- Associated Press - Thursday, August 26, 2010

PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) - The woman who doesn’t think much of Tiger Woods as a husband has little doubt about his future as a golfer.

“I know he is going to go down as the best golfer who ever lived, and rightfully so,” Elin Nordegren, his ex-wife, says in an interview with People magazine. “I feel privileged to have witnessed a part of his golfing career.”

He’s not looking so great at the moment.

Still the No. 1 player in the world ranking _ barely _ Woods has not won in any of his nine tournaments this year, the longest he has ever gone without a victory. For more telling evidence of his game, look no further than the FedEx Cup standings.

Woods was the No. 1 seed the past three years. He starts the PGA Tour playoffs this time at No. 112, needing to have a decent tournament at The Barclays just to advance to the second round next week.

And perhaps the most telling of all? Because of his low seeding, he will be the first to tee off Thursday at Ridgewood Country Club.

Has that ever happened before?

“First off on Saturday and Sunday, yes,” Woods said, a joke that barely registered with the media. “But not the first two days.”

At some point, the focus will return almost exclusively to his golf.

Just not quite yet.

Nine months after he was caught in a web of infidelity, Woods and Nordegren divorced on Monday. It was announced through a press release from their lawyers, after a hearing that lasted no more than 10 minutes.

Ready to start a new chapter on Wednesday at Ridgewood, he was confronted with yet another story. Nordegren, in what she said will be her only interview, spent 19 hours over four visits with People magazine to give her side of this tale. It was short on details _ exactly what happened that night after Thanksgiving that caused Woods to drive off in wee morning hours and crash into a tree, and how much he paid in the divorce settlement _ and chock-full of heartfelt emotion.

“I’ve been through hell,” Nordegren said in the interview, which the magazine released about the time Woods teed off in his pro-am. “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.”

Woods spoke to the magazine, so this was no surprise.

The surprise came on the first hole of his pro-am, after he hit his approach to the green. Andrea Peyser, a New York Post columnist, walked out into the fairway with notepad and pen to ask him questions. She had never been to a golf tournament and was not aware that reporters were to stay by the ropes.

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