
TIGER WOODS: Well, that's part of the problem I had, is the way I was thinking was not correct. And as part of where I was at, I was rationalizing and denying and in total denial at times. Whatever I did, I lied to myself, I lied to others, and just because I said -- just because I was winning golf tournaments doesn't mean a thing. The way I was thinking caused so much harm with the people that I love and care about the most on this planet.
Q. Did you only realize that after it became public?
TIGER WOODS: After I started going to treatment, that's when they started stripping all of that away from you.
Make sex scandal lemonade out of lemons.
TIGER WOODS: I haven't looked forward to that tee shot in a long time, not like this. It feels fun again. You know, that's something that's been missing. Have I been winning, have I been competing, have I been doing well? Yeah, I have. I've won numerous times the last few years but I wasn't having anywhere near the amount of fun. Why? Because look at what I was engaged in. When you live a life where you're lying all the time, life is not fun. And that's where I was. Now that's been stripped all away and here I am. And it feels fun again.