- Woods, Tiger
orig. Eldrick Woodsborn Dec. 30, 1975, Cypress, Calif., U.S.U.S. golfer.The child of a Thai mother and an African American father, Woods was a golf prodigy and won the first of three consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur Championships (1991–93) when he was 15 years old. In 1994 (at age 18) he became the youngest winner of the U.S. Amateur competition, which he also won in 1995 and 1996. In 1997 Woods (age 21) became the youngest player and the first of African or Asian descent ever to win the Masters Tournament, winning by a record margin of 12 strokes. Winner of five other PGA tournaments in 1997, Woods became the youngest player ever ranked first in world golf competition. On July 23, 2000, Woods became the fifth playerafter Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, and Gary Playerin golf history, and the youngest, to complete the career grand slam of the four major championships. (The modern grand slam comprises the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship.)
* * *▪ 1998Although it seemed impossible for him to do it, U.S. golfer Tiger Woods exceeded expectations in 1997. The 21-year-old sensation, who had won three consecutive U.S. Amateur championships, continued his remarkable success as a professional. His stardom seemed inevitable when two companies signed him to endorsement deals totaling $60 million before he turned pro in August 1996. When he began playing on the Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA) tour, Woods won two of the tournaments he entered—an impressive feat for a rookie. So it was not a complete surprise when, in April 1997, Woods won the 61st Masters Tournament. What was astonishing was his domination of the grueling tourney. His 18-under-par 270 set a record for the event, and his 12-stroke margin of victory was the largest ever. Adding to the drama was the fact that Woods, of mixed racial descent, was the first nonwhite golfer in history to win a major tournament. His dynamic presence on the PGA tour attracted a larger, younger, and more ethnically diverse following to the game.Eldrick ("Tiger") Woods was born on Dec. 30, 1975, in Cypress, Calif. His parents, who nicknamed him after a soldier his father had fought with in Vietnam, recognized his golfing talent early on. At age two Woods was seen putting with comedian Bob Hope on a nationally televised talk show, and at age five he was featured in a golf magazine. He won his first U.S. Junior Amateur title in 1991, in 1992 became the first golfer to win the title twice, and in 1993 won it again. In 1994 he won the first of his three U.S. Amateur titles, and he was also a member of the U.S. amateur team that won the world championship. In 1996 Woods, a student at Stanford University, won the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship.At the end of the 1997 PGA season, Woods led the tour in earnings with a single-season record $2,066,833. He had won four tournaments (the Masters, the Mercedes championship, the GTE Byron Nelson Classic, and the Motorola Western Open) and finished in the top 10 nine times. The year did have its rough spots, however, and Woods's fame only served to magnify them. After a disappointing performance at the U.S. Open, he refused to talk to reporters and then threw a tantrum in the dressing room. Late in the season he related that he had been the subject of persistent death threats. Observers also noted that the rigours of Woods's first year on the tour seemed to catch up with him, since he did not win a tournament after July 6. After the season Woods vowed to cut back on his schedule in 1998.ANTHONY G. CRAINE
* * *▪ American golferbyname of Eldrick Woodsborn December 30, 1975, Cypress, California, U.S.American golfer, who enjoyed one of the greatest amateur careers in the history of the game and became a dominant player on the professional circuit in the late 1990s. In 1997 Woods became the first golfer of either African American or Asian descent to win the Masters Tournament, one of the most prestigious events in the sport. With his victory at the 2001 Masters, Woods became the first player to win consecutively the four major tournaments of golf—the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open, and the Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA) Championship.Woods was the child of an African American father and a Thai mother. A naturally gifted player, he took up golfing at a very young age and soon became a prodigy, taking swings on a television program when he was two years old and shooting a 48 over nine holes at age three. In 1991, at age 15, he became the youngest winner of the U.S. Junior Amateur championship; he also captured the 1992 and 1993 Junior Amateur titles. In 1994 he came from six holes behind to win the first of his three consecutive U.S. Amateur championships. He enrolled at Stanford University in 1994 and won the collegiate title in 1996. After claiming his third U.S. Amateur title, Woods left college and turned professional on August 29, 1996. Playing as a pro in eight PGA events in 1996, he won two titles and was named the PGA Tour's outstanding rookie.Woods was able to generate such club speed that he routinely hit drives of more than 300 yards. His booming long game, coupled with his expert putting and chipping and his reputation for mental toughness, made him an intimidating opponent and a popular player among fans. At the 1997 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, Woods shot a tournament record 270 over 72 holes and finished 12 strokes ahead of the rest of the field in one of the most dominating performances in the history of professional golf. In 1999 he became the first golfer in more than two decades to win eight PGA tournaments in a year. His six consecutive victories (1999–2000) tied Ben Hogan (Hogan, Ben)'s 1948 streak, the second longest in PGA history; Byron Nelson (Nelson, Byron) holds the record with 11 straight wins. In June 2000 Woods again made history with his record-breaking win at the U.S. Open. He became the first player to finish the tournament at 12 under par, tying Jack Nicklaus (Nicklaus, Jack) for the lowest 72-hole score (272), and Woods's 15-stroke victory was the largest winning margin at a major championship. On July 23, 2000, Woods became the fifth player in golf history, and the youngest, to complete the career grand slam of the four major championships by winning the British Open. (In 1930, when Bobby Jones won the only calendar-year grand slam, the four major tournaments were the U.S. and British Open and Amateur championships.) Woods's victory by a comfortable 8 strokes was a record-setting 19 strokes under par. He won back-to-back Masters titles in 2001–02.In 2005, after a drought of 10 winless major tournaments, Woods won the Masters and the British Open. He dominated the tour the following year, winning nine events, including the British Open and the PGA Championship. In 2007 he defended his title at the latter tournament to claim his 13th major championship. Some two months after undergoing knee surgery in 2008, Woods captured his third U.S. Open title in his first tournament back on the tour, completing his third career grand slam, a feat matched only by Nicklaus. Woods's dramatic U.S. Open victory—which involved an 18-hole play-off round followed by a sudden-death play-off—aggravated the damage to his knee, and the following week he withdrew from the remainder of the 2008 golf season in order to have more extensive knee surgery.
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