Tiger Woods' mother-in-law leaves hospital

Barbro Holmberg returns to golfer's Florida home after treatment for stomach pain

The mother-in-law of scandal-hit golfing superstar Tiger Woods was taken by ambulance to an Orlando hospital in the early hours yesterday morning after complaining of stomach pain.

Officials confirmed that emergency crews made a middle-of-the-night visit to Woods' mansion for the second time in as many weeks after receiving a call asking for urgent medical assistance. Media pictures showed a middle-aged blonde woman being loaded into an ambulance at the home. She remained under observation for 11 hours, before returning to the Woods' home.

Later, a spokesman for the Health Central Hospital in Ocoee, Florida, confirmed that the woman was Barbro Holmberg, a politician from Sweden and the mother of Woods' wife, the former model Elin Nordegren. No details about her condition were released other than that she was stable.

She was being treated in the same hospital that received Woods on 27 November when he rushed out of his property, also in the early hours of the morning, in his Cadillac SUV, and crashed into a tree and a fire hydrant, reportedly after a furious row with Ms Nordegren, with whom he has two children.

The accident set in motion a media storm that has continued to intensify as more details emerged about an alleged series of infidelities committed by Woods since his marriage to Ms Nordegren in 2004. In the days since no fewer than nine women, ranging from night-club hostesses to diner waitresses, have come forward to claim that they have been party to his extra-marital transgressions.

The whereabouts of Ms Nordegren herself was the object of renewed speculation yesterday. Local media reports in Florida said she had moved out of the marital mansion and into a nearby property reports from Sweden said she had bought a house on an isolated island near Stockholm.

Ms Nordegren has issued no statements, however, regarding the circumstances of the November car crash. Woods posted an apology on his website last week for unspecified "transgressions" that he regretted with "all of my heart". His words seemed only to fuel the tempest, however.

A New York divorce lawyer, Raoul Felder, said it should be no surprise to anyone if it appears that Ms Nordegren is not running away from her husband yet. "Money, that's what it's all about," he commented. "$75 to $80 million is what Elin stands to get now."

He noted that before the scandal erupted, her prenuptial agreement with her husband would, according to media reports, only have assured her a $20m deal at the end of 10 years.

The world's best golfer, whose sex drive has suddenly become of greater fascination to his fans than his drive on the links, was barely reprimanded after the crash with a fine of just $164 for careless driving.

But a highway patrol report made public this week mentioned a witness saying that Woods had been drinking before the crash and that he had been prescribed two drugs by his doctors, Ambien and Vicodin. It also said that police officers had sought to subpoena results of a blood test from the hospital to affirm the presence of alcohol but the effort had failed.

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