is an American
professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most
successful golfers of all time. Currently the World No. 1, he was the
highest-paid professional athlete in 2008, having earned an estimated $110
million from winnings and endorsements.
Woods has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second
highest of any male player, and 71 PGA Tour events, third all time.
He has more career major wins and career PGA Tour wins than any other active
golfer. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, and the
youngest and fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour. Additionally, Woods is
the second golfer to have achieved a career grand slam three times along
with Jack Nicklaus. Woods has won 16 World Golf Championships and has won at
least one event each of the 11 years they have been in existence.
Woods has held the number one position in the world rankings for the most
consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks. He has been
awarded PGA Player of the Year a record ten times,
the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight
times, and has the record of leading the money list in nine different
On December 11, 2009, Woods announced an indefinite leave from
professional golf to focus on his marriage after his past infidelities came
Woods was born in Cypress, California, to Earl
(1932-2006) and Kultida (Tida) Woods (born 1944). He is the
only child of their marriage but has two half-brothers, Earl
Jr. (born 1955) and Kevin (born 1957), and one half-sister,
Royce (born 1958) from the 18-year marriage of Earl Woods
and his first wife, Barbara Woods Gray. Earl, a retired
United States Army lieutenant colonel and Vietnam War
veteran, was of mixed African American, Chinese and Native
American ancestry. Kultida (née Punsawad), originally from
Thailand, is of mixed Thai, Chinese, and Dutch ancestry.
This makes Woods himself half Asian (one-quarter Chinese and
one-quarter Thai), one-quarter African American, one-eighth
Native American, and one-eighth Dutch.
He refers to his ethnic make-up as “Cablinasian” (a
syllabic abbreviation he coined from Caucasian, Black,
(American) Indian, and Asian).
At birth, Woods was given 'Eldrick' and 'Tont' as first and middle names.
His middle name, Tont, is a traditional Thai name.
He got his nickname from a Vietnamese soldier friend of his father, Vuong
Dang Phong, to whom his father had also given the Tiger nickname. He became
generally known by that name and by the time he had achieved national
prominence in junior and amateur golf, he was simply known as 'Tiger' Woods.
He grew up in Orange County, California and graduated from Western High
School in Anaheim in 1994.
and amateur career
Woods was a prodigy who began to play golf at the age of two. In 1978, he
putted against comedian Bob Hope in a television appearance on The Mike
Douglas Show. At age three, he shot a 48 over nine holes at the Navy
Golf Club in Cypress, California, and at age five, he appeared in Golf
Digest and on ABC's That's Incredible.
In 1984 at the age of eight, he won the 9–10 boys' event, the youngest age
group available, at the Junior World Golf Championships.
He went on to win the Junior World Championships six times, including four
consecutive wins from 1988 to 1991.
While attending Western High School in Anaheim at the age of 15, Woods
became the youngest ever U.S. Junior Amateur Champion, was voted Southern
California Amateur Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, and
Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player of the Year 1991.
He defended his title at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, becoming the
first multiple winner, competed in his first PGA Tour event, the Nissan Los
Angeles Open, and was named Golf Digest Amateur Player of the Year, Golf
World Player of the Year, and Golfweek National Amateur of the Year in 1992.
The following year, Woods won his third consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur
Championship, and remains the event's youngest-ever and only multiple
winner. In 1994,
he became the youngest ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship, a
record that stood until 2008 when it was broken by Danny Lee. He was a
member of the American team at the 1994 Eisenhower Trophy World Amateur Golf
Team Championships and 1995 Walker Cup.
Woods enrolled at Stanford University in the fall of 1994, and won his
first collegiate event, the 40th Annual William H. Tucker Invitational in
declared a major in Economics and was nicknamed "Urkel" by his college
teammates. In 1995, he
defended his U.S. Amateur title, and was voted Pac-10 Player of the Year,
NCAA First Team All-American, and Stanford's Male Freshman of the Year (an
award that encompasses all sports).
He participated in his first PGA Tour major, the Masters Tournament, and
tied for 41st as the only amateur to make the cut. At age 20 in 1996, he
became the first golfer to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles and won
the NCAA individual golf championship.
In winning the Silver Medal as leading amateur at The Open Championship, he
tied the record for an amateur aggregate score of 281.
He left college after two years and turned professional.
1996–98: Early years and first major win
With the announcement "Hello world," Tiger Woods became a professional
golfer in August 1996, and signed endorsement deals worth $40 million from
Nike, Inc. and $20 million from Titleist.
He played his first round of professional golf at the Greater Milwaukee
Open, tying for 60th place, but went on to win two events in the next three
months to qualify for the Tour Championship. For his efforts, Woods was
named Sports Illustrated's 1996 Sportsman of the Year and PGA Tour
Rookie of the Year.
He began his tradition of wearing a red shirt during the final round of
tournaments, a link to his college days at Stanford and a color he believes
symbolizes aggression and assertiveness.
The following April, Woods won his first major with a score of 18 under
par, The Masters, by a record margin of 12 strokes, becoming the youngest
Masters winner and the first African American to do so.
He set a total of 20 Masters records and tied 6 others. He won another three
PGA Tour events that year, and on June 15, 1997, in only his 42nd week as a
professional, rose to number one in the Official World Golf Rankings, the
fastest-ever ascent to world No. 1.
He was named PGA Player of the Year, the first golfer to win the award the
year following his rookie season.
While expectations for Woods were high, his form faded in the second half
of 1997, and in 1998 he only won one PGA Tour event. He answered critics of
his "slump" and what seemed to be wavering form by maintaining he was
undergoing extensive swing changes with his coach, Butch Harmon, and was
hoping to do better in the future.
In June 1999, Woods won the Memorial Tournament, a victory that marked
the beginning of one of the greatest sustained periods of dominance in the
history of men's golf. He completed his 1999 campaign by winning his last
four starts—including the PGA Championship—and finished the season with
eight wins, a feat not achieved in the past 25 years.
He was voted PGA Tour Player of the Year and Associated Press Male Athlete
of the Year for the second time in three years.
