Eldrick Tont Woods has won a total of 137 tour titles, which include 14 Majors.
Tiger Woods was born on December 30, 1975. His pet name 'Tiger' was borrowed from a Vietnamese soldier and friend of his father. Little did his parents realize that the name would fit like a glove, as their little Tiger would one day rule the greens.
Tiger's parents are the late Earl Woods and Kultida (Tida) Woods. His father Earl, who retired as a lieutenant colonel from the United States Army, was also a Vietnam War veteran. He met Kultida, a native of Thailand, in Bangkok, and the two married in 1969. Tiger is their only child, but he does have two half-brothers and one half-sister from his father's previous marriage. He grew up in Orange County, California, and graduated from Western High School in Anaheim, in 1994. He is said to have been a diligent student, achieving high grades in school.
Tiger as a Child
His penchant for golf received nurturing at a very early age. His father, Earl Woods, is quoted as saying, "When Tiger was 6 months old, he would sit in our garage, watching me hit balls into a net. He had been assimilating his golf swing. When he got out of the high chair, he had a golf swing." Three months later, he took his first swing with a golf club. At age three, he shot a 48 over nine holes at the Navy Golf Club in Cypress, California, and at age five, he appeared on the television show 'That's Incredible'. In 1984, at the age of eight' he won the age 9 - 10 boys' event, the youngest age group available, at the Junior World Golf Championships. He won the Optimist International Junior tournament six times at ages 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, and 15.
Tiger and His Parents
Tiger has said that, along with Nelson Mandela, his parents were his biggest source of inspiration. As a kid, his ambition was to beat his father in a game of golf. The world was witness to the close bond that existed between tiger and his dad Earl. His father was present with him almost constantly on the greens, at times even caddying for him. Tiger suffered a huge loss, when in 2006, his father succumbed to prostate cancer. "He was the person I looked up to more than anyone," said Tiger, following his father's demise. Most golf fans will remember how Tiger broke down in his father's arms on wining the Masters in 1997. This moment touched our hearts, as did watching Tiger shed tears in 2005 (Masters tournament victory), because his dad was too ill to come to the course.
Tiger met his future wife Elin Nordegren, a Swedish model, in 2001. The Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who had hired her as a nanny, introduced them during the Open Championship. They were seen in public for the first time in South Africa in 2003, the time when they got engaged. The following year, on October 5, 2004, the couple exchanged their vows. A lavish wedding took place at the Sandy Lane Resort on the Caribbean island of Barbados. On June 18, 2007, they welcomed their first child, daughter Sam Alexis Woods into the world. They were blessed for a second time with a baby boy Charlie Axel, on February 8, 2009.
In November 2009, Woods received a ticket for careless driving, after he was injured in a car accident.
Later, it was revealed that he had multiple affairs with several women. His mistress count rose to more than a dozen, with evidence to support many claims. Finally, on December 11, 2009, Woods admitted to infidelity, and apologized to his fans and family.
He took a break from golf to focus on his marriage and family. He also went into a 45-day therapy program. In February 2010, he apologized again and said, "I felt that I had worked hard my entire life, and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them. I was wrong. I was foolish." However, his marriage crumbled, and Nordegren and Woods were divorced on August 23, 2010.
When you are famous and a role model for many, a bad deed is bound to bring you down. The same thing happened with Tiger Woods. Everyone targeted him. His form faltered and his popularity went down. Following the scandal, many companies like Accenture, AT&T, Gatorade, General Motors, and Tag Heuer ended their sponsorship deals with him. Gillette suspended their Ad that featured Woods in it. However, Nike and Electronic Arts continued their contracts and supported him.
In March 2013, Woods announced that he was in a relationship with skier Lindsey Vonn.
The Tiger Bounces Back
The years 2010 and 2011 were bad for him. Following the turn of events, Woods' performance suffered a tremendous blow. He missed several events due to leg injuries, affecting his form and ranking. Woods lost his form, that slipped his world ranking to an all time low of No. 58, in November 2011. He won the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011, which broke his streak of failures. In 2012, he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational PGA tour and the AT&T International. Finally, he regained his form in 2013, by winning the Farmers Insurance Open in January 2013, and then the WGC-Cadillac Championship as well as Arnold Palmer Invitational in March 2013. These wins helped him regain his No.1 Spot in the world rankings. He also won The Players Championship in May 2013.
Tiger Woods has an illustrious track record. He turned professional in 1996, and though he was already well-known in golf circles, he received global recognition when he won the US Masters in 1997. Not only did he set a record score of 270, he became the youngest man to win it at the age of 21. Over the course of time, Woods has won 78 official PGA tour events, including 14 major golf championships. He has spent a record 281 weeks atop the official World Golf Ranking. He is the youngest player in the game's history to win the Career Grand Slam, and only the second player to win it a record three times. According to Forbes Magazine, Tiger Woods has been one of the highest paid athletes in the world.
Tiger Woods was named 'Athlete of the Decade' in December 2009 by the Associated Press, as well as 'Athlete of the Year' a record-breaking four times. He is the only person to be twice named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. He is credited to increasing the popularity, prize money, and audience base of golf.
Other Interesting Facts
- Tiger Woods is a Buddhist.
- He appeared on The Mike Douglas Show on TV in 1978. An immensely popular video among all his fans, it captures an incredibly cute two year old Tiger putting up against comedian Bob Hope.
- He attended Stanford University for two years.
- Tiger had nine cheeseburgers when he hosted his first Masters dinner.
- His eyesight was minus 11, before he underwent a laser eye surgery in 1999, and then another one in 2007.
- His favorite movie is 'Caddyshack'. He also loves '48 Hours', and all James Bond movies, especially the older one's starring Sean Connery as 007.
- Tiger's favorite musicians include: U2, Boyz II Men, and Janet Jackson.
- His perfect day is to surf, ski, play golf, and go spear-fishing, all in the same day!
- Tiger has four red Nike Golf polo shirts in his closet, and he has won 37 tournaments wearing only one of them.
- Tiger and his dad used to do a trick at the golf clinics they put on for kids. His father Earl would stand in front of him and keep coming closer as Tiger hit golf balls over his dads head. Finally Earl would end up just a few feet away, at which point, Tiger would hit a shot that went almost straight up and landed on his father's head.
These were some major facts about ace golfer Tiger Woods. I sign off with a quote from the legend himself, "The greatest thing about tomorrow is, I will be better than I am today. And that's how I look at my life. I will be a better golfer, I will be a better person, I will be a better father, I will be a better husband, I will be a better friend. That's the beauty of tomorrow."