Tiger Woods: Divorce Looms for 'Athlete of the Decade'

Voters separate Tiger the golfer from Tiger the man; Elin just separates.

December 16, 2009, 9:37 PM

Dec. 17, 2009 — -- The good news for Tiger Woods is that the relentless reports about his marital infidelity did not stop him from being named the Athlete of the Decade by The Associated Press. The bad news is that they apparently have caused the golf superstar's wife to leave him.

A source close to Woods' wife, Elin Nordegren, told ABC News.com Wednesday that a "divorce is 100 percent on."

Nordegren, a 29-year-old former model, was recently photographed without her wedding ring.

"It would not appear that Elin Nordegren is going to be standing by her man," Kate Coyne, senior editor at People Magazine, told "Good Morning America." "Sources have told us that Elin has told us this marriage is over and she is looking to divorce."

According to Coyne, Nordegren is "shopping around" for a divorce attorney. People Magazine reported Nordegren would be going to Sweden soon to get out of the media glare.

"She's not rushing to divorce, however," the source told ABCNews.com. "She's going to take her sweet time. She wants all the dirty laundry to be out on the table before she signs anything."

The dark clouds of divorce reports swept in on what was an ever-so-brief moment of positive press for Woods when The AP named him the Athlete of the Decade Wednesday.

His record was apparently so strong -- 64 wins in this decade including 12 majors -- that Tiger brought home the prize even though half the votes came in after his scandal broke.

"The voters, the editors around the country, were able to separate Tiger the man from Tiger the golfer, and they decided that his performance on the links was so good that whatever had happened in his personal life -- that really wasn't what they were deciding on," said John Affleck, AP sports enterprise editor.

Like many of his golf matches, the contest wasn't even close. Woods received 56 out of the total 142 votes cast, according to The Associated Press.

Bicyclist Lance Armstrong came in second with 33 votes, followed by Swiss tennis sensation Roger Federer and U.S. Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps.

Tiger's Crash and the Resulting Fallout

Trouble for Tiger's previously pristine image started in the middle of the night Nov. 27 when he crashed his SUV into a neighbor's tree, after hitting bushes and a fire hydrant. Woods was rushed to a local hospital.

The cause of Woods' late-night accident was not revealed, but rumors swirled that it was related to allegations that Woods' was having an affair with New York nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel.

Uchitel initially denied the allegations to the New York Post and said she and Tiger "are not friends," in a report published on Dec. 1.

But just as Uchitel was denying an affair with Woods, a Los Angeles cocktail waitress named Jamie Grubbs, came forward to claim that she did have a romantic relationship with the golf great and that she had proof in the form of more than "300 racy texts" and photos.

The next day, Dec. 2, Woods made a public statement on his Web site, apologizing for "transgressions" and "personal sins."

Since then, a steady stream of women -- including a porn star and a pancake waitress -- have claimed to had affairs with Woods.

Soon several major sponsors began rethinking their relationship with Woods and at least one major company, Accenture, dropped him completely.

For his part, Woods took an "indefinite" leave of golf and has otherwise stayed silent. Even his close friends, like former NBA star Charles Barkley, said they haven't been able to reach him.

"I think when you have these fires in your life, as I call them, you need to talk to somebody else who is famous, who have been through things in their life," Barkley said.

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