Woods opens up on failed marriage, future in golf

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NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) -- Tiger Woods says he has a "fantastic" relationship with his ex-wife and he has taken steps to explain to his two children what happened to their marriage.

In a rare and extensive interview with Time magazine, Woods also shared the same sentiments about his future that he did Tuesday at the tournament he is hosting in the Bahamas. He still wants to play golf at the highest level, though he is resigned that it might not happen if the nerve damage in his back doesn't allow for it.

The world's former No. 1 player was interviewed by Canadian golf author Lorne Rubenstein at Woods' new restaurant in Florida. They covered topics ranging from his greatest joy on the golf course to chipping sessions with Seve Ballesteros to his family.

Woods, who turns 40 on Dec. 30, says he has told 8-year-old Sam and 6-year-old Charlie that his parents don't live in the same house because "Daddy made some mistakes."

"I just want them to understand before they get to the Internet age and they log on to something or have their friends tell them something," Woods said. "I want it to come from me so that when they come of age, I'll just tell them the real story.

"And so, that's part of the initiative - 'Hey, it was my fault, too. I was to blame' - and so I'm taking initiative with the kids," he said. "I'd rather have it come from me as the source. And I can tell them absolutely everything so they hear it from me."

28 PHOTOS
Tiger Woods through the years
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Woods opens up on failed marriage, future in golf
Tiger Woods, is shown during Masters practice in Augusta, Ga. in this April 5, 1995 photo, will try to add one of the few amateur titles he does not already own to his collection as the NCAA golf championships begin in Ooltewah, Tenn. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Tiger Woods, of Stanford University, follows his drive on the thirteenth hole during the NCAA Men's Golf Championships in Ooltewah, Tenn., on Wednesday, May 29, 1996. Woods, a Stanford sophomore, is a two-time winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Tiger Woods coaxes in the ball into the hole for a birdie on the par-4 third hole Saturday, Aug. 24, l996, during his U.S. Amateur match with Joel Kribel at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.(AP Photo/Robin Loznak)
Tiger Woods kissed the U.S. Amateur trophy after winning an unprecedented third U.S. Amateur championship, Sunday, Aug. 25, l996, at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore. Woods won the title on the 38th hole.(AP Photo/Jack Smith)
Golfer Tiger Woods holds up the trophy after winning the Mercedes Championships in a one hole playoff at La Costa Country Club Sunday Jan. 12, 1997, in Carlsbad, Calif. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes because of rain and Woods and Tom Lehman played a one hole playoff. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
Masters third round leader Tiger Woods talks with reporters after finishing his round of play at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Saturday, April 12, 1997. (AP Photo/ Dave Martin)
Masters champion Tiger Woods addresses the crowd after he receives his Green Jacket at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 13, 1997. (AP Photo/ Amy Sancetta)
U.S. golfer Tiger Woods lines up a putt during the final day of the American Express Championship event in Valderrama, southern Spain Sunday Nov. 7 1999. (AP Photo/Denis Doyle)
Tiger Woods reacts on the 18th hole after winning the 2001 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 8, 2001. Woods captured this second Masters title, defeating David Duval by two stokes. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
US golf player Eldrick "Tiger" Woods after hitting a ball during a pro shoot out prior to the SAP Open in St. Leon-Rot, 60 miles (100km) south of Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, May 15, 2001. 156 players participate in this tournament from May 17 to May 20, 2001. (AP Photo/Daniel Maurer)
Tiger Woods tips his cap after birdeying the 18th hole Thursday, June 13, 2002, during the first round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship at the Black Course of Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Tiger Woods holds the 2002 U.S. Open Golf Championship trophy, Sunday, June 16, 2002, at the Black Course of Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Tiger Woods drives during early morning practice for the Ryder Cup at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England,Thursday Sept. 26,, 2002. The competition is scheduled to get underway on Sept. 27.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
U.S golfer Tiger Woods during the first day of the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open tournament in in Gut Kaden near Hamburg, northern Germany on Thursday, May15, 2003. (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer)
Tigers Woods chips onto the fifth green, Saturday May 15, 2004, during the third round of the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas. Woods finished Saturday with a 202 total, three strokes behind leader Sergio Garcia. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tiger Woods watches his drive on the 10th tee during first round play of the 2005 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Thursday, April 7, 2005. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tiger Woods reacts to his tee shot on the first hole during second round play in the 87th PGA Championship at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J. Friday, Aug. 12, 2005. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Tiger Woods smiles as he discusses being named professional golf's Player of the Year for the eighth time in his career at a news conference at Sherwood Country Club, where he is preparing to host the Target World Challenge, in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Tiger Woods chats on the eighth tee in the Pro-Am round of the Target World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Tiger Woods talks about his experience of caddying and the recuperation of his knee after his work at Torrey Pines where he caddied for contest winner John Abel Monday Oct. 20, 2008 in San Diego. Abel, of West Berlin, New Jersey won a contest that entitled him to have Tiger Woods caddie for him. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2009 file photo, Tiger Woods, from the United States, lines up a putt during the third round of the Australian Masters golf tournament at the Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia. Authorities say Woods has been seriously injured in a car wreck in Florida. The Florida Highway Patrol says the PGA star hit a fire hydrant and a tree as he pulled out of his driveway early Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, in his 2009 Cadillac sport utility vehicle. Woods was taken to Health Central Hospital. His condition was not immediately known, though the news release said his injuries were serious. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill, File)
Tiger Woods drives from the fifth hole tees during the final round of the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Tiger Woods poses with his trophy after winning the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Woods closed with clutch birdie putts, including holing a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 3-under 69, to win by one shot over former Masters champion Zach Johnson. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Tiger Woods looks on during the third round of the World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)
Tiger Woods tosses a leaf in the air to check the wind on the fifth tee during the final round of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tiger Woods holds himself up on the first tee during the third round of the Hero World Challenge golf tournament on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Windermere, Fla. Woods lost his voice overnight and was nauseated before and during the third round at Isleworth. (AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.)
Tiger Woods acknowledges the crowd after finishing his round on the ninth hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
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In the meantime, Woods said he is stressing to his children that they have two parents who love them.

