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.”
Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test
One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.
Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.
"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."
Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.
"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.
"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
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:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18