Woods started 2000 with his fifth consecutive victory and began a
record-setting season, where he would win three consecutive majors, nine PGA
Tour events, and set or tie 27 Tour records. He went on to capture his sixth
consecutive victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with a comeback
for the ages. Trailing by seven strokes with seven holes to play, he
finished eagle-birdie-par-birdie for a 64 and a two-stroke victory. His six
consecutive wins were the most since Ben Hogan in 1948 and only five behind
Byron Nelson's record of eleven in a row. In the 2000 U.S. Open, he broke or
tied a total of nine U.S. Open records with his 15-shot win, including Old
Tom Morris's record for the largest victory margin ever in a major
championship, which had stood since 1862, and became the Tour's all-time
career money leader. He led by a record 10 strokes going into the final
round, and Sports Illustrated called it "the greatest performance in
golf history." In the 2000
Open Championship at St Andrews, which he won by eight strokes, he set the
record for lowest score to par (−19) in any major tournament, and he holds
at least a share of that record in all four major championships. At 24, he
became the youngest golfer to achieve the Career Grand Slam.
Woods's major championship streak was seriously threatened at the 2000
PGA Championship, however, when Bob May went head-to-head with Woods on
Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club. Woods played the last twelve holes of
regulation seven under par, and won a three-hole playoff with a birdie on
the first hole and pars on the next two. He joined Ben Hogan (1953) as the
only other player to win three professional majors in one season. Three
weeks later, he won his third straight start on Tour at the Bell Canadian
Open, becoming only the second man after Lee Trevino in 1971 to win the
Triple Crown of Golf (U.S., British, and Canadian Opens) in one year. Of the
twenty events he entered in 2000, he finished in the top three fourteen
times. His adjusted scoring average of 67.79 and his actual scoring average
of 68.17 were the lowest in PGA Tour history, besting his own record of
68.43 in 1999 and Byron Nelson's average of 68.33 in 1945. He was named the
2000 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, becoming the first and
only athlete to be honored twice.
Woods was ranked as the twelfth best golfer of all time by Golf Digest
magazine just four years after he turned professional.
The following season, Woods continued dominating. His 2001 Masters
Tournament win marked the only time within the era of the modern Grand Slam
that any player has been the holder of all four major championship titles at
the same time, a feat now known as the "Tiger Slam."
It is not viewed as a true Grand Slam, however, because it was not achieved
in a calendar year. Surprisingly, he was not a factor in the three remaining
majors of the year, but finished with the most PGA Tour wins in the season,
with five. In 2002, he started off strong, joining Nick Faldo (1989–90) and
Jack Nicklaus (1965–66) as the only men to have won back-to-back Masters
Two months later, Woods was the only player under par at the U.S. Open,
and resurrected buzz about the calendar Grand Slam, which had eluded him in
2000. All eyes were on
Woods at the Open Championship, but his third round score of 81 ended Grand
Slam hopes. At the PGA
Championship, he nearly repeated his 2000 feat of winning three majors in
one year, but bogeys at the thirteenth and fourteenth holes in the final
round cost him the championship by one stroke.
Nonetheless, he took home the money title, Vardon Trophy, and Player of the
Year honors for the fourth year in a row.
2003–04: Swing adjustments
The next phase of Woods's career saw him remain among the top competitors
on the tour, but lose his dominating edge. He did not win a major in 2003 or
2004, falling to second in the PGA Tour money list in 2003 and fourth in
2004. In September 2004, his record streak of 264 consecutive weeks as the
world's top-ranked golfer came to an end at the Deutsche Bank Championship,
when Vijay Singh won and overtook Woods in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Many commentators were puzzled by Woods's "slump," offering explanations
that ranged from his rift with swing coach Butch Harmon to his marriage. At
the same time, he let it be known that he was again working on changes to
his swing, this time in hopes of reducing the wear and tear on his
surgically repaired left knee, which was subjected to severe stress in the
1998–2003 version of his swing.
Again, he anticipated that once the adjustments were complete, he would
return to his previous form.
In the 2005 season, Woods quickly returned to his winning ways. He won
the Buick Invitational in January and in March he outplayed Phil Mickelson
to win the Ford Championship at Doral and temporarily return to the Official
World Golf Rankings number one position (Singh displaced him once again two
weeks later). In
April, he finally broke his "drought" in the majors by winning the 2005
Masters Tournament in a playoff, which regained him the number one spot in
the World Rankings. Singh and Woods swapped the #1 position several times
over the next couple of months, but by early July Woods had reclaimed the
top spot for good, propelled further by a victory at the 2005 Open
Championship, a win that gave him his 10th major. He went on to win six
official money events on the PGA Tour in 2005, topping the money list for
the sixth time in his career. His 2005 wins also included two at the World
For Woods, the year 2006 was markedly different from 2005. While he began
just as dominantly (winning the first two PGA tournaments he entered on the
year) and was in the hunt for his fifth Masters championship in April, he
never mounted a Sunday charge to defend his title, allowing Phil Mickelson
to claim the green jacket.
Then, on May 3, 2006, Woods's father, mentor and inspiration, Earl, died
after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.
Woods took a nine-week hiatus from the PGA Tour to be with his family. When
he returned for the 2006 U.S. Open, the rust was evident—he missed the cut
at Winged Foot, the first time he had missed the cut at a major as a
professional, and ended his record-tying streak of 39 consecutive cuts made
at majors. Still, a tie for second at the Western Open just three weeks
later showed him poised to defend his Open crown at Hoylake.
At the 2006 Open Championship, Woods almost exclusively used long irons
off the tee (he hit driver only one time the entire week—the 16th hole of
the first round), he missed just four fairways all week (hitting the fairway
92 percent of the time), and his score of −18 to par (three eagles, nineteen
birdies, 43 pars, and seven bogeys) was just one off of his major
championship record −19, set at St Andrews in 2000. The victory was an
emotional one for Woods, who dedicated his play to his father's memory.
