On Monday, the Facebook announcement included photos and a statement from Woods saying, “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. We thank you for your support and for respecting our privacy.”
Speaking to USA Today Sports, Dr. Wendy Walsh, a psychologist and relationship expert, was not optimistic about Woods and Vonn’s longevity as a couple. “They will have far more challenges than most people have," Dr. Walsh said. "They're under such a microscope. It's just really hard to have a normal relationship with the world looking around every corner.”
Another aspect that will prove difficult to Woods and Vonn’s relationship involves the golfer’s past infidelity. His divorce, and cheating scandal, gained mainstream attention, and any action by Woods will be scrutinized heavily.
Vonn’s physical resemblance to Woods’ ex-wife was also noticed by Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, another relationship expert that spoke to USA Today Sports, remarking that Vonn “could be looking to replace her.”
Both relationship experts did not consider age a factor, with Woods being 37 years old and Vonn being 28 years old, but Dr. Walsh did note that Vonn would have to consider if she was ready for a child if the two athletes continued dating.
Woods could be using Vonn, and their relationship, as a way to show that he can have a healthy relationship, but both individuals are coming off divorces. Vonn was married to fellow skier Thomas Vonn, who was also her coach, notes USA Today. Woods went to therapy following the scandal, while Vonn admitted she was suffering from depression in a 2012 interview with People.
Woods and Vonn, being the top star in golf and skiing, respectively, will also have to deal with travel and other obligations that their sports require of them, putting a strain on the relationship.
While the relationship experts wish the couple well, the odds that the couple will last are not good. In fact, bookmaker Bovada is taking bets on how long the couple will last, reports the Spread. Bovada is placing -400 odds on “yes,” Woods and Vonn will be engaged by Jan. 1, 2015, and +600 odds for “no.” Bets on if the couple will last until Jan. 1, 2014, yield -200 odds for “yes” and +150 odds for “no.” According to those odds, Bovada is skeptical Woods and Vonn will get engaged but believes that relationship could last until 2014.