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Thoughts on Tiger Woods and Bachelorhood

This was written by golf writer Steve Elling

Fleeting, first-blush thoughts about the Tiger Woods divorce, finalized with the assistance of no fewer than eight attorneys in a Panamanian courthouse on Monday...

Make that a Panama City courthouse, though it sounds a lot less dramatic.

What happens next? With this weight off his shoulders and joint custody of the kids, he can't possibly play any worse. We think.

As usual, only the lawyers win in this sort of deal. Eight of them? One of them was Elin's twin sister, Josefin Lonnborg. So at least they kept some of the money in the family. Probably not the twin-sister tag-team Tiger envisioned.

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren Divorce

Woods hates spending money. If he was able to hold a pen steadily enough to write a check for $100 million, the unconfirmed settlement figure, who is to say his putting stroke won't again improve? That took some mettle, knowing how that guy is fiscally wired.

Tiger "Probably Overpaid" Elin; $100M Pact?

How will it affect Woods' play? Hard to say. Many of us thought his performance would improve once he shed himself of that posse of gold-digging pole dancers he was hanging around for the past couple of years.

Note to cavemen out there: It's unfair to pin any of this on Elin, who was as classy as humanly possible throughout a humiliating ordeal. What would anybody have done in her situation? Taken him back? Not if she has an ounce of self-respect. And she has that in pounds.

You can bet the back-room reaction in Ponte Vedra Beach will involve back slaps and high-fives. After all, having closure on this issue can't possibly hurt Woods' chances of knocking the tarnish off his star and helping the flagging PGA Tour fortunes. TV ratings are down 16 percent this year already, according to the New York Times and Nielsen.

Now single, Woods is free to socially associate with anybody. Any. Body. The paparazzi are smiling and buying lens cleaner by the crate.

They each had to complete a four-hour online child-rearing session as part of Florida custodial process. Elin was a nanny before becoming mother to Tiger's two kids. She attended Rollins College while Tiger was on tour. Guessing it was just a tad tougher for the absentee dad to complete than mom.

Who gets the new bazzillion-dollar mansion on Jupiter Island? Elin designed much of it, never really liked Isleworth, and all of the Swedes on tour live in Jupiter. The Swedes are a tight-knit bunch. Guessing that narrows down the answer somewhat. Betting he stays based in Orlando.

According to Bloomberg, court filings indicate his full name is Eldrick Tont Woods. That could not have been easy in grade school. I swear, for the past decade, everybody thought the middle initial T. was short for Tiger. Just another bad assumption on our part about the life and times of Tiger Woods.

If you believe the rumored settlement figure and need a real-world look at what it means: Translated into career PGA Tour earnings, Elin Woods would stand at No. 1, exactly $6.27 million more than her ex-husband's earnings total.

Woods is playing this week in the FedEx Cup series opener in New Jersey. Emphasis on the Ex part.

The court charged the couple $397.50 in fees for the divorce. In the time it took to read that sentence, Tiger made that much money from Nike alone.

Somewhere, PGA Tour rookie Matt Every is reading that Tiger was relieved to get shared custody of the kids and thinking, "I got a three-month suspension for joint custody." Google it.

Newly emancipated or not, Vegas isn't envisioning a huge change in his results. The Las Vegas Hilton has Rory McIlroy listed as the favorite this week at The Barclays at 10/1, with Woods and Phil Mickelson as joint 12/1 picks. The PGA Championship marked the first time since 1997 that Woods was not favored to win a major championship.

Greg Norman and Chris Evert got divorced in Key West, far from media scrutiny. Woods and Elin opted for the other end of the state, in the semi-remote Panhandle. By the time anybody knew they were in court, it was over.