Who Is Tiger Woods’ Ex-Wife? All About Elin Nordegren

They’re friends now,” the source said. “Everything that happened in the past is in the past. They both decided to be adults and to do what was best for the kids. So they get along really well. Tiger says really great things about Elin. He never complains about her, ever. … The kids love them both.”

Here’s everything to know about Elin Nordegren and her marriage to golf superstar Tiger Woods.

She has an identical twin

Elin Nordegren

Ex-Frau von Tiger Woods, Elin Nordegren, über Ehe | Schweizer Illustrierte

Nordegren has an identical twin sister named Josefin. In 2010, she told PEOPLE that her parents never made them dress alike or otherwise conflated their identities; instead, they encouraged both girls to be independent.

“They rarely dressed us in the same clothes, and if they did, I always wore red and my sister always wore blue so no one would say the wrong name,” she told PEOPLE. “Everybody knew that red equals Elin and blue equals Josefin. They cut our hair differently and put my sister and me in different classes. Today I appreciate that they did that. My sister has been my best friend since the day we were born, and she is more than a best friend today.”

She is a child of divorce

Nordgren’s parents divorced when she was 7 years old, and she spent an equal amount of time with each of them growing up.

She told PEOPLE that her childhood and her parents’ exemplary co-parenting likely influenced her amicable post-divorce relationship with Woods. “Despite the split, I feel like the base was still there,” she said. “My mom showed me that it is possible to be on your own, be a mother and still pursue your career. My father moved to Germany in 1997, and my sister and I went with him for a year to study German and English. We did 11th grade at John F. Kennedy School in Berlin.”

Nordegren continued, explaining that her parents split was for the best and ultimately helped their children. “I really wanted my children to have a core family,” she said. “However, if there is no trust between the parents, I think it is better for the children that the parents split up. 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. I want to show my kids what my parents showed me as a child.”

She loves to travel

Elin Nordegren attends the 142nd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 07, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky

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Nordegren was bitten by the travel bug when she was a child and cherishes her European road trip memories to this day.

“Before my parents split up in 1987, they took my older brother Axel, my sister and me everywhere,” she told PEOPLE. “My brother is 13 months older than my sister and me, so we were like triplets growing up. We were the kind of family that spent every little penny left over on travel. They stuffed us into a little Fiat Panda and drove all around Europe as often as possible.”

Nordegren added that she’s been to every country in Europe multiple times, and has tried to give her kids similar travel experiences. “I think you teach your children a lot about the world when you travel,” she said.

She worked as a model and a nanny before meeting Woods

Tiger Woods and girlfriend Elin Nordegren attend the Golf Writers Association of America Awards Dinner April 10, 2002 at the Radisson Hotel in Augusta, GA

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Though Nordegren was a swimsuit model in her teens and a nanny in her early 20s, she never planned on making it her career.

“I did some modeling when I was younger. I was never very successful at it, and I didn’t intend to pursue it. It is flattering to be called a model, but I hardly think a few shoots in my teenage years make me a model,” she told PEOPLE in 2010.

Nordegren also worked as a nanny, and even spent a year nannying for Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik’s children. She had originally planned to continue studying Spanish in Barcelona, but her plans changed when she met the Parneviks and traveled to the U.S. with them.

“My intent was to go back to Sweden after a year and start my psychology studies,” she said. “‘Swimsuit model and nanny’ isn’t accurate today, but they are things that I have done. They were both great experiences.”

Parnevik was actually the one to introduce Nordegren to her future husband, Tiger Woods, though the pro golfer later said he regretted bringing the pair together.

She wasn’t interested in Woods at first

Tiger Woods poses with girlfriend Elin Nordegren during the opening ceremony for the 34th Ryder Cup September 26, 2002 in Sutton Coldfield, England

Part of what drew Woods to Nordegren was the fact that she had zero intention of dating him — she only agreed to go on a single date with him to get him off of her back, as PEOPLE reporter Steve Helling wrote in the biography Tiger: The Real Story. In fact, Nordegren had a boyfriend back in Sweden at the time.

The pair had a second date, where Nordegren began to realize that she actually liked Woods, even though he wasn’t her usual type.

“For the first time, Elin didn’t feel that she was with a celebrity; she felt that she was out with a nice, normal guy,” Helling wrote. “She was surprised to be falling for him so quickly.”

She and Woods married in October 2004

After dating for nearly three years, Woods and Nordegren married in Barbados in October 2004, choosing the tropical locale for its beautiful beaches and the privacy it afforded. Security guards kept onlookers away from the couple and their 200 guests, which included family, friends and A-list sports stars like Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley.

A source told PEOPLE that Woods kept his cool on the big day. “He didn’t act like he was going to get married,” they said. “He was very relaxed, like this was any other day for him.”

She shares two children with Woods

Tiger Woods holds his daugher, Sam, and stands next to his wife, Elin Nordegren, on the sidelines before the Cardinal game against the California Bears at Stanford Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Palo Alto, California

Nordegren and Woods became first-time parents with the birth of their daughter, Sam Alexis Woods, on June 18, 2007. They chose her name as a tribute to the nickname Woods’ father called him growing up.

Two years later, the couple welcomed their son, Charlie Axel Woods, on Feb. 8, 2009. The golf pro said they picked their son’s moniker because it “just fit,” while his middle name honors Nordegren’s brother.

