'The marriage between the parties is irretrievably broken'
The world's No 1 golfer, Tiger Woods, and his Swedish wife, Elin Nordegren, divorced on Monday following the torrid sex scandal that engulfed Woods late last year.
Woods, reputed to be the world's wealthiest sports star, and Nordegren, a former model and nanny, issued a statement confirming the divorce, which had been widely anticipated for months after his public confession of infidelity in a blaze of publicity.
The couple was at the Bay County Circuit Court in Florida when their marriage was dissolved.
"The marriage between the parties is irretrievably broken," read a court document published by the celebrity website TMZ.
The joint statement by Woods and Nordegren through their lawyers made no mention of any monetary settlement involved in the divorce and the attorneys declined to comment on the existence of any such settlement.
The statement said the divorce judgment provided for shared custody of their two young children and asked for privacy for the family.
"We are sad that our marriage is over and we wish each other the very best for the future," said the joint statement, which was also posted on Wood's website, http://web.tigerwoods.com.
Image: Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren in happier times
'The happiness of our children is of paramount importance'
Woods, who has won 14 major championships, returned to the game in April after losing up to $35 million in sponsorship revenue as his private life unraveled over allegations that surfaced in late November and December about affairs between him and several women.
The revelations surfaced after a bizarre middle-of-the-night car accident at the couple's luxury Florida home where Woods crashed into a tree and a fire hydrant. Nordegren told police she smashed the car's back window with a golf club to get him out.
In February, he apologized publicly for cheating on his wife and underwent therapy. "I was unfaithful, I had affairs, I cheated," Woods said at the time.
Woods and Nordegren have a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son.
"While we are no longer married, we are the parents of two wonderful children and their happiness has been, and will always be, of paramount importance to both of us," the statement said.
"The weeks and months ahead will not be easy for them as we adjust to a new family situation, which is why our privacy must be a principal concern."
Image: Tiger Woods (left) with daughter Sam, mother Kultida and his wife Elin Nordegren in 2008
'Life has changed'
Woods' golf game has been erratic since his return to the sport. He has yet to win this year after nine starts on the US tour and he conceded before the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational he had been unable to practice as much as normal.
After revelations of his martial infidelities, he lost endorsement deals with companies like Accenture Plc and AT&T Inc.
Other sponsors like Procter & Gamble Co Gillette, Berkshire Hathaway Inc's NetJets unit, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA's Tag Heuer and TLC Vision, shifted away from using Woods in marketing, but did not end their contracts with him.
With his divorce being finalized and golf tournaments keeping him on the road for at least a week at a time, Woods has tried to see his two young children whenever possible.
"Life has changed," he said. "I haven't practiced as much as I used to, nor should I. My kids are more important."
The greatest player of his generation, Woods has lost the aura of invincibility he once enjoyed over his golfing rivals since his double life was exposed at the end of last year.
He has not won anywhere in the world since the Australian Masters last November.q
Image: Tiger Woods