Tiger Woods says his friendship with ex-wife Elin Nordegren is all thanks to their children

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Tiger Woods says he and ex-wife Elin Nordegren are the best of friends now, and it’s all thanks to their children.

In a candid interview with TIME magazine, the 39-year-old pro-golfer reflected on the highly publicized ordeal leading up to the couple’s divorce in 2010.

“In hindsight, it’s not how I would change 2009 and how it all came about,” he said. “It would be having a more open, honest relationship with my ex-wife.”

The pair’s relationship unraveled publicly as details of Woods’s infidelity came to light in 2009. But the athlete said that the relationship he and Nordegren, 35, have now “is fantastic.”

“She’s one of my best friends. We’re able to pick up the phone, and we talk to each other all the time,” he said. “We both know that the most important things in our lives are our kids. I wish I would have known that back then.”

He added that the friendship blossomed as he and Nordegren co-parented their two children Sam, 8, and Charlie, 6.

“She talks to me about her life, I talk to her about my life,” Woods said of his ex-wife. “We try to help each other out on all occasions. And we work through it with the kids, the parenting program.

“She is one of my best friends now, and it’s all because of my kids. We’ve worked so hard, and I’ve shown her how much I love them. We’ve worked so hard at co-parenting.”

[IMAGE “2” “” “std” ]However, Woods, who split from Lindsey Vonn in May, said his stable family life hasn’t erased the past.

“I’ve taken the initiative with the kids, and told them up front, ‘Guys, the reason why we’re not in the same house, why we don’t live under the same roof, Mommy and Daddy, is because Daddy made some mistakes,’ ” he told the magazine.

In 2014, Nordegren told PEOPLE that things between her and Woods are “really good.”

“I have moved on and I am in a good place,” she said. “My relationship with Tiger is centered around our children and we are doing really god – we really are – and I am so happy that is the case. He is a great father.”

Now, Woods, whose recent comeback attempts have been derailed by injuries, spends a lot of time at home recovering, he said – “I walk 10 minutes on the beach Then I come back home and lie back down on the couch, or a bed.”

However, the 39-year-old said he can “absolutely” see himself at the top again.