Over 40 days, GOLF.com is rolling out Tiger Woods‘ 40 biggest moments. Our ranking started on Nov. 21 and will culminate on Dec. 30, which is Tiger’s 40th birthday. That’s 40 Tiger moments. In 40 days. Ranked. Click here to learn more about our list.
Tiger’s 40 Biggest Moments: No. 33 – Relationship with Lindsey Vonn
It was tabloid news, announced with understatement, its timing meant to preempt the paparazzi. Buried in an otherwise milquetoast Facebook post (“This season has been great so far and I’m happy with my wins at Torrey and Doral”), Woods dropped the bombshell: “Another nice thing that has happened off the course was meeting Lindsey Vonn.”
Vonn confirmed it.
“Our relationship has evolved from a friendship into something more over these past few months and it has made me very happy,” she wrote on her own page.
Sure, there had been rumors, but this made it official: quiet words that went ka-boom!
As power couples go, they made Wozzilroy look low-wattage. The greatest golfer of his generation and the most dominant female skier of her day. And yet, in some respects, their pairing seemed, well, normal. She watched him play. He watched her race. She ribbed him in the press and babysat his kids.
Battle-scarred celebrities, they shared a bond that stretched beyond their surgically rebuilt knees. Inevitably, there were bizarre moments, such as when he lost a tooth while taking in one her races, the result, he said, of a collision with a camera.
But for a man whose private life had been so painfully pried open by salacious scandal, the relationship came off as a kind of public healing. Rarely had Tiger seemed so at ease.
Their public romance lasted three years. And when it ended, their breakup lacked a lurid subplot, despite muckraking attempts to attribute the split to infidelities. Once again, the announcement came on Facebook, her page and then his, the two of them sounding like just another couple who had amicably opted to go their separate ways.
She had no regrets, she said.
Neither did he.
“I have great admiration, respect and love for Lindsey and I’ll always cherish our time together…” he wrote. “Unfortunately, we lead very hectic lives and are both competing in demanding sports. It’s difficult to spend time together.”
Check back on GOLF.com every day until Tiger’s birthday on Dec.30 for a new moment in our TIGER@40 countdown.
No. 35: A Shot in the Dark at Firestone
No. 36: Television Debut at Age 2