Tiger Woods was born Eldrick Woods on December 30, 1975, in Cypress, California. He is the only child of Earl and Kultida Woods. His parents identified their son's talent at an unusually early age. They said that he was playing with a putter before he could walk. The boy was gifted not only with exceptional playing abilities, but he also possessed a passion for the sport. Woods first gained national attention on a talk show when he beat the famed comedian and avid golfer Bob Hope (1903–) in a putting contest.
The young boy was only three at the time, and he was quickly hailed as a prodigy, or a child with remarkable talent. Not long after that, when he was five years old, Woods was featured on the popular television show That's Incredible!Tiger's father has never denied that he devoted his energies to developing his son's talent and to furthering the boy's career as a golfer.
During practice sessions, Tiger learned to maintain his composure and to hold his concentration while his father persistently made extremely loud noises and created other distractions. All the while, Tiger's mother made sure that her son's rare talent and his budding golf career would not interfere with his childhood or his future happiness. His mother was a native of Thailand and passed on to her son the mystical ideals of Buddhism, an eastern religion that seeks to go beyond human suffering and existence.
In many ways Woods grew up as a typical middle-class American boy. He developed a taste for junk food and an affection for playing video games. He also spent a fair share of his time clowning around in front of his father's ever-present video camera. As for playing golf, there is no question that the sport was the focus of his childhood. He spent many hours practicing his swing and playing in youth tournaments.
Woods was eight years old when he won his first formal competition. From that point he became virtually unstoppable, winning trophies and breaking amateur records everywhere. Media accounts of the boy prodigy had reached nearly legendary proportions by 1994, when he entered Stanford University as a freshman on a full golf scholarship. Visit Greatest Golfers of all Time and read more about Tiger Woods.
During Woods's first year of college, he won the U.S. Amateur title and qualified to play in the Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia, in the spring of 1995. Although he played as an amateur—not for prize money—Woods's reputation preceded him. By 1996, Woods had won three U.S. Amateur titles, one after another, an amazing accomplishment in itself. Woods was only twenty years old, and in August of 1996, he decided to quit college in order to play professional golf.
Four months later in December, Woods celebrated his twenty-first birthday. He marked the occasion with a legal name change, from Eldrick to Tiger. Woods had been called Tiger by his father even as a youngster. The nickname stuck, and Woods had always been known to his friends, and to the press, as Tiger. It soon became evident that he was destined for success. Sports Illustrated named him 1996 "Sportsman of the Year," and by January of 1997, he had already won three professional tournaments. He was a media sensation.
In April of 1997, only eight months into Woods's professional career, he played in the prestigious (important and famous) Masters tournament held at Georgia's Augusta National Golf Club. The Masters title is perhaps the greatest honor in the world of golf. In addition to hefty prize money, first-place winners are awarded a green blazer to symbolize their membership among the top golfers in the world.
When the tournament was over, Woods had made history as the youngest person ever to win the Masters title. His score was an unprecedented 270 strokes. His victory margin set another record—twelve strokes ahead of the runner-up. This feat was enhanced by the fact that Woods was the first man of color ever to win the title. He accepted all of these honors with grace and humility, and gave tribute to the African American golfers who came before him and helped pave the way. He also honored his mother (who is Asian) by reminding the world of his diverse ethnic background; he is African American, Thai, Chinese, Native American, and Caucasian.
Less than three months passed until July 6, 1997, when Woods won the Western Open, another major golf tournament. Critics credited his amazing success to relentless work and an extraordinary desire to win. If your looking for amazing golf equipment just click here: golfgearsdirect.com.au
Woods is credited too with popularizing the sport of golf, not only among African American people and other minorities, but among children of all backgrounds. His personal sponsorship of programs for children has been reported for years, and at least one corporate sponsor found that in order to secure an endorsement (an official document of agreement) from Tiger Woods the price would include the added cost of a generous donation to the Tiger Woods Foundation for inner city children.
In 1999 Woods achieved the greatest moment in his career when he won the PGA Championship by one shot. He had been in the lead for most of the tournament, but lost his lead on the last day, making his one stroke victory over Sergio Garcia even more memorable for the crowd that had gathered to watch. Woods continued his success in November 1999 when he shot the best total ever in the World Cup, helping to lead the United States to victory in the tournament. He was also named the PGA Tour Player of the Year for the second time on November 30, 1999, earning more that $6.6 million in prize money during the season.
On January 9, 2000, Woods won the Mercedes Championship. It was his fifth consecutive victory and, at the time, golf's longest winning streak in forty-six years. On February 7, 2000, he extended that streak by winning the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He became the first player since Ben Hogan (1912–1997) in 1948 to win six straight tour events. He went on to win the Bay Hill Invitational on March 19, 2000.
On June 18, 2000, he won the U.S. Open, his third major championship. The next month, on July 23, he won the British Open, thus winning the Grand Slam. He became the youngest player to win all four major championships and just the fifth ever.
On April 8, 2001, Woods won the sixty-fifth Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club. The win made him the only golfer in history to hold the four major championship titles at the same time. Woods won the sixty-sixth Masters Tournament on April 14, 2002. At the turn of the twenty-first century, Woods was the most dominant figure in all of sports, and his name will surely be decorated throughout the record books before his career is over.
The next season was marked by many wins personally and professionally. His wife gave birth to the couple's first child, Sam Alexis Woods, on June 18, 2007. After taking some time off to welcome his daughter, he won the World Golf Championship and the PGA Championship in August 2007.
The next month, Woods' winning ways continued, as he garnered the top spot at the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship. He was named Player of the Year by the other participants in the PGA Tour and won his eighth Arnold Palmer Award for being the lead money earner.