Four weeks later at the 2006 PGA Championship, Woods again won in
dominating fashion, making only three bogeys, tying the record for fewest in
a major. He finished the tournament at 18-under-par, equaling the to-par
record in the PGA that he shares with Bob May from 2000.
In August 2006, he won his 50th professional tournament at the Buick
Open—and at the age of thirty years and seven months, he became the youngest
golfer to do so. He ended
the year by winning six consecutive PGA Tour events, and won the three most
prestigious awards given by the PGA Tour (Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and
Byron Nelson Awards) in the same year for a record seventh time.
At the close of his first eleven seasons, Woods's 54 wins and 12 major
wins had surpassed the all time eleven-season PGA Tour total win record of
51 (set by Byron Nelson) and total majors record of 11 (set by Jack
Nicklaus). He was named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for a
record-tying fourth time.
Woods and tennis star Roger Federer, who share a major sponsor, first met
at the 2006 U.S. Open tennis final. Since then, they have attended each
other's events and have voiced their mutual appreciation for each other's
Woods began 2007 with a two-stroke victory at the Buick Invitational for
his third straight win at the event and his seventh consecutive win on the
PGA Tour. The victory
marked the fifth time he had won his first tournament of the season. With
this win, he became the third man (after Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead) to win
at least five times in three different events on the PGA Tour (his two other
events are the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and WGC-CA Championship). He
earned his second victory of the year at the WGC-CA Championship for his
third consecutive and sixth win overall at the event. With this victory, he
became the first player to have three consecutive victories in five
At the 2007 Masters Tournament, Woods was in the final group on the last
day of a major for the thirteenth time in his career, but unlike the
previous twelve occasions, he was unable to come away with the win. He
finished tied for second two strokes behind winner Zach Johnson.
Woods earned his third victory of the season by two strokes at the
Wachovia Championship, the
24th different PGA Tour tournament he won.
He has collected at least three wins in a season nine times in his 12-year
career. At the U.S. Open, he was in the final group for the fourth
consecutive major championship, but began the day two strokes back and
finished tied for second once again. His streak of never having come from
behind to win on the final day of a major continued.
In search of a record-tying third consecutive Open Championship, Woods
fell out of contention with a second-round 75, and never mounted a charge
over the weekend. Although his putting was solid (he sank a 90-footer in the
first round), his iron play held him back. "I wasn't hitting the ball as
close as I needed to all week," he said, after he finished tied for twelfth,
five strokes off the pace.
In early August, Woods won his record 14th World Golf Championships event
at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational by 8 strokes for his third consecutive
and sixth victory overall at the event. He became the first golfer to win
the same event three straight times on two different occasions (1999-2001)
and (2005-2007). The following week, he won his second straight PGA
Championship by defeating Woody Austin by two strokes.
He became the first golfer to win the PGA Championship in back-to-back
seasons on two different occasions: 1999-2000 and 2006-2007. He became the
second golfer, after Sam Snead, to have won at least five events on the PGA
Tour in eight different seasons.
Woods earned his 60th PGA Tour victory at the BMW Championship by
shooting a course record 63 in the final round to win by two strokes. He
sank a fifty-foot putt in the final round and missed only two fairways on
the weekend. He led the
field in most birdies for the tournament, and ranked in the top five in
driving accuracy, driving distance, putts per round, putts per green, and
greens in regulation. Woods finished his 2007 season with a runaway victory
at the Tour Championship to capture his fourth title in his last five starts
of the year. He became the only two-time winner of the event, and the
champion of the inaugural FedEx Cup. In his 16 starts on Tour in 2007, his
adjusted scoring average was 67.79, matching his own record set in 2000. His
substantial leads over the second, third, and fourth players were similar in
2000 (1.46 (Phil Mickelson), 1.52 (Ernie Els), 1.66 (David Duval)) and 2007
(1.50 (Els), 1.51 (Justin Rose), 1.60 (Steve Stricker)).
Woods started the 2008 season with an eight-stroke victory at the Buick
Invitational. The win marked his 62nd PGA Tour victory, tying him with
Arnold Palmer for fourth on the all time list.
This marked his sixth victory at the event, the sixth time he has begun the
PGA Tour season with a victory, and his third PGA Tour win in a row. The
following week, he was trailing by four strokes going into the final round
of the Dubai Desert Classic, but made six birdies on the back nine for a
dramatic one-stroke victory.
He took home his 15th World Golf Championships event at the Accenture Match
Play Championship with a record-breaking 8 & 7 victory in the final.
In his next event, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Woods got off to a
slow start, finishing the first round at even par and tied for 34th place.
After finishing the third round in a five-way tie for first place, he
completed his fifth consecutive PGA Tour victory with a dramatic 24-foot
putt on the 18th hole to defeat Bart Bryant by a stroke. It was also his
fifth career victory in this event. Geoff Ogilvy stopped Woods's run at the
WGC-CA Championship, a tournament Woods had won in each of the previous
three years. He remains the only golfer to have had more than one streak of
at least five straight wins on the PGA Tour.
Despite bold predictions that Woods might again challenge for the Grand
Slam, he did not mount a serious charge at the 2008 Masters Tournament,
struggling with his putter through each round. He would still finish alone
in second, three strokes behind the champion, Trevor Immelman. On April 15,
2008, he underwent his third left knee arthroscopic surgery in Park City,
Utah, and missed two months on the PGA Tour. The first surgery he had was in
1994 when he had a benign tumor removed and the second in December 2002.
He was named Men's Fitness's Fittest Athlete in the June/July 2008
Woods returned for the 2008 U.S. Open in one of the most anticipated
golfing groupings in history
between him, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott, the top three golfers in the
world. Woods struggled the first day on the course, notching a double bogey
on his first hole. He would end the round at +1 (72), four shots off the
lead. He scored -3 (68) his second day, still paired with Mickelson,
managing 5 birdies, 1 eagle and 4 bogeys. On the third day of the
tournament, he started off with a double bogey once again and was trailing
by 5 shots with six holes to play. However, he finished the round by making
2 eagle putts, a combined 100 feet (30 m) in length, and a chip-in birdie to
take a one shot lead into the final round. His final putt assured that he
would be in the final group for the sixth time in the last eight major
On Sunday, June 15, Woods began the day with another double bogey, and
trailed Rocco Mediate by one stroke after 71 holes. He winced after several
of his tee shots, and sometimes made an effort to keep weight off of his
left foot. Woods was behind by one stroke when he reached the final hole.
