Tiger Woods began dating his wife Elin Nordegren in 2001. The couple got engaged in 2003 and officially tied the knot in 2004. A big scandal negatively affected the duo's marriage and left an everlasting bad memory in Woods' life.
Elin Nordegren, a former model, began dating one of the world's famous athletes, Tiger Woods, when she was working as an au pair for another professional golfer, Jesper Parnevik.
The pair got engaged during a four-day vacation on a South African game reserve in 2003. It was after Woods competed in that year's Presidents Cup.
Golfer Tiger Woods and his girlfriend, Elin Nordegren pictured leaving the stage after opening ceremonies at the 2004 Ryder Cup on September 16, 2004 in Detroit, Michigan. (R) Tiger Woods during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on November 15, 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. / Source: Getty Images
The newly inducted World Golf Hall of Famer popped the big question during asunset walk
on November 25, after which the lovebirds spent the night under the stars in sleeping bags. When the news of their engagement made headlines, Woods was reportedly not happy about it.
Nonetheless, he and Nordegren wed in a sunset ceremony witnessed by 200 guests in October 2004. While the couple wanted to keep details of their nuptials private, the information still got leaked to the media.
Tiger Woods posing with his wife Elin Nordegren at The Welcome Dinner following the first official practice day of the 2006 Ryder Cup at The K Club on September 19, 2006 in Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland. / Source: Getty Images
The wedding took place in Barbados at an exclusive resort called Sandy Lane. Woods and Nordegren opted for the location because it was private, with armed security guards keeping the curious at bay.
The special occasion was in the largest of four tents set up at the resort, with 500 red roses adorning the end of the aisle. Guests including NBA stars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley attended the event.
The lavish ceremony cost $1,000,000 per BBC. The bride, 24, donned an off-white sleeveless gown while the groom, 28, wore a beige suit. The couple, who said their 'I dos' at the 19th hole, exchanged rings under an arch of flowers in a white netted pagoda.
Tiger Woods during the first round of the PNC Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando on December 19, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. / Source: Getty Images
Nordegren and the former world number one welcomed two children within their marriage. Their first child, daughter Sam, 14, arrived in June 2007. The Swedish native experienced complications while preparing to give birth. Woods shared at the time:
"It wasn't life-threatening or anything, but she just had a few problems and had to be admitted. It was not easy because I wanted to be there. And the doctor and Elin said, 'There's nothing you can do. So go out there and get a 'W.'"
Tiger Woods pictured with daughter Sam Alexis Woods, and wife Elin Woods on sidelines during an NCAA football game at Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California. / Source: Getty Images
Then in February 2009, the pair welcomed their second child, a son named Charlie, 13. The proud dad released a statement on his website which read:
"Elin and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our son, Charlie Axel Woods. Sam is very excited to be a big sister, and we feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful family."
Tiger Woods holding his son Charlie Woods alongside wife Elin Woods and daughter Sam Woods at Congressional Country Club on July 5, 2009 in Bethesda, Maryland. / Source: Getty Images
HIS CAR CRASH LED TO DISCLOSING HIS INFIDELITY
Despite showing gratitude for having a perfect family, things spiraled out of control when he got involved in a car accident. Back in 2009, Woods ran his Cadillac SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree while pulling out of the driveway of his home in Windermere, Florida, at 2 a.m.
As a result, he suffered facial cuts and bruises. Moreover, at the time of the incident, the 46-year-old had refused to meet with the police to answer questions about it.
Tiger Woods entering Palm Beach County court on October 27, 2017 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. / Source: Getty Images
His reluctance triggered speculations as many magazines reported that Woods might have had several mistresses. In one of the reports, there was information that he asked his mistress to delete her name from the voice mail because his wife could find it and call her.
According to Reuters, his alleged mistress, 24-year-old Los Angeles cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs, confessed about it and said that she had records to prove her connection with the greatest golfer of all time.
Tiger Woods with his wife Elin Nordegren during Game Four of the 2009 NBA Finals at Amway Arena on June 11, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. / Source: Getty Images
Following these reports, Woods released a statement where he apologized to his wife and family and frankly wrote that he did not remain true to his values:
"I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves."
Just hours later, the California native got into a car accident, where his wife, despite all the reports, helped him to get out of the car safely.
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren on during the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Ryder Cup at The K Club on September 21, 2006 in Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland. / Source: Getty Images
Per Reuters, the vehicle's back windows were cracked by a golf club – allegedly for helping Woods get out. Still, it raised questions as his spouse could do it because of anger on the news about his mistresses.
Then came the first astounding revelation. The local police chief told The Associated Press that Nordegren, a former nanny, had smashed the back passenger windows of the Escalade with a golf club, seemingly trying to help her husband.
Elin Nordegren watching her husband Tiger Woods playing during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge on March 29, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. / Source: Getty Images
THE MASSIVE AFTERMATH OF THE CRASH
Woods closed his mansion after the car accident for allegedly healing from his injuries. However, his family and close loved ones received overwhelming attention from the press.
In addition to that, more women came forward and began to testify that they were indeed his mistresses. They appeared everywhere, on websites and magazines to claim that they had affairs with him.
The women were not shy about sharing intimate details about the alleged encounters. Soon everyone was privy to what they claimed to know about the father of two and what he liked to do behind closed doors.
Finally, after two weeks of silence on the scandal, Woods found the courage and released a statement where he admitted to being unfaithful to his wife:
"I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children."
Tiger Woods during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, The Bahamas on December 4, 2016 in Nassau, Bahamas. / Source: Getty Images
He publicly asked for forgiveness and said he did not know would it be possible to repair the damage he caused, taking accountability for his actions:
"I am the only person to blame. I stopped living by the core values I was taught to believe in."
Woods said he knew what he did was wrong but convinced himself that standard rules did not apply. He never thought about the consequences of his actions and who would get hurt in the process because he was selfish.
The golf champion said he ran straight through the boundaries that married couples should live by and thought he would get away with it. But later, he realized he was foolish to believe that.
THE END OF HIS MARRIAGE
A little less than a year after all the speculations and media attention, Woods and Nordegren announced their divorce. The pair did not state the reason for their divorce, but it was already apparent because of what happened. What they did reveal was that they would focus on the well-being of their children:
"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 for both of us."
Nordegren, 42, and Woods were present at Bay County Circuit Court in Panama City, Florida, to execute their divorce. Sources told People at the time that although the mom of two had signed a prenuptial agreement, it was renegotiated after the sex scandal.
The settlement – the division of property and assets – was undisclosed. But numerous reports suggested Nordegren could receive anywhere from $100 million in assets. The former couple's divorce got finalized in 2010.
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