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.”
Woods admits fatigue played factor in Ryder Cup
There’s was plenty of speculation about Tiger Woods’ health in the wake of the U.S. team’s loss to Europe at last month’s Ryder Cup, and the 14-time major champ broke his silence on the matter during a driving range Q&A at his annual Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach on Tuesday.
Woods, who went 0-4 in Paris, admitted he was tired because he wasn’t ready to play so much golf this season after coming back from a fourth back surgery.
“It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season,” Woods said. “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf and on top of that deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight.”
The topic of conversation then shifted to what's next, with Woods saying he's just starting to plan out his future schedule, outside of "The Match" with Phil Mickelson over Thanksgiving weekend and his Hero World Challenge in December.
“I’m still figuring that out,” Woods said. “Flying out here yesterday trying to look at the schedule, it’s the first time I’ve taken a look at it. I’ve been so focused on getting through the playoffs and the Ryder Cup that I just took a look at the schedule and saw how packed it is.”
While his exact schedule remains a bit of a mystery, one little event in April at Augusta National seemed to be on his mind already.
When asked which major he was most looking forward to next year, Woods didn't hesitate with his response, “Oh, that first one.”
Podcast: Fujikawa aims to offer 'hope' by coming out
Tadd Fujikawa first made golf history with his age. Now he's doing it with his recent decision to openly discuss his sexuality.
Last month Fujikawa announced via Instagram that he is gay, becoming the first male professional to come out publicly. Now 27, he has a different perspective on life than he did when he became the youngest U.S. Open participant in 2006 at Winged Foot at age 15, or when he made the cut at the Sony Open a few months later.
Joining as the guest on the latest Golf Channel podcast, Fujikawa discussed with host Will Gray the reception to his recent announcement - as well as some of the motivating factors that led the former teen phenom to become somewhat of a pioneer in the world of men's professional golf.
"I just want to let people know that they're enough, and that they're good exactly as they are," Fujikawa said. "That they don't need to change who they are to fit society's mold. Especially in the golf world where it's so, it's not something that's very common."
The wide-ranging interview also touched on Fujikawa's adjustment to life on golf-centric St. Simons Island, Ga., as well as some of his hobbies outside the game. But he was also candid about the role that anxiety and depression surrounding his sexuality had on his early playing career, admitting that he considered walking away from the game "many, many times" and would have done so had it not been for the support of friends and family.
While professional golf remains a priority, Fujikawa is also embracing the newfound opportunity to help others in a similar position.
"Hearing other stories, other athletes, other celebrities, my friends. Just seeing other people come out gave me a lot of hope in times when I didn't feel like there was a lot of hope," he said. "For me personally, it was something that I've wanted to do for a long time, and something I'm very passionate about. I really want to help other people who are struggling with that similar issue. And if I can change lives, that's really my goal."
For more from Fujikawa, click below or click here to download the podcast and subscribe to future episodes:
Davies takes 2-shot lead into final round of Senior LPGA
FRENCH LICK, Ind. - Laura Davies recovered from a pair of early bogeys Tuesday for a 2-under 70 that gave her a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Senior LPGA Championship as she goes for a second senior major.
In slightly warmer weather on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, the 55-year-old Davies played bogey-free over the last 11 holes and was at 6-under 138. Brandi Burton had a 66, the best score of the tournament, and was two shots behind.
Silvia Cavalleri (69) and Jane Crafter (71) were three shots behind at 141.
Juli Inkster, who was one shot behind Davies starting the second round, shot 80 to fall 11 shots behind.
''I had a couple of bogeys early on, but I didn't panic,'' Davies said. ''I'm playing with a bit of confidence now and that's good to have going into the final round.''
Davies already won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open this summer at Chicago Golf Club.
Miller's biggest on-air regret: Leonard at Ryder Cup
Johnny Miller made a broadcasting career out of being brutally honest, calling golf tournaments exactly like he saw them.
His unfiltered style is what kept him on the air for nearly 30 years, but it wasn't always the most popular with players.
After announcing his upcoming retirement, Miller was asked Tuesday if there were any on-air comments he regretted over the last three decades. One immediately came to mind.
"I think that I didn't say the right words about Justin Leonard at Miracle at Brookline about he should be home watching it on TV. I meant really - I did say he should be home, but I meant the motel room. Even then I probably shouldn't have said that," Miller recalled. "I want so much for the outcome that I'm hoping for that I actually get overwhelmed with what I want to see. Almost the kind of things you would say to your buddies if you were watching it on TV, you know? He just couldn't win a match."
After struggling on Friday and Saturday in team play, Leonard ended up the U.S. hero after halving his Sunday singles match with José María Olazábal by holing a 40-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole - one of the most famous shots in Ryder Cup history.
"Of course he ended up - after the crappy comment I made that motivated maybe the team supposedly in the locker room, and he ends up making that 45-, 50- foot putt to seal the deal," Miller said. "Almost like a Hollywood movie or something."
Not only did the putt seal the comeback for the U.S., but it also earned Leonard an apology from Miller.
"I apologized to him literally the next day; I happened to see him. I tried to make a policy when I go over the line that I get ahold of the guy within 24 hours and tell him I made a double bogey, you know. That's just the way I have done it through the years."