Left with a 12-foot putt for birdie, he made the shot to force an 18-hole
playoff with Mediate on Monday.
Despite leading by as many as three strokes at one point in the playoff,
Woods again dropped back and needed to birdie the 18th to force sudden death
with Mediate, and did so. Woods made par on the first sudden death hole;
Mediate subsequently missed his par putt, giving Woods his 14th major
championship. After the
tournament, Mediate said "This guy does things that are just not normal by
any stretch of the imagination,"
and Kenny Perry added, "he beat everybody on one leg."
Two days after winning the U.S. Open, Woods announced that he would be
required to undergo reconstructive anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery
on his left knee and would miss the remainder of the 2008 golf season
including the final two major championships: The Open Championship, and the
PGA Championship. Woods also revealed that he had been playing for at least
10 months with a torn ligament in his left knee, and sustained a double
stress fracture in his left tibia while rehabbing after the surgery he had
after the Masters.
Publications throughout the world asserted his U.S. Open victory as "epic"
and praised his efforts especially after learning of the extent of his knee
injury. Woods called it "My greatest ever championship - the best of the 14
because of all the things that have gone on over the past week."
Woods' absence from the remainder of the season caused PGA Tour TV
ratings to decline. Overall viewership for the second half of the 2008
season saw a 46.8 percent decline as compared to 2007.
Returning to the PGA Tour
Called "one of the most anticipated returns in sports" by the Associated
Press, Woods' first PGA
Tour event after an eight month layoff came at the WGC-Accenture Match Play
Championship. He lost to Tim Clark in the second round.
His first stroke play event was the WGC-CA Championship at Doral where he
finished 9th (-11). Woods won his first title of the year at the Arnold
Palmer Invitational, where he was five strokes behind Sean O'Hair entering
the final round. Woods shot a final round 67 and made a 16-foot birdie putt
at the final hole to defeat O'Hair by one stroke.
Afterwards, he would continue to perform consistently. At The Masters, he
finished sixth, four strokes behind eventual winner Ángel Cabrera. Then,
despite having the 18-hole lead at the Quail Hollow Championship, he
finished two strokes behind Sean O'Hair. At The Players Championship, he
played in the final grouping on Sunday, but finished eighth.
Woods won his second event of 2009 at the Memorial Tournament. He trailed
by four shots after three rounds but shot a final round 65, which included
two consecutive birdies to end the tournament.
The win was Woods' fourth at the event. Woods won his third event of the
2009 season on July 5 at the AT&T National, an event hosted by Woods
himself. However, for the
third time going into a 2009 major, Woods failed to capitalize on his
preceding win. Instead, at the 2009 Open Championship, he missed the cut for
only the second time in a major championship since turning professional.
On August 2, Woods captured the Buick Open for his fourth win of the
season, a three-shot victory over three other players. After firing an
opening-round 71 that put him in 95th place and outside of the cutline,
Woods responded with a second-round 63, nine-under par, that vaulted him
into contention. A third-round 65 put him atop the leaderboard and he
coasted to victory with a final-round 69 for a 20-under 268 four-round
total. This was the
biggest turnaround pro victory to date.
Woods won his 70th career event the following week at the WGC-Bridgestone
Invitational. He went head-to-head against Pádraig Harrington on Sunday
until the 16th, where Harrington made a triple bogey 8 on the par 5 and
Woods made birdie. Tiger went on to win the event by 4 strokes over
Harrington and Robert Allenby.
At the 2009 PGA Championship, Woods shot a 5-under 67 to take the lead
after the first round. He remained leader or co-leader through the second
and third rounds. Going into the final round, Woods had a 2 stroke lead at
8-under. However, at the 68th hole, Woods was overtaken for the first time
atop the leaderboard by Yang Yong-eun. Yang eventually won the tournament by
three strokes over Woods who finished second.
It marked the first time that Woods would fail to win a major when leading
or co-leading after 54 holes and the first time he had lost any tournament
on American soil when leading by more than one shot.
It also meant that Woods would end the year without a major for the first
time since 2004.
Woods won his 71st career title at the BMW Championship. The win moved
him to first place in the FedEx Cup standings going into the final playoff
event. It was his fifth win at the BMW Championship (including three wins as
the Western Open) and marked the fifth time he had won an event five or more
times in his career on the PGA Tour.
Woods finished second at The Tour Championship to win his second FedEx Cup
At the 2009 Presidents Cup, Woods had an impressive and equally
spectacular performance in which he won all five of his matches at the
event. He joined his friend Mark O'Meara, who won all five of his matches at
the 1996 Presidents Cup, and Shigeki Maruyama, who accomplished this feat in
the 1998 Presidents Cup.
In all three instances, their respective teams won the competition. Woods
was paired with Steve Stricker all four rounds of the competition in
foursomes and four-ball. On the first day of foursomes, they won 6 and 4
over the team of Ryo Ishikawa and Geoff Ogilvy.
In Friday's match of four-ball, they won over the team of Ángel Cabrera and
Geoff Ogilvy, 5 and 3.
On Saturday, they beat the team of Tim Clark and Mike Weir after trailing
for most of the match by winning the 17th and 18th holes to win 1-up in
morning foursomes, and
in the afternoon four-ball they defeated the team of Ryo Ishikawa and Y. E.
Yang by the score of 4 and 2.
In the singles match, Woods was paired with his nemesis from the 2009 PGA
Championship, Yang. Yang grabbed the quick 1-up lead on the first hole, but
on the third hole lost the lead and Woods went onto win the match by a score
of 6 and 5. In addition,
Woods was the one who clinched the Cup for the United States, which was his
first time ever in his career he had the honor and opportunity to do this in
a team event competition.
