Tiger Woods is opening up about how his golf career has affected his kids.
The victory symbolized a comeback for Woods, 43, and marked his first major win in 11 years — the first that his children were able to witness.
“Daddy has won golf tournaments, and he’s not the YouTube guy,” the golf pro told CBS This Morning. “He’s not the YouTube golfer. You know, that they — that they’ve seen the highlights. They see highlights of that guy. You know, I’m not that guy. I can still do it.”
Woods also explained that his kids “associated golf with pain” during the darker years of his career, which saw the athlete struggle with various injuries and scandals, but now they’re “excited” that he’s back on the course.
“I am just dad. That’s all they know,” he said. “They associated golf with pain. And, you know, that’s — you know, still is one of the tougher things that they’re both excited I’m playing again. But also, ‘You okay, dad?’ You know, that kinda thing. ‘Cause they — they remember those times when dad couldn’t get off the couch.”
During the winner’s press conference after the Masters in April, Woods told reporters that having his children — who he shares with ex-wife Elin Nordegren — there to witness his triumph “means the world to me.”
“Their love and their support, I just can’t say enough how much that meant to me throughout my struggles when I really just had a hard time moving around,” he said. “Just their infectiousness of happiness; you know, I was going through a tough time physically. There was a lot of times when I really couldn’t move and so that in itself is difficult.”
The golfer also said that his injuries and struggling golf career were instrumental to him spending more time with his family.
“I was very fortunate to be given another chance to do something that I love,” he said. “But more importantly, I’ve been able to participate in my kids’ lives in a way that I couldn’t for a number of years,” he said.