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Woods marries his Swedish fiancee

Tiger Woods

BARBADOS, West Indies -- Tiger Woods married his Swedish girlfriend Elin Nordegren at a ceremony on the Caribbean island of Barbados, local media reported.

"They said 'I do' at 5:40 p.m. [2145 GMT] (on Tuesday)," said a reporter with the government-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation.

The couple came ashore on a skiff Wednesday morning from a yacht where they apparently spent their wedding night after a lavish celebration that reportedly cost Barbadian $3 million ($1.5m).

More than 500 roses were delivered to the luxury Sandy Lane resort in Barbados and a team of hairdressers from London were flown in.

A small army of armed security personnel patrolled the hotel and beach area, keeping onlookers, paparazzi and the curious at a distance.

The couple exchanged rings under an arch of flowers framed by the blue Caribbean and a spectacular sunset.

The guests then took their seats in a huge marquee, built on the hotel's golf course, to dine on flying fish, macaroni pie, shrimp cocktail followed by the finest champagne.

Woods, who is a follower of Buddhism, had asked for a simple ceremony.

Woods spent the hours before the wedding fishing, jet-skiing and snorkeling around the island.

The guests included former U.S. basketball stars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, American talk-show host and media entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Woods had rented out the entire Sandy Lane Hotel in St. James and its 112 rooms for his guests for several days. The rooms at the hotel go for $700 to $8,000 per night, according to the hotel's website.

Eight-times major winner Woods, widely regarded as the best player in the game since Jack Nicklaus, is one of the world's wealthiest athletes with a fortune estimated at $370 million.

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 in the golf clubhouse overlooking the Caribbean Sea, he cried after giving a speech, witnesses said.

Nordegren's mother, Swedish immigration minister Barbro Holmberg, had left the Scandinavian country and was not expected back before Monday, her spokesman said, adding he did not know where she was.

The rock group Hootie and the Blowfish performed under a tent at the 19th hole of the Green Monkey golf course, witnesses said.

Then fireworks lit up the night skyline along Barbados' west coast, visible miles (kilometers) away.

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