In November 2009, Woods was paid $3.3 million to play in the JBWere
Masters, held at Kingston Heath in Melbourne, Australia from November 12 to
15. The event was sold out for the first time. He went on to win at 14 under
par, two strokes over Australian Greg Chalmers, marking his 38th European
Tour win and his first win of the PGA Tour of Australasia.
When Woods first joined the professional tour in 1996, his long drives
had a large impact on the world of golf.
However, when he did not upgrade his equipment in the following years
(insisting upon the use of True Temper Dynamic Gold steel-shafted clubs and
smaller steel clubheads that promoted accuracy over distance),
many opponents caught up to him. Phil Mickelson even made a joke in 2003
about Woods using "inferior equipment", which did not sit well with Nike,
Titleist or Woods.
During 2004, Woods finally upgraded his driver technology to a larger
clubhead and graphite shaft, which, coupled with his clubhead speed, made
him one of the Tour's lengthier players off the tee once again.
Despite his power advantage, Woods has always focused on developing an
excellent all-around game. Although in recent years he has typically been
near the bottom of the Tour rankings in driving accuracy, his iron play is
generally accurate, his recovery and bunker play is very strong, and his
putting (especially under pressure) is possibly his greatest asset. He is
largely responsible for a shift to higher standards of athleticism amongst
professional golfers, and is known for putting in more hours of practice
From mid-1993, while he was still an amateur, until 2004, Woods worked
almost exclusively with leading swing coach Butch Harmon. From mid-1997,
Harmon and Woods fashioned a major redevelopment of Woods' full swing,
achieving greater consistency, better distance control, and better
kinesiology. The changes began to pay off in 1999.
Since March 2004, Woods has been coached by Hank Haney. In June 2004, Woods
was involved in a media spat with Harmon, who also works as a golf
broadcaster, when Harmon suggested that he was in "denial" about the
problems in his game, but they publicly patched up their differences.
While Woods is considered one of the most charismatic figures in golfing
history, his approach is, at its core, cautious. He aims for consistency.
Although he is better than any other Tour player when he is in top form, his
dominance comes not from regularly posting extremely low rounds, but instead
from avoiding bad rounds. He plays fewer tournaments than most professionals
(15–21 per year, compared to the typical 25–30), and focuses his efforts on
preparing for (and peaking at) the majors and the most prestigious of the
other tournaments. His manner off of the course is cautious as well, as he
carries himself in interviews and public appearances with a carefully
controlled demeanor reminiscent of the corporate athlete persona developed
between Nike and Michael Jordan.
As of 2009 WGC-CA Championship:
- Driver: Nike SQ DYMO 380 (10.5 degrees; Mitsubishi Diamana
Whiteboard 83g shaft)
- Fairway Woods: Nike SQ II 15° 3-wood with Mitsubishi Diamana
Blueboard and Nike SQ II 19° 5-Wood
- Irons: Irons Nike VR TW Blades (2-PW) (Tiger will put his 5 Wood or
2 Iron in the bag depending upon the course setup and conditions). All
irons are 1 degree upright, have D4 swingweight, standard size Tour
Velvet grips and True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100 shafts.
- Wedges: Nike VR 56° Sand Wedge and Nike SV 60° Lob Wedge
- Putter: Scotty Cameron By Titleist GSS Newport 2 putter (standard
loft and lie, 35 inches long) Championship
- Ball: Nike One Tour (only "1"s with "Tiger" imprint)
- Golf Glove: Nike Dri-FIT Tour glove
- Golf Shoes: Nike Air Zoom TW 2009
- Club Cover: Frank, a plush tiger head club cover
created by his mother, which has appeared in several commercials.
- Fairway wood "Kiwi" bird headcover relates to the nationality of his
caddie Steve Williams (New Zealand).
Woods has established several charitable and youth projects.
- The Tiger Woods Foundation: The Tiger Woods Foundation was
established in 1996 by Woods and his father Earl. It focuses on projects
for children. Initially these comprised golf clinics (aimed especially
at disadvantaged children), and a grant program. Further activities
added since then include university scholarships, an association with
Target House at St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee; the Start
Something character development program, which reached one million
participants by 2003; and the Tiger Woods Learning Center.
The Tiger Woods Foundation recently has teamed up with the PGA Tour to
create a new PGA tour event that will take place in the nation's capital
(Washington, D.C.) beginning in July, 2007.
- In The City Golf Clinics and Festivals: Since 1997, the Tiger
Woods Foundation has conducted junior golf clinics across the country.
The Foundation began the “In the City” golf clinic program in 2003. The
first three clinics were held in Indio, California, Wilkinsburg,
Pennsylvania, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and were targeted to all youth,
ages 7–17, and their families. Each three-day event features golf
lessons on Thursday and Friday of clinic week and a free community
festival on Saturday. Host cities invite 15 junior golfers to
participate in the annual Tiger Woods Foundation Youth Clinic. This
three-day junior golf event includes tickets to Disney Resorts, a junior
golf clinic, and an exhibition by Tiger Woods.
- Tiger Woods Learning Center: This is a 35,000-square-foot
(3,300 m2) educational facility in Anaheim, California which
opened in February 2006. It is expected to be used by several thousand
students each year in grades 4 to 12. The center features seven
classrooms, extensive multi-media facilities and an outdoor golf
- Tiger Jam: An annual fundraising concert which has raised
over $10 million for the Tiger Woods Foundation. Past performers at
Tiger Jam include Sting, Bon Jovi and Stevie Wonder.
- Chevron World Challenge: An annual off-season charity golf
tournament. The event carries generous prize money, and in 2007 Woods
donated his $1.35 million first-place check to his Learning Center.
