Photo Credit: AFP
"A lot has happened in my life in the past five months," Woods, 34, said, but the hardest part was "having to look at myself in a light that I never wanted to look."
"The pain and the damage I caused my wife, my mom, my kids ... Going forward, I am going to have to explain all [this to them] ... but that's my responsibility. I did it."
Not getting into specifics about his 45-day rehab stay, Woods simply said he was seeking treatment "to take a look at myself ... I've come out better. I am certainly a much better person for it."
The golfer said he never considered going to rehab before the scandal broke. "I hadn't hit far enough on the bottom to make myself look at what I had done."
On the downside, his rehab stay caused him to miss his son Charlie's first birthday on Feb. 8.
"That hurts," Woods said. "That hurts a lot. I vowed I would never miss another one after that. I can't go back to what I was."
Asked how he could have fooled so many people for so long, he replied: "I was rationalizing. I was in total denial at times...I fooled myself as well. I lied to a lot of people, deceived a lot of people, kept others in the dark, rationalized and even lied to myself. When I stripped all of that away and started realizing what I had done, the full magnitude of it, it's pretty brutal."
"The galleries couldn't be nicer," he said. "The encouragement I got, it blew me away, to be honest with you, it really did."
But Woods does admit that this is much more than a golf game -- it's about finding the person he believes he once was.
"I haven't done it the right way in a while," he said. "I need to be a better man going forward than I have been."
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