Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren announced their divorce Monday, ending months of speculation about the future of their marriage.
A statement on tigerwoods.com said: “Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods confirmed today that they have divorced. Judgment was entered today in Bay County (Florida) Circuit Court dissolving the marriage. The Judgment provides for shared parenting of their two children.”
The couple also issued a joint statement, focusing on their 3-year-old daughter, Sam, and 1-year-old son, Charlie.
“We are sad that our marriage is over and we wish each other the very best for the future. While we are no longer married, we are the parents of two wonderful children and their happiness has been, and will always be, of paramount importance to both of us. Once we came to the decision that our marriage was at an end, the primary focus of our amicable discussions has been to ensure their future well-being. The weeks and months ahead will not be easy for them as we adjust to a new family situation, which is why our privacy must be a principal concern.”
Woods has been the focus of worldwide media attention since his Thanksgiving night car accident and subsequent sex scandals.
Nordegren and Woods were married in October of 2004 after meeting at the 2001 British Open. When they met, Nordegren was working as an au pair for Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik. After Woods’s infidelities became public, Parnevik was critical of Woods, saying he regretted introducing Woods to Nordegren.
The financial terms of the divorce were not made public. Nordegren is widely believed to have signed a prenuptial agreement before marrying Woods. In Florida, divorce proceedings are part of the public record. However, if Woods and Nordegren agreed to a private settlement, those details would remain confidential.
Fortune Magazine reported in June of 2009 that Woods, 34, has earned $1 billion in his career from winnings and product endorsements, but Woods disputed that figure. Woods has won more than $93 million in his 14 years on the PGA Tour. In 2010 alone, Sports Illustrated estimated Woods’s off-course income to be $70 million.
After appearing to lead a charmed life for 14 years as a PGA Tour pro, Woods has been beset by professional and personal problems since his car accident in November. In addition to his marital troubles, Woods has struggled on the golf course since returning to competitive play at the Masters in April. (In May, Woods parted ways with Hank Haney, his swing coach for the last six years.)
He finished tied for fourth at the Masters and U.S. Open but was a non-factor at the British Open (T23) and PGA Championship (T28). He missed the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship, withdrew from the Players Championship with a sore neck and played the worst 72 holes of his pro career at the Bridgestone Invitational in early August. Woods failed to make the Ryder Cup team on points and will have to rely on a captain’s pick to make the U.S. side.
This week Woods will play in the Barclays, the first event in the FedEx Cup playoffs, and he needs to play well to advance to the second round.
Nordegren, 30, was born and raised in Sweden, the daughter of Thomas Nordegren and Barbro Holmberg. Her father is a prominent journalist in Sweden and her mother is a high-ranking government official. She has a twin sister, Josefine, and an older brother, Axel. Nordegren is a very private figure on the PGA Tour — “like Greta Garbo,” one observer said — and has generally declined interview requests.
In a televised statement in February, Woods made a public apology to his wife.
“Elin and I have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behavior,” Woods said from PGA Tour headquarters in Ponta Vedra Beach, Fla. “As Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words; it will come from my behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss; however, what we say to each other will remain between the two of us.”
Nordegren was not present for the public statement, nor did she attend his return to competitive golf at the Masters in April. Woods has declined to discuss his marriage at media conferences, calling it a “private matter.” In an interview with Woods in March, ESPN’s Tom Renaldi asked Woods why he got married. Woods responded, “Because I loved her. I loved Elin with everything I have. And that’s something that makes me feel even worse, that I did this to someone I loved that much.”