- Tiger Woods Foundation National Junior Golf Team: An eighteen
member team which competes in the annual Junior World Golf
Woods has also participated in charity work for his current caddy, Steve
Williams. On April 24, 2006 Woods won an auto racing event that benefited
the Steve Williams Foundation to raise funds to provide sporting careers for
Woods has written a golf instruction column for Golf Digest
magazine since 1997, and
in 2001 wrote a best-selling golf instruction book, How I Play Golf,
which had the largest print run of any golf book for its first edition, 1.5
Golf course design
Woods announced on December 3, 2006 that he will develop his first golf
course in the United Arab Emirates through his golf course design company,
Tiger Woods Design. The Tiger Woods Dubai will feature a 7,700-yard
(7,000 m), par-72 course named Al Ruwaya (meaning "serenity"), a
60,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) clubhouse, a golf academy, 320
exclusive villas and a boutique hotel with 80 suites. Tiger Woods Dubai is a
joint venture between Woods and Tatweer, a member of the
government-affiliated Dubai Holding. Woods chose Dubai because he was
excited about the "challenge of transforming a desert terrain into a
world-class golf course." The development is scheduled to be finished in
late 2009 at Dubailand, the region's largest tourism and leisure project.
On August 14, 2007, Woods announced his first course to be designed in
the U.S., The Cliffs at High Carolina. The private course will sit at about
4,000 feet (1,200 m) in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North
Woods will also design a golf course in Mexico. This will be his first
oceanfront course. It will be called Punta Brava, which will be located by
Ensenada, Baja California. The project will include an 18-hole course
designed by Woods, 40 estate lots of up to three acres in size, and 80 villa
homes of up to 7,000 square feet. Construction will start in 2009 with the
project scheduled for completion in 2011.
Woods has been called the world's most marketable athlete.
Shortly after his 21st birthday in 1996, he began signing endorsement deals
with numerous companies, including General Motors, Titleist, General Mills,
American Express, Accenture, and Nike, Inc. In 2000, he signed a 5-year,
$105 million contract extension with Nike. It was the largest endorsing deal
ever signed by an athlete at that time.
Woods' endorsement has been credited in playing a significant role in taking
the Nike Golf brand from a "start-up" golf company earlier in the past
decade, to becoming the leading golf apparel company in the world, and a
major player in the equipment and golf ball market.
Nike Golf is one of the fastest growing brands in the sport, with an
estimated $600 million in sales.
Woods has been described as the "ultimate endorser" for Nike Golf,
frequently seen wearing Nike gear during tournaments, and even in
advertisements for other products.
Woods receives a cut from the sales of Nike Golf apparel, footwear, golf
equipment, golf balls,
and has a building named after him at Nike’s headquarters campus in
In 2002, Woods was involved in every aspect of the launch of Buick's
Rendezvous SUV. A company spokesman stated that Buick is happy with the
value of Woods' endorsement, pointing out that more than 130,000 Rendezvous
vehicles were sold in 2002 and 2003. "That exceeded our forecasts," he was
quoted as saying, "It has to be in recognition of Tiger." In February 2004,
Buick renewed Woods' endorsement contract for another five years, in a deal
reportedly worth $40 million.
Woods collaborated closely with TAG Heuer to develop the world's first
professional golf watch, released in April 2005.
The lightweight, titanium-construction watch, designed to be worn while
playing the game, incorporates numerous innovative design features to
accommodate golf play. It is capable of absorbing up to 5,000 Gs of shock,
far in excess of the forces generated by a normal golf swing.
In 2006, the TAG Heuer Professional Golf Watch won the prestigious
iF product design award in the Leisure/Lifestyle category.
Woods also endorses the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series of video games; he
has done so since 1999.
In 2006, he signed a six-year contract with Electronic Arts, the series'
In February 2007, along with Roger Federer and Thierry Henry, Woods
became an ambassador for the "Gillette Champions" marketing campaign.
Gillette did not disclose financial terms, though an expert estimated the
deal could total between $10 million and $20 million.
In October 2007, Gatorade announced that Woods would have his own brand
of sports drink starting in March 2008. "Gatorade Tiger" was his first U.S.
deal with a beverage company and his first licensing agreement. Although no
figures were officially disclosed, Golfweek magazine reported that it
was for five years and could pay him as much as $100 million.
The company decided in early fall 2009 to discontinue the drink due to weak
According to Golf Digest, Woods made $769,440,709 from 1996 to
2007, and the magazine
predicted that by 2010, Woods would pass one billion dollars in earnings.
In 2009, Forbes confirmed that Woods was indeed the world's first
athlete to earn over a billion dollars in his career (before taxes), after
accounting for the 10 million dollar bonus Woods received for the FedEx Cup
The same year, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $600 million, making him
the second richest "African American" behind only Oprah Winfrey.
On December 8, 2009, Nielsen indicated that advertisers had tentatively
suspended TV ads featuring Woods after news of extramarital affairs emerged.
Major sponsors initially pledged support and to retain Woods,
but he was suspended by Gillette on December 11,
and completely dropped by Accenture on December 13.
On December 18, TAG Heuer dropped Woods "for the foreseeable future" from
its advertising campaigns, only to then change their home page by December
23 to the statement that "Tag Heuer stands with Tiger Woods".
On January 1, 2010, AT&T announced the end of its sponsorship of Woods.
On January 4, 2010, Electronic Arts, via the blog of President Peter Moore,
stated that they would continue to cooperate with Woods which includes a
web-based gold game titles Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online.
On January 13, General Motors ended early a free car loan deal that was due
to end on December 31st, 2010.
A December 2009 study by Christopher R. Knittel and Victor Stango,
economics professors at the University of California at Davis, estimated
that the shareholder loss caused by Woods' alleged extramarital affairs to
be between $5 billion and $12 billion.
On August 20, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First
Lady Maria Shriver announced that Woods would be inducted into the
California Hall of Fame. He was inducted December 5, 2007 at The California
Museum for History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento.
He has been named "Athlete of the Decade" by the Associated Press in
December 2009. He has
been named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year a record-tying four
times, and is the only person to be named Sports Illustrated's
Sportsman of the Year more than once.
Since his record-breaking win at the 1997 Masters Tournament, golf's
increased popularity is commonly attributed to Woods' presence. He is
credited by some sources for dramatically increasing prize money in golf,
generating interest in new audiences, and for drawing the largest TV
audiences in golf history.