His marriage crumbled at the end of 2009 when he was exposed for having multiple extramarital affairs, and Elin Nordegren divorced him the following August. Woods endured leg injuries in 2011, got back to No. 1 in the world with eight victories in 2012 and 2013 and has been in a free fall because of back injuries since.

He had surgery to alleviate a pinched nerve the week before the 2014 Masters and has had two more procedures in the same spot over the last three months.

"One, I don't want to have another procedure," Woods told the magazine. "And two, even if I don't come back and I don't play again, I still want to have a quality of life with my kids. I started to lose that with the other surgeries."

Asked what he would have done differently before and after the scandal in his personal life, Woods said he would have had a more open, honest relationship with his wife.

"Having the relationship that I have now with her is fantastic," he said. "She's one of my best friends. We're able to pick up the phone, and we talk to each other all the time. We both know that the most important things in our lives are our kids. I wish I would have known that back then."

Woods last played on Aug. 23 when he tied for 10th and thought the pain he experienced was from his hip. Instead, it was a recurrence of his back problems. The uncertainty of his health has led to plenty of speculation that his career might be over.

"Put it this way. It's not what I want to have happen, and it's not what I'm planning on having happen," Woods said. "But if it does, it does. I've reconciled myself to it."

On other topics:

-Woods pointed out again that the chart of Jack Nicklaus he kept on his bedroom wall as a kid had nothing to do with the record 18 majors. It was related to age - the first time Nicklaus broke 40, broke 80, won his first golf tournament, his first state amateur, his first U.S. Amateur and first U.S. Open.

"To me, that was important," he said. "This guy's the best out there and the best of all time. If I can beat each age that he did it, then I have a chance at being the best."

-He came to know the late Seve Ballesteros when the Spaniard was working with Butch Harmon and they would spend time together in Houston.

"We'd hit balls and then he'd show me short game, for hours," Woods said. "Then we'd go play till dark. It was awesome. To see how he could do it, and I could never do it. But I could take pieces. I'd ask him, but man, I couldn't do a lot of them. But I realized I don't have to do a lot of them. I can do it my way."

-Before the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which he won with shredded knee ligaments and two stress fractures his leg, Woods tried to wear a brace for nine holes at his home course in Southern California. It was his first time playing golf since the Masters, and the brace kept him from rotating. He lost eight balls in nine holes and shot 54.

"I'm grinding my butt off and I said, 'OK, you're the No. 1 player in the world and you just lost eight balls on a home course that you could play blindfolded,' and I shot a 54. This is going to be an interesting week,'" he said.

