Eldrick Woods, better known the world over as ‘Tiger’ Woods was born on the 30th of December 1975. He is the son of Earl Woods, a retired US Army Colonel and his wife Kultida, a Thai. The family lived in Cypress, California, where ‘Tiger’ learnt golf by imitating the practice swings of his father. He was nicknamed ‘Tiger’ by his father in honour of his close friend, a Vietnamese soldier named Phong who was called ‘Tiger’ by his mates.
‘Tiger’ Woods is golf’s whiz kid. He appeared on the Michael Douglas Show on television when he was only two years old, putting with Bob Hope, and was featured in the Golf Digest when he was five. He won the Optimist International Golf tourney six times between the ages of eight and 15. Woods became the youngest to complete the career Grand Slam of professional major championships, after he won the British Open in 2000, and only the fifth ever to do so, following Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus. Tiger also was the youngest Masters champion ever, at the age of 21 years, three months and 14 days.
Since becoming a pro in 1996, ‘Tiger’ Woods has won 51 tournaments, 38 of these on the PGA Tour. His most prestigious wins include the Masters in ’97, 2001 and 2002, the PGA Championships in ’99 and 2000, the US Open in 2000 and 2002, and the British Open in 2000. ‘Tiger’ thus became the first ever to hold all four professional championships at the same time.
Woods compiled one of the most impressive amateur records in golf history, winning six USGA national championships and the NCAA title, before turning professional on August 27, 1996. He concluded his amateur career by winning an unprecedented third consecutive U.S. Amateur title, finishing with a record 18 consecutive match-play victories.
Woods has been going through a bad patch in the 2003 season having performed below par in the US Open and the British Open, and his fans are hoping that he will recover lost ground and do well in the other major tourneys.
Among the honors received as an amateur, Woods was Golf Digest Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992, Golf World Player of the Year in 1992 and 1993, Golf Week National Amateur of the Year in 1992 and Golf World Man of the Year in 1994. He was nominated for the Fred Haskins and Jack Nicklaus College Player of the Year awards in 1996.
World sports awards have been heaped on him ever since he became a professional. He was Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 1996 and 2000. L’Equipe (France) selected him as 2000 World Champion of Champions. The Associated Press chose Woods as the Male Athlete of the Year for 1997, 1999 and 2000. He was selected as Reuters 2000 Sportsman of the Year. He was chosen ESPY Male Athlete of the Year in 1997, 1999 and 2000. The Laureus Sports Awards also selected Tiger as 1999 and 2000 World Sportsman of the Year.
Woods was selected as 1997, 1999 and 2000, and 2001 Player of the Year by the PGA TOUR (Jack Nicklaus Award), the PGA of America, and the Golf Writers Association of America.