SPORT

Tiger Woods' One Regret Has Nothing To Do With Elin Or Infidelity

Oh, and his latest golfing comeback is a bit of a disaster.

02/12/2016 12:50 PM AEDT | Updated 02/12/2016 12:53 PM AEDT
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At least he's not having hair transplants like certain vain sportsmen we can name.

We'll get to the regret in a moment, but first you should know that Tiger Woods is back after 16 months away from golf. And sadly it seems he's still bad Tiger, not good Tiger.

We refer not to the former world number one's behaviour in the bedroom, but his performance on the golf course at an event called the "Hero World Challenge" in the Bahamas, in which Woods was nobody's hero, and did not provide much of a challenge to his competitors.

Woods sits second last in the 18 man field after the first round, thanks to shots like the one below, which was not the sort of short play Tiger is known for, especially if you recall some of his incredible shots of the past.

Tiger is 40 these days, and will turn 41 later this month. The man who was world number one for an incredible 13 years, but whose life and golfing career derailed after details of his serial infidelity were revealed in 2009, got reflective on golf and life in a recent interview with talk show host Charlie Rose on the eve of his comeback.

"The only regret I have in life is not spending another year at Stanford. I wish I had one more year at Stanford," Woods said, referring to the college he left a year early in 1996 to pursue his professional golf career.

Rose was a little surprised by this, as most viewers would have been. "The only regret? Everything that's has happened to you. That's the only thing?" Rose pressed.

"All the things I've been through have been tough, yes they've been tough for me, but I wish I would have gone one more year at Stanford," Tiger repeated.

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This is U.S. ski champ Lindsey Vonn, who Woods dated from about 2013 to 2015.

"Some would say the humiliation has had a lingering effect on your mind and your game," Rose continued, echoing the feeling among many golf fans.

"I've heard that too," Tiger said. "I look at the fact that, yeah, I made a bunch of mistakes. But in the end, Elin is my ex-wife, she's is one of my best friends. We've had two beautiful kids.

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Nordegren in may this year. She recently graduated with a degree in psychology.

"How do you tell your kids why daddy and mommy are not together?"

"It's because Daddy made some mistakes and I'd much rather have them hear it from me."

Rose at this point decided to push the regret pedal again. "You've sat down and said [to your kids] 'I regret what I did'?"

Woods held his line. "No, no I didn't. I haven't said that. I said that everybody makes mistakes and the reason mommy is living in her house and daddy's living in his house is that daddy made some mistakes, and it's OK."

So Woods admits he made mistakes, but feels no regret. Which is an interesting distinction. Can a genuine admission of having made mistakes really entail no regret whatsover? Are the two separable? Take that dilemma to your next dinner party.

Meanwhile, Woods and Rose then talked more golf. And here we got further insights into the Woods mindset, and why he's making his latest return to golf after an injury layoff.

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Well, he used to be a hero to many.

"Winning was fun. Beating someone is even better," Woods said. This rings true with anyone who's ever watched him closely. Woods was always more than just a good golfer. He was an incredible competitor. That red shirt he always wore on the last day of a tournament? To this writer, it always seemed to symbolise the blood of his opponents.

Golfers, of course, can still dominate their sport well into their forties. But will Tiger -- who is currently ranked 898th in the world -- ever be the force he was?

More specifically, will he ever break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Major Championship victories? For sports fans, this is the one record that would stamp Tiger beyond question as the greatest male golfer of all time.

Never mind Tiger's unmatched spell at the top of the rankings. The man has won 14 Majors. Fall short of Jack's 18, and he'd be second on the count that really matters.

As everyone knew he would, Rose asked whether Tiger still thought he could break the Nicklaus record. The surprising part was Woods' response.

"To be honest with you no," he answered

"You've accepted that?"

"I've accepted I'm going to get more."

And there it was. That old Tiger swagger. Whether he's got the game to match it remains to be seen, judging by his performance in the first round of the Hero World Challenge.

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