Originally created 10/04/04

Sources: Tiger to wed this week



BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Tiger Woods says he's planning a Caribbean vacation, but Barbados is abuzz with reports that he's set to wed Swedish model Elin Nordegren this week.

Newspapers in Barbados and Ireland have reported that the two will marry early this week at the Sandy Lane luxury resort on the Caribbean island's west coast.

Hotel manager Wilbert Mason said he doesn't know of any plans for a wedding. But two sources who said they had direct knowledge of the event told The Associated Press that it would be held Tuesday at the resort. They spoke on condition of anonymity.

Woods, 28, declined to confirm the reports, and when asked about a Caribbean vacation said only, "I'm ready to go diving. I'm ready to hop in that water and shoot some fish."

"All I can say is that I'm getting married in the future. I've narrowed it down to that," Woods told reporters in Ireland where he played in the American Express Championship. "I think you guys would be the last people I'd ever tell."

Woods asked Nordegren to marry him last December during a sunset walk at a game reserve in South Africa, where he was playing in the Presidents Cup.

Nordegren arrived in Barbados last Monday with four other women including her twin sister, according to an airport employee, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

On Sunday, two journalists said they spotted Nordegren riding an inflatable banana-shaped boat pulled by a jet ski.

Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent in Cleveland said he had no comment. The hotel was fully booked until Friday; its room rates this time of year range from $700 to $8,000 a night, according to its Web site.

Woods finished ninth in the American Express Championship that ended Sunday at the Mount Juliet Golf Course in Thomastown, Ireland, slipping to No. 3 in the world for the first time since May 1999.

Nordegren was working as a nanny for Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik when she met Woods three years ago at the British Open.

The ritzy Sandy Lane resort has hosted celebrities like tennis star Serena Williams and fashion designer Donatella Versace.

The resort is owned by Irishmen J.P. McManus and Dermot Desmond, who are reportedly friends of Woods.

Resort managers have said previously that they hope to invite Woods to strike the first ball at the resort's new Green Monkey golf course, which has yet to officially open.