Interview Woods ex-wife went through hell
She said she never hit her famous ex-husband with a golf club.
She said she’s never felt so sad and devastated, and hopes she never will again.
All this and more from the woman the world has waited to hear from since that night in November that shattered her marriage and the carefully crafted image of Tiger Woods.
“I’ve been through hell,” Nordegren said in an interview with People magazine released Wednesday, two days after she and Woods were officially divorced. “It’s hard to think you have this life, and then all of a sudden – was it a lie? You’re struggling because it wasn’t real. But I survived. It was hard, but it didn’t kill me.”
She and the couple’s children, 3-year-old daughter Sam and 18-month-old son Charlie, have settled a mile from her ex-husband in a rented house in a gated community in Windermere, Florida – where Woods needs her permission to get past the guard. The two are sharing custody of their children.
She credits therapy and long runs with helping her deal with the past nine months, and also kept a journal of her thoughts. “I haven’t gone back to read what I wrote in December and January; I’m afraid to,” she said.
She has not watched “one minute of golf.” But she can laugh at things now, calling the “Saturday Night Live” and “South Park” parodies of her “pretty hysterical” (though totally untrue).
“She’s been amazing,” said Mia Parnevik, for whom Nordegren was working as a nanny when she met Woods more than a decade ago. “She has held her head high. To go through a divorce is not easy for anybody. To go through what she’s gone through is not humane.”
She is not, however, without scars. In the days before the divorce was finalized, Nordegren’s long, blonde hair began falling out.
“She’s held her head high. She has not caved in,” said Parnevik, wife of pro golfer Jesper Parnevik. “She’s not said bad things about him, and that’s kind of an easy game to get into.”
The Swedish-born Nordegren has always guarded her privacy as fiercely as Woods, if not more so. Even in happier times she was rarely quoted. She kept to herself at golf tournaments, staying well beyond the ropes and once turning away when she noticed photographers taking her picture.
Years ago, a reporter mentioned that he had never seen her on the 18th green after Woods won a tournament.
“That’s just not my personality,” she said.
But the car crash outside the couple’s Florida home in November thrust her into the public eye.
The world knew the tawdry details of Woods’ philandering, and many wondered if Nordegren had a hand in the accident, perhaps going after him in a fit of rage when she caught him.
“This was one of the things I had the hardest time with people thinking,” Nordegren said. “There was never any violence inside or outside our home. The speculation that I would have used a golf club to hit him is just truly ridiculous.”
Nordegren would not disclose the amount of the divorce settlement but did say “money can’t buy happiness or put my family back together.”
Nordegren said she had never suspected Woods of cheating. She hadn’t traveled much in recent years, busy with the couple’s children and psychology classes.
“I felt stupid as more things were revealed – how could I not have known anything?” Nordegren said. “The word betrayal isn’t strong enough. I felt like my whole world had fallen apart. It seemed that my world as I thought it was had never existed. I felt embarrassed for having been so deceived. I felt betrayed by many people around me.”
Still, Nordegren said the couple tried for months to reconcile. Woods even spent two months in therapy in hopes of saving the marriage. The child of divorced parents herself, Nordegren said she wanted her children to have a “core family,” a happily married mother and father.
Nordegren leaned heavily on her family during the turmoil. Twin sister Josefin, a London-based attorney, was part of her legal team, and her mother, Barbro Holmberg, traveled to Florida to be with her daughter.
But even that was not without drama. Holmberg, who has very low blood pressure, collapsed and had to be taken to the hospital during a December visit after the flu swept through Nordegren’s house.
In the end, Nordegren said she decided that a marriage “without trust and love” wasn’t good for anyone.
“I am now going to do my very best to show them that alone and happy is better than being in a relationship where there is no trust,” she said.
Asked about his ex-wife’s interview, Woods said Wednesday, “I wish her the best in everything.”
“You don’t ever go into a marriage looking to get divorced. That’s the thing,” Woods said from The Barclays golf tournament in New Jersey. “That’s why it is sad.”
Woods’ golf game has suffered amid his personal turmoil, and he said Wednesday that his children’s well-being remains his priority. But Nordegren said she still believes he’ll wind up as the “best golfer that ever lived.”
Just don’t expect her to be watching. “Forgiveness takes time,” and she’s still working on it, Nordegren said.
“She should get a lot of credit for how she portrayed herself,” Parnevik said. “The integrity and respect, that’s her – not him.”
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18