Things haven’t been easy for Tiger Woods since 2009.
On a day after Thanksgiving, Woods got into a teenager automobile pile-up outward his home in Windermere, Florida. That small accident, that happened days after tabloids indicted him of intrigue on then-wife Elin Nordegren, was a matter for a shocking sex scandal as countless women came brazen alleging extramarital affairs with a pro-golfer.
The liaison derailed all in Woods’ life. He eventually divorced Nordegren, reportedly profitable her a staggering $100 million divorce settlement. His career suffered as well. He mislaid millions of dollars in endorsements and was no longer a chaste A-lister he had once been. The long-lived #1 golfer started losing tournaments or skipping them entirely. His ranking plummeted; as of final November, he was during #1,199.
But now, Woods is recuperating professionally. After a clever display during a Bay Hill Invitational this week, his ranking sits during #149 and he’s looking improved than he has in years.
Wow, what an extraordinary week…people, atmosphere, adrenaline, behind 9 on Sunday, male I’ve missed this. Getting better. Thank we for all a support!
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) March 12, 2018
So how is a 42-year-old golfer feeling about things? PEOPLE spoke to 3 sources in his circle — dual veteran associates and one personal friend — and all of them contend that he is feeling confident about his future.
“Tiger looks and sounds improved than he has in years,” says a golf insider who has unchanging interactions with Woods. “He’s some-more upbeat, articulate about a future. He’s putting all disastrous behind him: a scandal, the DUI, everything. He’s a new man.”
After a scandal, Woods altered many of his team. He hired a new caddy and pitch coach. He also had a array of surgeries that singular his ability to play a sport.
“For a prolonged time, there was a cloud over Tiger,” a insider continues. “He had his surgeries, his setbacks. He’s usually human, and those things were like a weight on his shoulders. But today, he’s happier than he’s been in years.”
So what sparked this newfound happiness?
“When he was dating Lindsey [Vonn], he was happy,” says a personal friend. “That was a branch indicate for him. And it ended, though not in a bad way. Here’s a thing about Tiger: he hadn’t unequivocally had gentle breakups before. So carrying an adult attribute with someone that finished in a not-horrible approach was good for him.”
Woods and Vonn, who still keep in touch, split in 2015 after roughly 3 years together. Both have changed on, though they still spasmodic email or content any other. In fact, Vonn told PEOPLE final month that Woods emailed her to wish her good fitness before her Olympic races.
“There’s no animosity,” says a friend. “There’s no bad blood. Zero.”
The crony tells PEOPLE that Woods also delights in his two kids: daughter Sam, 10, and son Charlie, 9. “They’ve been a consistent in all of this,” a crony says. “Elin has never once used them opposite him. Not once. He can see them anytime he wants. He can speak to them any day, all day, if that’s what he wants to do. He spends a lot of time with them.”
Nodegren concurred as most in a 2014 talk with PEOPLE.
“I have changed on and we am in a good place,” she said. “My attribute with Tiger is centered around a children and we are doing unequivocally good – we unequivocally are – and we am so happy that is a case. He is a good father.”
So is Woods dating someone new? The contestant has been speckled out with partner Erica Herman several times.
“No one has sealed any paperwork,” a crony laughs. “It’s not like they’re pledging their lives to any other. But she’s unequivocally good and Tiger likes her.”
“Tiger doesn’t like to be alone,” continues a friend. “But he doesn’t like to settle. Not anymore. So when he’s with someone, he unequivocally needs to be into her.”
Whatever happens to Woods’ veteran career, sources contend he’s in a really healthy support of mind. “He’s gotten things together,” says a second PGA source tighten to Woods. “He’s vital a good life.”