News Column

Tiger Woods-Lindsey Vonn Pairing Faces Some Obstacles

March 20, 2013
Tiger Woods, Lindsey Vonn

Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn make a pretty pair in the pictures they posted on Facebook on Monday, but relationship experts don't expect wedding bells.

"The chances for a successful relationship are pretty slim," Wendy Walsh, a Los Angeles-based psychologist and relationship expert and author of The 30-Day Love Detox, told USA TODAY Sports. "It's going to be very challenging. They will have far more challenges than most people have. They're under such a microscope. It's just really hard to have a normal relationship with the world looking around every corner.

"Because of Tiger's notorious infidelities, he'll be under such a microscope. Every time he talks to a pretty girl on the golf course, Lindsey is going to hear about it."

Also skeptical is the oddsmaker Bovada, which will take bets on 4-to-1 odds that Woods and Vonn will be engaged by Jan. 1, 2015.

Woods, golf's biggest star, and Vonn, skiing's biggest star, confirmed in Facebook postings Monday the long-standing news reports that they are a couple. Vonn wrote that their friendship grew "into something more over these past few months and it has made me very happy."

Woods, 37, and Vonn, 28, asked the media and their fans to respect their privacy, but at the same time posted a series of posed photographs.

"It looks like an advertisement, doesn't it?" Walsh says. "It looks like they want us to know something. What is it they want us to know? Maybe Tiger is saying that he really can be in a healthy monogamous relationship. I have to say it's kind of fascinating how much she (Vonn) looks like his ex-wife. I guess we all have a type, don't we?"

Woods and Elin Nordegren, a blond former model from Sweden, divorced after Woods' series of infidelities became known. Vonn recently was divorced from Thomas Vonn, a former ski racer who became her coach and adviser as well as husband.

Both have dealt with fallout from their past. Woods went into therapy after his extramarital affairs became headlines. Vonn has acknowledged being treated for depression.

"It could be an accident waiting to happen," Bonnie Eaker Weil, a relationship therapist in New York and author of Make Up, Don't Break Up, said of the Woods-Vonn pairing.

But Weil said Woods and Vonn can be helpful to one another in getting through past issues. "You can't say hello until you've said goodbye," she says. "They have a lot in common. Both are trying to overcome a painful past and get on with a new beginning. They can help each other work through old relationships."

In the long run, Weil says, "Rebounds never work. I would say what they have is pseudo-intimacy. I do not think it has a chance for the long haul."

Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn posted a series of photos while officially confirming their relationship.

Source: Copyright USA TODAY 2013

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