- Associated Press - Thursday, November 25, 2010

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP) - The dark sedan backed into a spot next to the clubhouse at the Australian Masters, trunk open, waiting to whisk Tiger Woods to the airport. Lingering behind the car was a friend who was still wrestling with divided loyalties _ to Woods and his former wife.

They approached each other, awkwardly at first, then shared a quick embrace and quiet words.

Woods believes he finally is ready to move on after a self-destructive year that cost him his marriage, his mystique, millions in endorsements and, lastly, his No. 1 ranking.

What remains are relationships to repair, along with his golf game.

Still to come is Thanksgiving.

“I think it’s going to be great,” Woods said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’m going to be with my family. My mom is going to be there. We’re going to have a great Thanksgiving. We’ve turned the corner, turned the page, and it’s time to move forward.”

He was not playing dumb.

Woods realizes the public might forever connect him and Thanksgiving with perhaps one of the most shocking downfalls in sports.

It started with the National Enquirer story of an affair with a nightclub hostess. Then came the still mysterious, middle-of-the-night accident Nov. 27 when he drove his SUV over a fire hydrant and crashed into a tree beyond his driveway. His wife tended to him in the street, the back windows of the Cadillac Escalade bashed out with a golf club.

On the 911 call was the chilling voice of his mother as she cried out, “What happened?”

One year later, that remains a relevant question.

No one really knew much about Woods except that he dominated golf like no one had before. Within weeks, everyone knew too much.

He was caught in a stunning web of infidelity, each indiscretion played out in public through voicemails, celebrity magazines, TV talk shows and even “sexting” on a porn star’s website. He became a regular in the National Enquirer. He was on front pages everywhere, long after the major championship season was over.

Woods had spent 14 years carefully cultivating an impeccable image that brought him worldwide fame. Just like that, he went from being universally revered to roundly ridiculed.

“That’s fine, totally fine,” Woods said in Australia, leaning forward on a leather sofa, elbows resting on his knees. “I made my share of mistakes. People can look at that as what not to do, and if they choose to make fun of it, that’s fine. I can’t control that. All I know is that I can only control myself.

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