Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods is part of the selected few, whose name is known even by people estranged to what made him famous. In recent years, he’s best known for scandals surrounding his private life and gambling in a Las Vegas casino strip, but to golf fans, he’s still a legend for his achievements. He’s known as the best golf player but also the first African American to reach such levels in golf. His story inspired many people and helped popularise golf worldwide.
A Golf Prodigy
His father was an African American Army Officer, and his mother was Thai. He was born in Cypress, California. From a young age, he started golfing with his father teaching him. By the age of eight, he was so skilled. He was invited on television shows such as Good Morning America.
Later, during his studies at Stanford University, Tiger won many amateur U.S golf titles. This prompted him to turn pro in 1996. He became famous a year later when he set a new record of 270 in Augusta’s U.S Masters and won the competition. Woods was not only the youngest person to earn this title but also the first African American to do so.
The Best of the Best
In the following years, Woods proved he was something else, and he went on to win three U.S. Open, four U.S PGA titles, three Open Championships, and three U.S. Masters wins.
In 2003, he won five competitions, including the Buick International and the Western Open.
After only winning one PGA in 2004, he returned to glory in 2005 and won six championships. He was voted the PGA Tour Player of the Year for the seventh time in his nine years as a pro golf player.
In 2006, his father passed away, the man who had mentored him all his life. Still, he returned to golf and won several championships that year. As the years went on, Woods accumulated victories and seemed unstoppable. However, after his 2008 victory in the U.S. Open, he suffered a knee injury preventing him from finishing the season.
He returned to the green in 2009 to face his first defeat in Tucson, Arizona, against South African golfer Tim Clark. This same year, his personal life got more attention than his professional one, as reports surfaced of a possible affair. Woods refused to comment and cancelled his participation in any other tournament in 2009.
Woods made his return to golf in 2010. He hasn’t been at the top of his game ever since, and 2020 was up and down for the golfer. As of 2021, Woods is currently unable to play following an injury, even if he’s still an asset for the U.S Team at the Ryder Cup.
Considered the perfect man both in golf and in life, Tiger Woods saw his image destroyed by many scandals, and his game suffered from it. However, he returned, and no one could take away what he achieved as a golf player. Woods changed the face of golf and professional sport forever.