Gustafson and Votaw divorce

February 02, 2010

It's the end of a union that had all the ingredients of a fairy-tale romance.

When then-LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw began dating LPGA Tour player Sophie Gustafson in 2003 while still married to (though separated from) his first wife, Paula Keiffer, it caused an uproar in the world of golf--and sports in general. Could a commissioner hook up with one of his players? Wasn't that a conflict of interest?

In the end, after Votaw offered to resign, the LPGA board of executives decided in a unanimous emergency vote that it wasn't. The commissioner got to stay, he married his new love in 2006, and they lived happily ever after.

At least that's how the fairy-tale version would have wrapped up. In real life, a judge in St. John's County, Fla., just granted the couple a divorce after less than four years of marriage. No official reason for the split has been given, but it's safe to assume that the demands of Votaw's new job as executive VP of the PGA Tour and Gustafson's increasingly international tournament schedule (she won the Ladies European Tour's Henderson money title for 2009) made it difficult to stay close.


--Stina Sternberg