Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren finalized their divorce Monday, less than nine months after their infamous Thanksgiving night spat that culminated in a single-car accident. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, although TMZ is reporting Nordegren will receive $100 million from the golfer. Here's what people are saying about the end of our long, filthy national nightmare:
An Opportunity The New York Post's George Willis believes the split will be a godsend for Woods's struggling game. "Now Woods can move on with his life and his career as best he can," writes Willis. "A divorce decree doesn't end the emotional strain, but at least that part of the process has been settled, allowing Woods to refocus on his career." Woods would be wise, Willis argues, to treat his appearance this weekend at the 2010 Barclays tournament in New Jersey as a "new beginning, a chance for him to create as much positive energy as he can as the golf season trickles toward an end."
Racing the Clock to Repair the Damage Unlike Willis, Sports Illustrated's Michael Bamberger is skeptical of the notion that finalizing the divorce will enable Woods to recommit himself to golf. Writes Bamberger:
Lots of people who know Woods have told me that his competitive fire burns so deep that there is no question that he'll do whatever it takes, in terms of putting in the work, to get his form back. I don't think so. Woods's greatness was built on talent, of course, and a work ethic the likes of which golf has never seen before. What's going to be Tiger's drive now? He doesn't have anything to prove to himself as a golfer. His kids won't care whether he ever wins another major or not. No matter how much money this divorce costs him, he'll still have more money than he'll ever need. It's not a question of whether he'll log the range time. He'll put in the hours. But the need to be great at golf? I just don't see how it will ever be what it was when he and Earl were figuring out things for the first time. You can't turn back the clock.
Happy Swedes The citizens of Nordegren's native Sweden are ecstatic, writes Katarina Andersson of The Daily Beast. "The culture of child-rearing in Sweden ensures that girls have a strong sense of self," explains Andersson. "Swedes definitely did not want was for Elin to shrink into the victim's role of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's wife, Silda...nor did they want Elin to take the route of Hillary Clinton, who also chose to stand by her man after his embarrassing affair with an intern." Andersson says the standard-bearer for "the Swedish way" of handling domestic strife is Princess Madeline who "quickly ditched her fiancé in April after he was caught with a Norwegian beauty on a ski trip" and "got on the first plane to New York to forget all about him and have some fun with her girlfriends."
Poised Elin CBS Sports golf writer Steve Ellin says any critique of Nordegren is disingenuous. Nordegren "was as classy as humanly possible throughout a humiliating ordeal." Ellin doesn't see how the situation could have ended any other way. "What would anybody have done in her situation? Taken him back?" he asks rhetorically. "Not if she has an ounce of self-respect. And she has that in pounds."
The Takeaway The Greeks would have appreciated Woods' fall, muses The New York Times' Charles McGrath. What's happened to Woods over the last nine months is proof "to be a god may not be such a great thing after all." McGrath notes, "If we didn't learn that from mythology, we know it now from seeing what use Woods made of his godly perks. But to suddenly become a mortal after being awarded locker room privileges on Olympus is surely no fun. Woods may recover his game, but that most exclusive of clubs won't have him back."