Guests Include Jordan, Barkley and Winfrey
By PHILIP SPOONER, AP Sports
SANDY LANE BEACH, Barbados (Oct. 6) -- Tiger Woods and Swedish bride Elin Nordegren relaxed at a posh Barbados resort Wednesday a day after they were married in a lavish sunset ceremony that reportedly cost $1.5 million.
The couple came ashore on a skiff Wednesday morning from a yacht where they apparently spent their wedding night. They stayed a largely out of public view the day after the ceremony, which was held at sunset Tuesday in a white-netted pagoda decorated with red roses.
"Elin and Tiger want to keep this as a family thing," the bride's father, Thomas Nordegren, told The Associated Press by phone from the resort. "I'm sorry I can't give you any more information."
As the sun rose Wednesday, a rainbow arched over the yacht "Privacy" before the couple came ashore on a skiff, the California-born golf star in swimming trunks and carrying a wetsuit. They were accompanied by the bride's identical twin, Josefin. Both women wore shorts and tank tops, while one wore sunglasses and the other a black visor against the brilliant sunlight.
The Barbados Daily Nation newspaper quoted unidentified sources as saying that the event cost $1.5 million. Woods reportedly imported 500 red roses for the ceremony.
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey and former NBA stars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were among more than 120 guests seen by an Associated Press reporter perched on a hill overlooking the clubhouse of the Sandy Lane resort and golf course, which went to extraordinary lengths to shield the ceremony from journalists.
Nordegren, 24, met Woods three years ago while she was the nanny to the children of Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik.
At the ceremony, Nordegren wore an off-white sleeveless gown, according to the witnesses, while Woods, 28, wore a beige suit.
Woods' father, Earl, arrived at the resort about three hours before the wedding in a silver Rolls-Royce. At the reception, he cried after giving a speech, witnesses said. Woods' mother was seen on the beach at the resort Wednesday.
The rock group Hootie and the Blowfish performed under a tent at the "19th hole," a garden area of the Green Monkey golf course, witnesses said.
Then fireworks lit up the night skyline along Barbados' west coast, visible miles away.
Parnevik, who introduced the couple, skipped the wedding to play in this week's Michelin Championship in Las Vegas.
"There's such a brouhaha around it, so I chose to play instead," Parnevik told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet in Wednesday's editions. Parnevik said he and his wife "will celebrate Tiger and Elin later, a bit more privately."
But Parnevik said he already has the perfect wedding gift for them: "a specially edited DVD from the recording of Elin's bachelorette party."
On Tuesday, the couple appeared to be adhering to the tradition of not seeing each other before taking their vows, while the bride remained offshore on the yacht "Privacy."
The couple have refused to respond to reports of the wedding, and they did not make any public announcements to confirm it a day after the event.
Resort employees erected sheets of plywood and a crane hoisted large plants to try to block views of the event.
Two photographers approaching the reception area Tuesday were escorted away by Barbadian police, who helped provide security, along with private guards and a Barbados Coast Guard boat offshore. Another photographer was stopped on the water by Coast Guard officials Wednesday.
Woods' precautions appeared to encompass hiring the only helicopter charter company on the island, which said it was booked solid Tuesday -- a move that prevented journalists and photographers from flying over the event.
He also rented out the entire hotel, which has about 200 rooms ranging in price from $700 to $8,000 a night, according to the hotel's Web site.
Woods asked Nordegren to marry him in November 2003 during a sunset walk at a game reserve in South Africa, after he competed in the Presidents Cup.
On Sunday, Woods played in the American Express Championship at the Mount Juliet Golf Course in Thomastown, Ireland. He finished ninth, and slipped to No. 3 in the world for the first time since May 1999.
The Sandy Lane is owned by Irishmen J.P. McManus and Dermot Desmond, who reportedly are friends of Woods. The resort has hosted celebrities such as tennis star Serena Williams and fashion designer Donatella Versace.
Resort managers have said previously that they hoped to invite Woods to strike the first ball at the Green Monkey golf course, which has yet to officially open.
10/06/04 18:05 EDT