Woods won the U.S. Open on June 16, 2008, in a 19-hole playoff, overcoming sporadic pain in his left knee from arthroscopic surgery performed on April 15. Woods shot a par 4 on the first and only hole of sudden death while American Rocco Mediate, 45, settled for a bogey.
The sudden death duel at Torrey Pines in San Diego followed an 18-hole playoff, which saw the two finish at par. In that playoff, Woods led Mediate by three shots after the first 10 holes. Mediate then birdied three of the next five holes and took the lead. But on the final hole, Woods birdied while Mediate shot par, forcing the sudden death playoff.
"I think this is probably the best ever," Woods said. "All things considered, I don't know how I ended up in this position, to be honest with you." The victory gave Woods his third U.S. Open championship and 14th major title, just four behind the all-time record held by Jack Nicklaus. For more amazing golf equipment just visit here: golfgearsdirect.com.au
Two days later, Woods announced he would miss the rest of the season because his left knee required more reconstructive surgery. He also revealed he had suffered a double stress fracture in his left tibia two weeks before the U.S. Open tournament, ignoring doctors' advice to take six weeks off to let it heal.
Woods and his wife announced September 2, 2008, that they were expecting their second child in late winter. "Elin is feeling great and we are both thrilled," Woods said on his website. "While my injury has been disappointing and frustrating, it has allowed me to spend a lot of time watching Sam grow. I can't begin to tell you how rewarding it is being a dad and spending time with her and Elin." The couple welcomed baby boy Charlie Axel Woods on February 8, 2009.
On February 25, 2009, Woods returned to the green in the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson, Arizona. Woods played against South African golfer Tim Clark, losing 4 to 2 in his first tournament since his injury. In June of 2009, Woods competed again in the U.S. Open. After putting a four-over-par in the first round, Woods quickly fell out of contention for the win.
Although Woods' comeback had not been as auspicious as he'd hoped, he remained No. 1 in the world golf rankings, and continued to be the leader in Top 10 finishes overall. But after losing the PGA title to Yang Yong-eun, Woods finished the year without a single major win — the first time he had done so since 2004.
While his life on the green seemed lackluster, his personal life was in an even more serious tailspin. In late November, reports surfaced about a tryst between Woods and nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel. Both parties denied a relationship, despite photographic evidence that seemed to indicate otherwise.
On November 27, as the story gained traction, media outlets announced that Woods had collided into a fire hydrant outside his home at 2:30 in the morning. Reports said that Woods's wife had broken the back window of the golfer's SUV with a golf club in order to get him out of the locked car. The golfer's injuries were not serious, and he was quickly released.
The accident aroused suspicions with fans and the media, who instantly pushed for a statement from Woods. But the golfer remained silent on the matter, and mysteriously dropped out of his charity golf tournament, the Chevron World Challenge. He then announced that he would not be attending any other tournaments in 2009.
As the silence grew, so did reports of other Woods mistresses. On December 2, 2009, Woods offered an apology to his fans and family, expressing regret for unnamed "transgressions." But as the mistress count rose to more than a dozen women, with phone evidence to back many claims, Woods was unable to suppress media inquiries into his life.
Woods was said to have offered his wife a renegotiation of their prenuptial agreement in order to compel her to stick by him, but reports soon surfaced that Nordgren had purchased a home in Sweden with her sister. Photographers then spotted the former model without her wedding ring.
On December 11, 2009, Woods apologized again to fans — this time, admitting to infidelity. He then announced that he would be taking a hiatus from golf in order to tend to his family. Several days later, he lost his endorsement deal with the management company Accenture, and was suspended from his Gillette endorsement. Other companies, including Nike, Tag Heuer and EA Sports, continued to stand by Woods.
Woods made a return to golf in April of 2010, but the golfer was not quite at the top of his game. His first competition at the 2010 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, resulted in a fourth place finish. On May 9, after missing the cut for the Quail Hollow Championship, Woods withdrew from the Players Championship during the fourth round due to a neck injury. Woods made his return to golf four weeks later at the Memorial Tournament but delivered his worst performance in the tournament since 2002. At the 2010 U.S. Open, Woods finished in a tie for fourth place.
The golfing legend continued to experience ups and downs in his professional and personal life. He suffered from back injuries in the ensuing years and underwent his fourth back surgery in April 2017. A month later, police found Woods sleeping in his car, which was running and had its brake lights and blinkers on, at the side of the road near his Florida home.
He was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, however, a breath alcohol test showed no signs of alcohol in his system. In a statement, Woods said that he had "an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications." He also thanked the police for their professionalism and issued an apology.
"I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans," he said in the statement. "I expect more from myself too."
In June 2017, Woods reportedly checked into a clinic to receive professional help to manage medication intake for pain and a sleep disorder. In late October, he pleaded guilty to a reckless driving charge for the May incident and agreed to enter a program for first-time offenders to avoid a conviction for driving under the influence.
On October 30, Woods made news again for reasons related to his profession, announcing that he would return to competitive golf for the start of his personal tournament, the Hero World Challenge, at the end of November.
In early 2018, the veteran golfer finally found his game clicking into place again. After tying for second place at the Valspar Championship, his best finish since 2013, he got off to a strong start with a 4-under 68 in the opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
A Tiger equipment change sent shock waves through the industry. Tiger first signed a professional deal in 1996 but at that time Nike were only making golf shoes and clothing so he dabbled with clubs from a variety of manufacturers.
During the height of his success Woods played Titleist golf clubs but gradually started switching to Nike. Then when Nike pulled out of the hardware game in 2016, he signed a deal with Taylor Made. What Tiger equipment has found it’s way into his bag over the years? And for more amazing golf equipment just click here: golfgearsdirect.com.au
“The greatest thing about tomorrow is, I will be better than I am today...There is no such thing as a setback. The lessons I learn today I will apply tomorrow, and I will be better.”