WHAT'S WORTH $5 million to
a) Discretion from N.Y. party planner/alleged mistress Rachel Uchitel.
b) Wife Elin Nordegren's forgiveness.
c) A new endorsement contract for a cheaters' Web site.
d) All of the above.
Yeah, it's just too easy, isn't it? "Nine Iron" Woods (not speculation, just the only golf term we know) is attempting to purchase Uchitel's silence, the Web site Daily Beast says, particularly about sweet-talkin' texts and e-mails that might further enrage his wife, spotted in recent days not wearing her wedding rings.
Which brings us to the next $5 million, coming up in reported negotiations between Woods and his maligned missus to preserve their union for at least two more years. She'd get $5 million now, then add another 5 - as in $55 million - to play the good spouse for a specified period. There's precedent for putting Elin on the payroll. Apparently Tiger's been buying his outside ladies' silence to the tune of $5,000 to $20,000 a month. That's gotta be adding up, as new mistresses are identified almost daily (see below).
Which brings us to the last $5 million. Even as many sponsors back away from the shamed golf legend, at least one has a contract offer: AshleyMadison.com, a dating site for people in relationships.
_ The latest, and perhaps longest-lasting Woodswoman has been identified as Theresa Rogers, a 40something Floridian whose affair reportedly pre- and post-dated Woods' five-year-old marriage. Nice to know he's capable of some loyalty. That brings the total to between 11 and 16 women, depending how you do the math.
_ Nordegren's Swedish countrymen (and women) "are brimming with pride" over her handling of the scandal. Newspaper articles have increasingly focused on Nordegren, who met Woods while she was nanny to a Swedish golfer. " . . . our Swedish hearts are brimming with pride that our own Elin - not a regular nanny but the daughter of a Social Democratic minister and Swedish Radio journalist - didn't take any . . . ," wrote Britta Svensson, a columnist in the newspaper Expressen.
"For us, it was almost a positive thing that she smashed the car window," added Niklas Olovzon, a sponsorship and brand expert. "We like strong women in a lot of ways."
_ A Canadian doctor who has treated Woods, swimmer Dara Torres and NFL players is under investigation in the U.S. and Canada for possibly providing performance-enhancing drugs. Would Tiger Woods' between-the-sheets performances have been possible without enhancers? A question for another day, since the drugs referenced here improve athletic skills. Dr. Anthony Galea was arrested Oct. 15 in Toronto, and the FBI has been brought in to the investigation, first reported by the New York Times. Speaking to the newspaper, Galea denied the allegations.
_ Perhaps with an eye toward a new line of collectibles, sports card and memorabilia maker Upper Deck Co. said yesterday it would continue its relationship with Woods.
_ Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer said it, too, would continue to use Woods, its pitchman since 2002. "He's the best in his domain," a company spokeswoman said, referring, we hope, to golf. "We respect his performance in the sport."
A-Rod's no slouch, either
Kate Hudson was nowhere in sight last weekend in Miami as Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez was telling the ladies, "I'm definitely single."
Isn't that Tiger's line? Reports are that the couple, who hooked up in May, have parted. Their respective reps deny it.
Daily News wire services contributed to this report.
Howard Gensler was on assignment yesterday.