After months of speculation, Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn made their relationship official today, posting statements and pictures online.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) March 18, 2013
On Facebook, the resurgent golf star wrote that while his recent wins on the PGA Tour have been great, "Something nice that's happened off the course was meeting Lindsey Vonn. Lindsey and I have been friends for some time, but over the last few months we have become very close and are now dating."
Meanwhile Vonn, who recently won a record sixth straight World Cup downhill title even after suffering a devastating knee injury, simultaneously posted a similar statement on her Facebook page. The 28-year-old Olympic skiier wrote that while it wasn't exactly a "well-kept secret," she was indeed dating the 37-year-old golfer:
Our relationship evolved from a friendship into something more over these past few months and it has made me very happy. I don't plan on addressing this further as I would like to keep that part of my life between us, my family and close friends. Thank you for understanding and your continued support! xo LV
Yahoo! Sports noted that the very public nature of the relationship announcement was surprising, given Woods' past emphasis on keeping his private life private.
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Media outlets were quick to analyze the photos published alongside the dual announcements, with several noting that Woods' sponsorship logo (Nike) is more pronounced that Vonn's (Under Armour).
Rumors about a potential romantic relationship between the two stars date back several months, however, forcing Vonn to insist the two were "just friends" in December.
Nevertheless, a January article in Hollywood Life claimed Vonn had been teaching Woods' two kids to ski. And the Daily Mail reported in February that the pair appeared to have spent a weekend together on Woods' yacht.
Both athletes have been married previously. Vonn finalized her divorce from her former coach, Thomas Vonn, in January. Woods and ex-wife Elin Nordegren split in 2010.