Stunning. Sensational. Breathtaking. No, not Tiger Woods, though he looked pretty good winning his second straight Masters title and third overall in Augusta, Ga., on April 14. The real buzz was about Tiger’s new Swedish girlfriend, Elin Nordegren, 22, a sometime model, who loves working out and says her favorite TV show is Sports-Center. “Tiger will never, ever find a better girl than Elin,” says her friend Bingo Rimér, a Swedish photographer. “She’s smart, beautiful, fresh, and she even enjoys golf.”
Woods, 26, split from his previous girlfriend of two years, law student Joanna Jagoda, 24, early last year. At the British Open in July, Swedish golf pro Jesper Parnevik introduced his pal Woods to Nordegren, then working as a nanny to Parnevik’s four children in Jupiter, Fla. A nifty twosome quickly developed. “Their chemistry is perfect,” Parnevik told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. “They have been in love with each other for a while.”
Raised in Vaxholm, a coastal town outside Stockholm—her mother, Barbro, is a political adviser and her father, Thomas, is a Swedish radio show host—Nordegren plans to study psychology but for now has quit her job to travel with Woods. At the Masters, Nordegren—who has a twin sister, Josefin—shadowed Tiger with his mother, Kultida, dressed in red and black on Sunday to match his traditional final-round outfit.
True to form, the ultraprivate Woods has been tight-lipped about his Swede-heart, admitting, when pressed by reporters at the Masters, only that “I’m happy.” As understatements go, that sounds a lot like saying Tiger’s golf game is “okay.”