Woods says personal trials have made him better person

Shanghai: Golf superstar Tiger Woods said the personal and professional turmoil he endured over the past year has made him a better man and he is now focused on being a good father to his two children.

Woods earlier this week lost his five-year grip on the world number one rank to England`s Lee Westwood, capping a miserable year that began with revelations of marital infidelities which were followed by a sharp drop in form.

"I look at myself as a much better person than what I was," Woods told reporters on Wednesday in Shanghai where he is getting ready to tee off at the HSBC Champions tournament.

"All that I have gone through has certainly made me a better person and has enabled me and forced me to take a look at myself and (I) have become a much better person because of it."

It was nearly a year ago -- just after last year`s HSBC Champions -- that the lid was ripped off scandalous revelations of Woods` extramarital affairs with a string of women.

He took a five-month break from golf and his game has struggled ever since, enabling Westwood to supplant him as world number one on Monday.

The new world number two said his "number one thing" now is "working each and every day at trying to become the best parent I possibly can."

Woods` wife Elin Nordegren left him over his infidelities. They were divorced in August. They have a three-year-old daughter Sam, and son Charlie, now nearly two years old.

Westwood and Woods lead a power-packed field featuring eight of the world`s top-ranked players at the HSBC Champions.

The event, elevated last year to one of the four World Golf Championships events, is played at Shanghai`s Sheshan golf club.

Bureau Report