-He loves playing alone at the Medalist Golf Club in the evening because it reminded him of time he spent with his father as a kid. Woods said they would retreat to the far corner of the Seal Navy golf course in California.

"We'd be on the tee back there just hitting golf balls, not saying a word to each other," he said. "Going out in the evenings brings me back to that happy place."

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Tiger Woods PGA downfall
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Woods opens up on failed marriage, future in golf
WINDERMERE, FL - DECEMBER 06: Tiger Woods waits on the second tee during the third round of the Hero World Challenge at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club on December 6, 2014 in Windermere, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
WINDERMERE, FL - DECEMBER 06: Tiger Woods wipes sweat away from his face on the third hole during the third round of the Hero World Challenge at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club on December 6, 2014 in Windermere, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
WINDERMERE, FL - DECEMBER 06: Tiger Woods walks off the 18th green during the third round of the Hero World Challenge at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club on December 6, 2014 in Windermere, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
WINDERMERE, FL - DECEMBER 06: Tiger Woods waits on the fifth green during the third round of the Hero World Challenge at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club on December 6, 2014 in Windermere, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
WINDERMERE, FL - DECEMBER 07: Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club on December 7, 2014 in Windermere, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
WINDERMERE, FL - DECEMBER 07: Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker walk together during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club on December 7, 2014 in Windermere, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
WINDERMERE, FL - DECEMBER 07: Tiger Woods walks off the third tee during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club on December 7, 2014 in Windermere, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
WINDERMERE, FL - DECEMBER 07: Tiger Woods plays a bunker shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at the Isleworth Golf & Country Club on December 7, 2014 in Windermere, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods hits out of the bunker on the 12th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Padraig Harrington, of Ireland, from left, Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson walk off the 15th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Tiger Woods wipes his face on the 10th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Tiger Woods hits from the fairway on the 17th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Tiger Woods reacts to his drive on the first hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Tiger Woods react to a poor tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Tiger Woods reacts to his shot from the fairway on the 12th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Tiger Woods warms up on the driving range before a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. The tournament is set to begin on Thursday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Tiger Woods chips onto the 16th fairway during the final round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, July 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Golfer Tiger Woods pauses as he speaks at a Quicken Loans National PGA tournament media day news conference at Congressional Country Club, Monday, May 19, 2014, in Bethesda, Md. Woods said his back injury was so debilitating that it caused him to doubt whether he would play golf again. While the surgery he had March 31 erased those doubts, he still has no timetable for his return. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
US golfer Tiger Woods talks about his back injury and the future of his sponsored tournament, now named the Quicken Loans National, during a press conference in Washington, DC, March 24, 2014. Woods, who pulled out as defending champion of the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week with a bad back, appeared at the Newseum to speak about his a new sponsor for his golf tournament that will be played this summer at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, as well as his Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods went on to say that nothing has changed with his back and the Masters may be to soon to return. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods collects his golf ball during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods waits on the 11th green during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods hits his approach shot on the 11th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods reacts to his tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods hits a bunker shot on the 13th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the first green during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 09: Tiger Woods reaches for a golf ball on the practice ground during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 9, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods speaks with the media after a six-under par 66 during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods speaks with the media after a six-under par 66 during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods reacts to a missed putt on the 14th hole during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 08: Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 8, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 07: Tiger Woods reacts to a long birdie putt on the fourth hole during the second round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 7, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 07: Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 7, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 06: Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 6, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 06: Tiger Woods walks across a green during the first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 6, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 06: Tiger Woods hits a shot on the practice ground during the first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 6, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - MARCH 01: Tiger Woods plays a shot on the third hole during the third round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa on March 1, 2014 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 05: Tiger Woods plays during a practice round for the WGC Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 5, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DORAL, FL - MARCH 05: Tiger Woods speaks with the media before a practice round prior to the start of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral on March 5, 2014 in Doral, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods watches his drive from the third tee during the final round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, July 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Tiger Woods stands on the 16th green during the final round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, July 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Tiger Woods takes a drop on the 15th fairway during the final round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., Sunday, July 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Tiger Woods hits out of a bunker onto the 14th green during the third round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., Saturday, June 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Sweat drips down Tiger Woods' face as he walks on the fifth fairway during the third round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., Saturday, June 30, 2012. Golfers were greeted by a second straight day of high temperatures and humidity on the course. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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