Tiger Woods Says He's 'A Much Better Person' Following Rehab

CNN News Wire | 4/6/2010, 7 p.m.
"I was in there for 45 days, and it was to take a hard look at myself -- and I ...
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In his first news conference since scandal broke, Tiger Woods said Monday that the six weeks he spent in rehab after admitting to infidelity changed him.

"I was in there for 45 days, and it was to take a hard look at myself -- and I did," he told reporters at the Augusta National golf course. "And I've come out better -- certainly a much better person for it than I was going in."

He said he will continue the therapy.

Woods also indicated that he hopes to woo back sponsors who have left him in droves.

"Do I understand why they dropped me? Of course," he said.

"I've made a lot of mistakes in my life," he added. "Hopefully, I can prove to the other companies going forward that I am a worthy investment, that I can help their company, help their company grow and represent them well. I felt like I was representing companies well in the past, but then again I wasn't doing it the right way because of what I was engaged in."

Asked whether he had taken Ambien before the car crash last November that ultimately led to the world learning about his infidelity, Woods did not answer. He simply said that the police had investigated the case and fined him $166. "It's a closed case," he said. Rumors that Woods had used the sleeping aid extensively arose after the crash.

Woods said he was nervous to play in a tournament again. "I didn't know what to expect."

He added, "I've done some things that are just horrible. And for the fans to really want to see me play golf again, that felt great. It really did."

His recent experiences have led him to realize that he had under appreciated golf fans, he said.

Woods said the reception he has received at Augusta "couldn't be nicer."

"The encouragement that I got -- it just blew me away," he said.

"What a great day, today," he said.

Woods also apologized to the other players, whom he said the media have "bombarded" with questions about him. "I certainly apologize to all of them for having to endure what they've had to endure over the past few months," he said.

The-CNN-Wire/Houston Style Magazine