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Woods, Tiger

Woods, Tiger

December 30, 1975

Eldrick "Tiger" Woods is the most acclaimed golfer of African-American ancestry to compete on the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) tour. His enormous success is attributable to his great talent and personal appeal, especially among young people. Woods's greatest achievement thus far is his 1997 victory in the prestigious Masters Tournament by a record margin of 12 strokes. He was the youngest Masters champion in history.

Born and raised in Cypress, California, Woods became interested in golf at a young age. At two he putted against Bob Hope on the Mike Douglas Show. By seventeen he had won three U.S. Junior Amateur Championships (19911993). His come-from-behind victory at the 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship capped an impressive amateur career including the NCAA title and three successive U.S. Amateur victories.

Woods turned professional in August 1996, hoping to earn enough money in eight tournaments ($150,000) to qualify for the 1997 PGA Tour. He stunned the golf world by winning the Las Vegas Invitational and the Disney/Oldsmobile Classic, earning $790,594 and finishing twenty-fifth on the money list. He was the PGA Tour's 1996 Rookie of the Year.

Apart from his Masters victory, Woods won another four tournaments in 1997 including the Mercedes Championship, the Asian Honda Classic in Thailand, the GTE Byron Nelson Classic, the Motorola Western Open, and the Masters. He finished 1997 with a record $2,066,833a PGA Tour record for single season earningsand was selected 1997 Player of the Year by the PGA Tour, PGA of America, and Golf Writers Association of America. The Associated Press chose Woods as the 1997 Male Athlete of the Year.

Woods's success continued through the rest of the decade and beyond. By the end of the 1990s he had won twenty-four professional tournaments, and his total earnings approached $14 million. In 2000 he won ten tournaments, including the British Open, the U.S. Open, and the

PGA. In 2001 he won the Masters again, and in 2002 he repeated as Masters and U.S. Open champion. In 2003 he began to cool off a little, with five wins that year but no Grand Slam wins. In 2004 he had only one tournament win, but he seemed to be regaining his form in early 2005 with wins in the Buick Invitational and Ford Championship at Doral.

See also Sports


Owen, David. The Chosen One: Tiger Woods and the Dilemma of Greatness. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001.

jill lectka (1996)
Updated by publisher 2005

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