Tiger Woods said Wednesday that he wishes his ex-wife Elin Nordegren well, and admitted that his personal troubles have had a negative effect on his game so far this season.
“I wish her the best in everything,” Woods said after finishing his pro-am round at the Barclays tournament in Paramus, N.J. “You know, it’s a sad time in our lives. And we’re looking forward to — in our lives and how we can help our kids the best way we possibly can. And that’s the most important thing.”
Woods declined to answer whether he still loved Nordegren.
In this week’s People Magazine, Nordegren said she had “been through hell” since learning about Woods’ affairs and that she had started losing her hair in the days before this week’s divorce. On Wednesday, Woods said he didn’t feel relief after the divorce was finalized.
“I don’t think that’s the word,” Woods said. “I think it’s just more sadness. Because I don’t think you ever — you don’t ever go into a marriage looking to get divorced. That’s the thing. That’s why it is sad.”
Woods took questions from media in a tent off the clubhouse of the Ridgewood Country Club in front of about 30 reporters after his morning pro-am round, which was followed by several hundred fans. He spoke for 10 minutes, looking a little tired and strained.
“My actions certainly led us to this decision,” Woods answered when asked if he had any regrets. “And I’ve certainly made a lot of errors in my life, and that’s something I’m going to have to live with.”
Nordegren told People that the couple tried to reconcile, but their marriage was “without trust and love.” She also said that she will forgive Woods someday, but that right now she is still working on it. Asked about Nordegren’s comments to People, Woods said, “I certainly understand that she is sad. And I feel the same way.”
Woods said the preparation for the divorce was more difficult than he was letting on, and that playing through the aftermath of his personal scandals was harder than he thought it would be. (Woods has yet to win a tournament this season — the longest drought of his career — and submitted his worst-ever 72-hole score at the Bridgestone Invitational earlier this month.)
“It was, certainly,” Woods said. “Because being asked questions all the time, even after — even as the tournaments are going I’ve been asked questions while we’re playing. And that’s always difficult. And especially when I’m trying to work on a few things, trying to find shots in order to get around the golf course, and to have to talk about other things.”
Woods admitted that his personal problems at times made it difficult to focus on his game, especially this past summer.
“There were a few tournaments like that, yeah.,” Woods said. “Most of the summer was like that. Most of the summer was like that.”
Woods is currently 112th in the FedEx Cup standings, so he will have to move up at least 12 spots this week at the Barclays to qualify for the next event in the playoffs, the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass. He has said he would like to play for the United States team in the Ryder Cup in October, but he will need to be one of U.S. captain Corey Pavin’s four wild-card picks because he didn’t qualify on points. Woods is also scheduled to play the Australian Masters and the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November.
Golf Magazine Associate Editor Jessica Marksbury contributed to this report.