Tiger Woods fired a second-round 7-under 65 on Friday to take a two-shot lead at this week’s Farmers Insurance Open. But -- as it has been since that fateful Thanksgiving night in 2009 -- it was the private life of golf’s former No. 1 that had tongues wagging.
These days, tabloids are linking Woods -- rumored just recently to be attempting to woo back ex-wife Elin Nordegren -- with Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn. In fact, with various reports calling them an item since November (though Vonn told the Denver Post last month the two superstars were “just friends), the skier’s spokespersons issued a statement that managed neither to deny nor confirm that the duo may be challenging Rory McIlroy/Caroline Wozniacki and Dustin Johnson/Paulina Gretzky for sports’ new “It” couple.
“Lindsey is currently in the midst of the World Cup season in Europe,” a Vonn flack told Us Weekly. “Her focus is solely on competing and on defending her titles and thus she will not participate in any speculation surrounding her personal life at this time.”
The ubiquitous and ever-trustworthy “unnamed sources” have squawked to various gossip sites that Woods and Vonn met through the “ski community,” according to HollywoodLife.com.
In case skiing may not be the wisest off-course hobby for Tiger, what with his oft-injured, surgically repaired left knee and all, Woods watchers have spotted him and his new blonde and athletic (sound familiar, Elin?) honey as far afield as Austria and Antigua in the Caribbean.
For Vonn, dating a man she reportedly mocked mercilessly after his made-for-TV mea culpa in 2010 (when she was still married to her ski coach, Thomas Vonn) would seem an odd choice. In response to reports that Woods hugged some friends after his nationally televised statement -- which she had missed due to her Winter Games obligations -- Vonn purportedly joked, "They're like, 'Yeah, you're awesome, you go have that sex,’” according to Time Magazine.
She went on to set the scene for a Saturday Night Live spoof she hoped to star in should the opportunity arise. Vonn would stand earnestly at Woods’ podium and offer a somber confession: "There's something you don't know about me. Tiger, you're like my idol, and I too have a sex problem.”
So what’s more difficult to believe -- that the woman who publicly ridiculed Woods’ staged non-presser has entered the lair of one of the most notorious womanizers in sports history, or that “active skier” (according to “a source close to Lindsey”) Tiger (bad wheel and all) would risk his career by wiping out on the slopes?
Don’t bother asking Woods about it, by the way. Earlier this month, he shut down any talk about speculation that he had asked Nordegren to remarry him, and we assume he would have a similar response -- if not just an icy glare -- to queries about Vonn.
“I am not going to comment on my private life,” said Woods, prior to missing the cut in the Abu Dhabi Championship.