Tiger Woods couldn’t stop grinning as he was crowned winner of the 2019 Masters this weekend — but it wasn’t just the trophy that put a smile on his face.
The golfing champion was seen giving his restaurant manager girlfriend Erica Herman — whom he has dated for 18 months — a huge embrace after the tournament, showing her off in front of the world’s cameras.
After 11 years without a major title, the couple’s public kiss cemented Erica as troubled Tiger’s savior.
The pair’s PDA comes just months after Tiger mouthed, “I love you” at Erica after winning the Ryder Cup last September.
It marked a change in the player, who has been dogged by scandal after he reportedly slept with around 120 women during his marriage to Elin Nordegren, who chased him out of the house with a golf club when she discovered his infidelities.
As well as being arrested for having five different drug types in his system and falling asleep at the wheel, Woods underwent surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his lower back last year.
So who is the woman who’s tamed Tiger?
The party girl who ‘chased Tiger like a puppy’
Erica announced the couple’s official status by wearing a “player spouse” badge, normally reserved for WAGs at the Presidents’ Cup in October 2017.
It’s believed that the golf star met her through his pop-up restaurant, The Woods Jupiter, in Florida, where she worked as a general manager for several months in 2017.
When their romance was made public Radar Online reported that Erica was known as a “big partier” within her inner circle. Insiders also said that Erica, who has a background in the hospitality trade, had been hoping to date the pro golfer for a decade.
Speaking to Sun Online in September, they claimed: “Erica’s been chasing Tiger around like a puppy for close to 10 years. I’m not sure if his wife knew, but I’m not sure how she couldn’t know.
“I can’t believe Tiger is out in public with her now.”
From clearing messy tables to dating a multimillionaire
It’s not clear whether Tiger personally hired Erica to work at his restaurant, but they crossed paths on several occasions during her time there.
The super-luxe sports bar, where staff wear Nike sneakers and classy sportswear while providing guests with hot towels after their finger food, is said to have a tight-knit staff team.
Erica stopped working at The Woods in February 2018.
Just two months after they made their relationship official in October 2017, Erica accompanied Tiger and his two children with Elin — daughter Sam, 11, and 9-year-old Charlie — to the Bahamas.
The restaurant manager was also spotted next to the children at the US Open in September 2017, although she and Tiger had not made their relationship public.
Just two days after making their relationship public, Erica accompanied him to court in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where he pleaded guilty to reckless driving after being found asleep in his car in May 2017.
She later joined him in the Royal box at Wimbledon in July 2018, putting on a united front once more.
New York Post