Tiger Woods is registered as an independent.
In January 2009, Woods delivered a speech commemorating the military at the
We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.
In April 2009, Woods visited the White House while in the Washington, D.C.
area promoting the golf tournament he hosts, the AT&T National.
In both Byron Nelson's and Woods's eras, "making the cut" has been
defined as receiving a paycheck. However, in Nelson's day, only players who
placed in the top 20 in an event won a paycheck whereas in Woods's day only
players who reach a low enough score within the first 36 holes win a
golf analysts argue that Woods did not actually surpass Nelson's consecutive
cuts mark, reasoning that 31 of the tournaments in which Woods competed were
"no-cut" events, meaning all the players in the field were guaranteed to
compete throughout the entire event regardless of their scores through 36
holes (and hence all "made the cut," meaning that they all received a
paycheck). These analysts argue that this would leave Woods's final
consecutive cuts made at 111, and Nelson's at 113.
However, at least ten of the tournaments in which Nelson played did not
have modern-day cuts; that is, all of the players in these events were
guaranteed to compete past 36 holes. The Masters, for example, did not
institute a 36-hole cut until 1957 (which was well after Nelson retired),
the PGA Championship was match play until 1958 and it is unclear whether or
not three other events in which Nelson competed had 36-hole cuts.
Therefore, these analysts remove "no 36-hole cut" events from both cut
streak measures, leaving Nelson's consecutive cuts made at 103 (or possibly
less) and Woods's at 111.
In the tournaments in which Nelson competed that did not have 36-hole
cuts (that is: the Masters, PGA Championship and the possible 3 other
tournaments), only the top 20 players received a pay check even though all
players in these events were guaranteed to compete past 36 holes.
Hence, in these no-cut events, Nelson still placed in the top 20, so
Nelson's 113 cuts made are reflective of his 113 top 20 finishes. Woods
achieved a top 20 finish 21 consecutive times (from July 2000 to July 2001)
and, in the 31 no-cut events in which he played, he won 10 and finished out
of the top 10 only five times. Others, including Woods himself, argue that
the two streaks cannot be compared, because the variation of tournament
structures in the two eras is too great for any meaningful comparison to be
Early in Woods's career, a small number of golf experts expressed concern
about his impact on the competitiveness of the game and the public appeal of
professional golf. Sportswriter Bill Lyon of Knight-Ridder asked in a
column, "Isn't Tiger Woods actually bad for golf?" (though Lyon ultimately
concluded that he was not).
At first, some pundits feared that Woods would drive the spirit of
competition out of the game of golf by making existing courses obsolete and
relegating opponents to simply competing for second place each week.
A related effect was measured by economist Jennifer Brown of the
University of California, Berkeley who found that other golfers played worse
when competing against Woods than when he was not in the tournament. The
scores of highly skilled (exempt) golfers are nearly one stroke higher when
playing against Woods. This effect was larger when he was on winning streaks
and disappeared during his well-publicized slump in 2003–04. Brown explains
the results by noting that competitors of similar skill can hope to win by
increasing their level of effort, but that, when facing a "superstar"
competitor, extra exertion does not significantly raise one's level of
winning while increasing risk of injury or exhaustion, leading to reduced
Many courses in the PGA Tour rotation (including Major Championship sites
like Augusta National) began to add yardage to their tees in an effort to
slow down long hitters like Woods, a strategy that became known as
"Tiger-Proofing". Woods himself welcomed the change as he believes adding
yardage to the course does not affect his ability to win.
Despite his outstanding success on the PGA Tour, Woods has had minimal
success in the Ryder Cup. In his first Ryder Cup in 1997, he earned only 1½
points competing in every match and partnering mostly with Mark O'Meara.
Costantino Rocca defeated Woods in his singles match.
In 1999, he earned 2 points over every match with a variety of partners.
In 2002, he lost both Friday matches,
but, partnered with Davis Love III for both of Saturday's matches, won two
points for the Americans, and was slated to anchor the Americans for the
singles matches, both squads going into Sunday with 8 points.
However, after the Europeans took an early lead, his match with Jesper
Parnevik was rendered unimportant and they halved the match.
In 2004, he was paired with Phil Mickelson on Friday but lost both matches,
and only earned one point on Saturday.
With the Americans facing a 5–11 deficit, he won the first singles match,
but the team was not able to rally.
In 2006, he was paired with Jim Furyk for all of the pairs matches, and they
won two of their four matches.
Woods won his singles match, one of only three Americans to do so that day.
Woods has won 71 official PGA Tour events including 14 majors. He is 14–1
when going into the final round of a major with at least a share of the
lead. He has been heralded as "the greatest closer in history" by multiple
He owns the lowest career scoring average and the most career earnings of
any player in PGA Tour history.
He has spent the most consecutive and cumulative weeks atop the world
rankings. He is one of five players (along with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan,
Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player) to have won all four professional major
championships in his career, known as the Career Grand Slam, and was the
youngest to do so. Woods
is the only player to have won all four professional major championships in
a row, accomplishing the feat in the 2000-2001 seasons.
When Woods turned pro, Mike "Fluff" Cowan was his caddie until March 8,
1999. He was
replaced by Steve Williams, who has become a close friend of Woods and is
often credited with helping him with key shots and putts.
- PGA Tour wins (71)
- European Tour wins (38)
- Japan Golf Tour wins (2)
- Asian Tour wins (1)
- PGA Tour of Australasia wins (1)
- Other professional wins (15)
- Amateur wins (21)
||The Open Championship
||PGA Championship (2)
||The Masters (2)
||The Masters (3)
||U.S. Open (2)
||The Masters (4)
||The Open Championship (2)
||The Open Championship (3)
||PGA Championship (3)
||PGA Championship (4)
||U.S. Open (3)
1 Defeated Bob May in three-hole playoff by 1 stroke: Woods
(3-4-5=12), May (4-4-5=13)
2 Defeated Chris DiMarco with birdie on first extra hole
3 Defeated Rocco Mediate with a par on 1st sudden death hole
after 18-hole playoff was tied at even par
PGA Tour career
||Money list rank
- * Complete through the 2009 season.
