Saddened Woods says divorce made it tough to compete

Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:31pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

PARAMUS, New Jersey (Reuters) - Tiger Woods said on Wednesday the break-up of his marriage was far more difficult for him than he had let on and that the fallout from his string of infidelities had poisoned his golf game.

Woods, speaking to reporters for the first time since his divorce this week from his Swedish wife Elin Nordegren, also said he hopes he has learned to become a better person.

The 34-year-old world number one, who has failed to win in nine starts this year, told reporters outside the clubhouse at Ridgewood Country Club that he felt no sense of relief.

"I don't think that's the word. I think it's just more sadness," Woods said after a five-hour Pro-Am round in the rain ahead of Thursday's first round of the Barclays tournament.

"I don't think you ever go into a marriage looking to get divorced. That's the thing. That's why it is sad.

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

Woods said arranging the divorce was a painful process even if he managed to keep his composure when questioned about the state of his marriage at every event he played this year.

"It was a lot more difficult than I was letting on," said Woods.   Continued...