Tiger answers tough divorce questions

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A contrite, solemn Tiger Woods spoke Wednesday of the "sadness" he felt over his divorce, while wishing his now ex-wife "the best in everything."

Woods, who plays in the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs tomorrow at Ridgewood Country Club, responded to an interview Elin Nordegren granted to People magazine in which she bares her soul about the infidelity that ruined her marriage.

"I've been through hell," the 30-year-old Swede said, adding that the stress from her crumbling marriage caused her to lose weight and her hair.

"It's hard to think you have this life, and then all of a sudden -- was it a lie? You're struggling because it wasn't real."

Woods sympathized with his wife's emotions at the end of their six-year marriage, which was finalized Monday morning in a Florida courthouse.

"I certainly understand that she is sad. And I feel the same way," he said.

Perhaps more so, given it was his numerous affairs -- shockingly exposed last Thanksgiving -- which brought the marriage to an end.

"My actions certainly led us to this decision," he said. "And I've certainly made a lot of errors in my life and that's something I'm going to have to live with."

He seemed a man with a heavy heart as he patiently answered probing questions about his private life, which is normally off limits to reporters.

"It's just more sadness," Woods responded when asked about his emotions. "Because I don't think you ever go into a marriage looking to get divorced. That's the thing. That's why it's sad."

People magazine claims its reporters spent 19 hours interviewing Nordegren for the cover story which comes out Friday. Her intention, she told the magazine, is to set the record straight and to never speak publicly about it again.

She said she felt foolish that she had no idea her husband was carrying on multiple affairs throughout their marriage.

"Absolute shock and disbelief," was her reaction to the unveiling of his secret life. "I felt stupid as more things were revealed -- how could I not have known anything? The word betrayal isn't strong enough. I'm so embarrassed that I never suspected -- not a one.

"For the past 3-1/2 years, when all this was going on, I was home a lot more with pregnancies, then the children and my school."

Nordegren also made it clear that she did not attack her husband last Thanksgiving with a golf club, as he has maintained since the incident.

"There was never any violence inside or outside our home. The speculation that I would have used a golf club to hit him is just truly ridiculous," she told the magazine.

"Tiger left the house that night, and after a while when he didn't return, I got worried and decided to go look for him. That's when I found him in the car. I did everything I could to get him out of the locked car."

She added that she hoped one day to forgive Woods.

"Forgiveness takes time," she said. "It is the last step of the grieving process. I am going to be completely honest and tell you that I am working on it. I know I will have to come to forgiveness and acceptance of what has happened for me to go on and be happy in the future. And I know I will get there eventually."

While Nordegren lived her hell in private, Woods confirmed what most of us had long suspected: that his head, much less his heart, hasn't been in golf for most of this year.

Playing while negotiating a divorce was "a lot more difficult than I was letting on," he said.

"As far as my game and practicing, that's been secondary," he said. "We're trying to get our kids situated to our new living conditions and how that's going to be. That's where our focus is going to be right now."

Woods said his return to golf -- which some called the last straw for Nordegren, who wanted him to take a long time away from the sport -- wasn't a catalyst for his divorce.

"I came back. This is what I do," he said. "Me coming back and playing golf had nothing to do with our decision to go our separate ways."

Even though it's been his worst year as a professional, Woods -- ever the optimist -- didn't see 2010 as a lost year.

"I don't look at it like that," he said.

"Every year you have to find the positives. Even though there are a lot of negatives I think that's actually a good thing. Because I learned a lot about myself and how I could become a better person."

In all the interviews Woods has conducted since returning to tournament golf in April, he hasn't mentioned Nordegren by name since that very first press conference at the Masters.

There are two schools of thought about why this has been so. The first is that Woods was angry at Nordegren. The other is that he's still in love with her.

The only question Woods didn't answer on Wednesday was one addressed straight to his heart.

Do you still love her?