Athlete. Born Eldrick Tont Woods on December 30, 1975, in Cypress, California, as the only child of an African-American Army officer father and a Thai mother. His father began calling Woods by the nickname “Tiger” in honor of a fellow soldier and friend who had the same moniker.
Woods learned to play golf as a child. His father, Earl, served as his teacher and mentor. Around the age of eight, Woods had become extremely proficient at the game, showing off his skills on such television shows as Good Morning America.
He studied at Stanford University, and won a number of amateur U.S. golf titles before turning professional in 1996. Woods shot to fame after winning the U.S. Masters at Augusta in 1997with a record score of 270at the age of 21. Woods was the youngest man to earn the title, and the first African-American to accomplish this feat.
In his first appearance at the British Open later that year, Woods tied the course record of 64. The next few years brought even more successes, including four US PGA titles, three U.S. Open wins, three Open Championship wins, and three U.S. Masters wins.
In 2003, among Woods’ five wins were the Buick Invitational and the Western Open. The next year, Woods won only one official PGA Tour championship. While he may have had some challenges on the course, his personal life was running smoothly. Woods married his longtime girlfriend Elin Nordegren, a Swedish model, in October of 2004.
Returning to dominate the sport, he won six championships in 2005 and was voted the PGA Tour Player of Year for the seventh time in nine years.
Woods experienced a great personal loss in 2006. His father died in May after battling prostate cancer. Woods remarked on his website at the time, “My dad was my best friend and greatest role model, and I will miss him deeply.” Despite his grief, Woods returned to golf and won several events, including the PGA championship and the British Open.