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Feature on Woods/Vonn relationship

Photos of Tiger Woods enjoying some recreational fun jet skiing with his two children and new girlfriend Lindsey Vonn seemed heartwarming and sincere when they surfaced in the tabloids and on entertainment television a little more than a week ago.

At least until Woods fired the worst front nine of his life, shooting a 44 on the front nine on the third day at the Memorial last Saturday and finishing the tournament tied for 65th, 20 strokes behind winner Matt Kuchar.

At that point, the critics fell upon Woods like wolves, the hardest he's been hit since he admitted to his multiple infidelities while married to former wife Elin Nordegren in late 2009.

Suddenly everyone had an opinion on Woods' burgeoning relationship with Vonn, an athletic superstar in her own right as the face of American skiing.

Tiger shouldn't be taking vacations in the middle of the season, they said. Tiger needs to work more on his putting and less on his tan, they quipped.

Currently ranked No. 1 in the world, Woods clearly isn't having too many problems playing golf these days. And as a man who endured massive public humiliation and criticism from the time the scandal first broke into well after his August 2010 divorce from his wife, it's really remarkable that he's come this far back to being the best golfer on the planet.

Finding happiness following divorce is something Vonn can attest to. Her divorce after four years of marriage was finalized in January 2013. She and Woods publicly announced they were an item about two months later.

Considering just how famous Woods is, and how much his every move is watched, recorded and photographed, kudos should be given to him for getting out and enjoying both his new relationship and his kids, regardless of how many paparazzi cameras are on hand to stalk them.

If Woods wants advice on how to successfully date a gorgeous superstar from another sport, he would do wise to hit up fellow pro Rory McIlroy, who has been dating Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki since 2011. Wozniacki, a former No. 1 player on the WTA tour who has been in the Top 10 for more than five years, and McIlroy keep their relationship fairly public, showing up to cheer on each other at tournaments when possible and carefully deflecting any and all questions regarding a potential engagement.

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