Both children spent plenty of time on the golf course growing up, and were regularly seen cheering their father on alongside Nordegren at Woods’ tournaments. Charlie even took after his dad and became a competitive golfer himself — he most recently played alongside Woods at the PNC Championship in December 2022.

Woods’ infidelity put her on an “emotional rollercoaster”

Tiger Woods with his fiance Elin Nordegren arriving at the 35th Ryder Cup Matches Gala Dinner at the Fox Theater on September 15, 2004 in Detroit, Michigan

In November 2009, reports alleged that Woods had cheated on Nordegren with as many as a dozen other women. Nordegren declined to go into the sordid details of his alleged affairs. “I’ve been through hell,” she told PEOPLE. “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.”

When asked about learning of Woods’ affairs, Nordegren said: “[I was in] absolute shock and disbelief. I felt stupid as more things were revealed — how could I not have known anything? 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.”

She said that she and Woods tried for “months and months” to repair their relationship, but ended up calling it quits.

Nordegren added that her children and loved ones, including her twin sister Josefin, helped her through that difficult time. In particular, Josefin provided her with “emotional support” as well as help with “practical matters” following the split.


Woods paid her $100 million in their divorce settlement

While some reports initially reported that Nordegren’s divorce settlement payout from Woods was $750 million, she actually walked away from their marriage with $100 million. It wasn’t the outcome she had ultimately wanted, though she saw the benefits.

“Money doesn’t make you happy, but I have to be honest: It is making some things easier,” she told PEOPLE. “I have the opportunity to be with my children as much I want, and I am able to travel to see my family and also have them come here as often as I like.”

Nordegren added: “I was always going to have a career — with or without Tiger. Now that I will not be traveling and following Tiger around to golf tournaments, I will be able to finish my studies faster. Then I want to find a way to contribute and make a positive difference in people’s lives.”


She got a psychology degree after her divorce from Woods

Elin Nordegren walks off the stage after speaking during commencement ceremonies at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., Saturday, May 10, 2014

Following her split from Woods, Nordegren focused more of her time on earning her psychology degree, which she said helped her get over the divorce as well. She took one class at a time for nine years until she graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, with a 3.96 GPA, in 2014. She delivered her graduating class’ commencement address and touched on the media frenzy surrounding her split from Woods.

“Education has been the only consistent part of my life the last nine years. And it has offered me comfort. Education is one thing that no one can take away from you,” Nordegren said.

She addressed her classmates directly, adding: “When you told me stories about your full-time day jobs, about coming home to cook dinner for your families and about making sure your children were cared for while you were attending classes, you inspired me. … Whatever obstacle I was facing at the time, your stories and sharing helped me put things in perspective.”

Nordegren also recalled that she was “unexpectedly thrust into the media limelight” shortly after taking a communication and media course. “I should have taken more notes in that class!” she joked.

Nordegren told PEOPLE that her goal with her speech was to encourage other mothers to pursue their own education. “If I can inspire even one mom to go back and get her degree with the message that it’s never too late, then I am happy,” she said.


She has been in several relationships since her divorce from Woods

Nordegren began dating following her split from Woods. Her first post-divorce relationship was with American financier Jamie Dingman in 2011, but they split after less than a year together. Sources said she wasn’t ready for anything serious at the time.

In 2013, Nordegren began dating West Virginia coal billionaire Chris Cline, who was 20 years her senior. At the time, a source told PEOPLE that the pair had a friendship that blossomed into a romance. However, the source also noted that their relationship at the time was “nothing serious” and “casual.”

Nordegren and Cline were together for four years before breaking up in 2017. In 2019, Cline and his daughter, Kameron, died in a helicopter crash off the Bahamas coast.


She’s one of Woods’ “best friends”

Tiger Woods and his wife Elin walk down the catwalk during the Ryder Cup Gala Dinner at Citywest Hotel and Golf Resort September 20, 2006 in Dublin, Ireland

In a 2015 interview with TIME, Woods said that he spoke transparently to his and Nordegren’s children about why they divorced.

“I’ve taken the initiative with the kids, and told them upfront, ‘Guys, the reason why we’re not in the same house, why we don’t live under the same roof, Mommy and Daddy, is because Daddy made some mistakes,’ ” he told the outlet.

Woods also spoke positively of his ex. “She’s one of my best friends. We’re able to pick up the phone, and we talk to each other all the time,” he said five years after they split. “We both know that the most important things in our lives are our kids. I wish I would have known that back then.”

Woods continued: “She talks to me about her life, I talk to her about my life. We try to help each other out on all occasions. And we work through it with the kids, the parenting program. She is one of my best friends now, and it’s all because of my kids. … We’ve worked so hard at co-parenting.”


She has “no interest” in Woods’ personal life

In October 2022, Woods’ ex-girlfriend Erica Herman filed a lawsuit against the pro golfer, claiming he owed her $30 million. News of the lawsuit hit headlines when Herman filed a separate lawsuit in March 2023 regarding a non-disclosure agreement she signed in August 2017.

A source later told PEOPLE that Nordegren has “no interest” in Woods’ personal life or the lawsuits.

“This aspect of Tiger’s life is not her concern,” the insider said. “Of course, she needs to be very confident that the children are safe and happy around anyone that Tiger is with, especially if the romance becomes serious. To that degree, she is very interested. But not on much else.”

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