In November 2003, Woods became engaged to Elin Nordegren, a former
Swedish model and daughter of former minister of migration Barbro Holmberg
and radio journalist Thomas Nordegren.
They were introduced during The Open Championship in 2001 by Swedish golfer
Jesper Parnevik, who had employed her as an au pair. They married on October
5, 2004 at the Sandy Lane resort on the Caribbean island of Barbados and
live at Isleworth, a community in Windermere, a suburb of Orlando, Florida.
They also have homes in Jackson, Wyoming, California, and Sweden. In January
2006, they purchased a $39 million residential property in Jupiter Island,
Florida, intending to make it their primary residence.
Jupiter Island residents include fellow golfers Gary Player, Greg Norman,
and Nick Price, as well as singers Celine Dion and Alan Jackson. In 2007, a
guest house owned by Woods on the Jupiter Island estate was destroyed in a
fire caused by lightning.
Early in the morning of June 18, 2007, Elin gave birth to the couple's
first child, a daughter, Sam Alexis Woods, in Orlando.
The birth occurred just one day after Woods finished tied for second in the
2007 U.S. Open. Tiger
chose to name his daughter Sam because his father said that Tiger looked
more like a Sam.
On September 2, 2008, Woods announced on his website that he and his wife
were expecting their second child.
Five months later, it was announced that Elin had given birth to a boy named
Charlie Axel on February 8, 2009.
Claims of habitual adultery and break from pro golf
On November 25, 2009, supermarket tabloid The National Enquirer
published a story claiming that Woods had an extramarital affair with
nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel,
a claim she denied. The
story began to attract media attention when Woods had a car accident a day
and a half later. He was
leaving his home around 2:30 a.m. in his SUV, a 2009 Cadillac Escalade, when
he collided with a hedge, a fire hydrant, and finally a tree down the
street. Woods was
treated for minor facial lacerations,
and cited for careless driving.
He refused to speak to the police and the accident fanned intense
speculation for the following two days until he released a statement on his
website. He took blame
for the crash, but said it was a private matter; he also praised his wife
Elin for getting him out of the car.
Woods later announced that he would not attend his own charity golf
tournament, the Chevron World Challenge, or any other remaining tournaments
Interest in the story grew until San Diego cocktail waitress Jaimee
Grubbs publicly claimed in the gossip magazine Us Weekly, that she
had a two and a half year affair with Woods, producing voice and text
messages that she said Woods left her. The voice message stated: "Hey it's
Tiger, I need you to do me a huge favor. Can you please take your name off
your phone? My wife went through my phone...You got to do this for me. Huge.
Woods released an apology on the same day the story was published,
expressing regret for "transgressions" and saying "I have let my family
down." Woods was not
specific about the reason for the apology, and requested privacy.
After over a dozen women claimed in various media outlets that they had
affairs with Woods, media pressure increased.
On December 11, he released another statement, admitting to infidelity,
offering another apology,
and announcing an indefinite hiatus from professional golf.
On the same day, lawyers acting on his behalf obtained an injunction in the
High Court of Justice of England and Wales, preventing the publication in
the UK of any images of Woods naked or having sexual intercourse, while
denying that Woods was aware of the existence of any such images.
Reporting the subject of the injunction was also itself injuncted.
The following week, one of the women who had undertaken media interviews
regarding her relationship with Woods admitted having taken photographs of
Woods naked, on the pre-meditated premise that she would sell them if they
ever broke up.
The day after the statement, several companies indicated they were
reconsidering endorsement deals. Gillette suspended advertising featuring
Woods, and said they would not be hiring him for any public appearances for
On December 13, management consultancy firm Accenture completely cut its
sponsorship of Woods, stating that the golfer was "no longer the right
On December 15, 2009, The New York Times reported that Anthony
Galea, a Canadian sports doctor who had previously treated Woods, was under
investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly providing
the drug Actovegin and human growth hormone to athletes.
According to the same article, Galea visited Woods at his Orlando home at
least four times in February and March 2009 to administer a special
blood-spinning technique, and that Woods had responded well to the
Woods has said he "believes in Buddhism... Not every aspect, but most of
When Woods came to Thailand for a tournament in 2000, Thai officials
tried to bestow on him royal decorations, and even offered him Thai
citizenship, based on his mother being Thai. Woods politely turned them
Woods has a niece named Cheyenne Woods who, as of 2009, shows promise as
an amateur golfer at Wake Forest University.
Woods and his wife own a luxurious 155-ft yacht called Privacy,
that is based in Florida. The $20 million, 6,500 square feet (600 m2)
vessel features a master suite, six staterooms, a theatre, gym, and Jacuzzi,
and sleeps 21 people. Registered in the Cayman Islands, the boat was built
for Woods by Christensen Yachts, a Vancouver, Washington-based luxury
yacht builder. Woods sometimes stays on the yacht when playing tournaments
at oceanside golf courses.
Tiger Woods donated US$3,000,000 to the Haitian quake victims
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Woods Way: An Analysis of Tiger Woods' Power-Swing Technique. New
York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80139-2. OCLC 55124056.
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Twickenham, England: Tiger Books International. ISBN 9781855019546. OCLC
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In Pursuit of Golf's Holy Grail. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN
9780316279710. OCLC 40602886.
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Woods: A Biography. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. ISBN
9780313331213. OCLC 61109403.
- Rosaforte, Tim (2000). Raising the
Bar: The Championship Years of Tiger Woods. New York: Thomas Dunne
Books. ISBN 9780312272128. OCLC 45248211.
- Woods, Earl; McDaniel, Pete (1997).
Training a Tiger: A Father's Guide to Raising a Winner in Both Golf and
Life. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 9780062701787. OCLC
- Woods, Tiger (2001). How I Play Golf.
New York: Warner Books. ISBN 9780446529310. OCLC 46992172.