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Tiger Woods profile

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is one of the world's best-known sportsmen

Tiger Woods is arguably the best-known sportsman of his generation and is on his way to becoming the most successful golfer of all time.

The 33-year-old American has won 14 major titles and is just four short of equalling Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major victories.

As the most successful black player in a traditionally white sport, Woods has been credited with boosting interest in the game worldwide, increasing TV audiences, and bringing greater wealth to the sport in prize money and sponsorship.

Woods won his first major - the Masters - in 1997 by a record 12 strokes, becoming the prestigious tournament's youngest ever winner at 21 years three months and 15 days.

Tiger Woods received his first Masters Green Jacket from Nick Faldo in 1997
Woods received his first Masters Green Jacket from Nick Faldo in 1997

Later that year he became world number one - briefly - for the first time and he would go on to hold the top spot for all 52 weeks of a year a record eight times.

He has now been world number one since 12 June 2005, and through endorsements and appearance fees earns an estimated $100m (£62.5m) a year.

Woods was born on 30 December 1975 in Cypress, California, the son of retired US Army lieutenant colonel Earl Woods and his Thai-born wife Kultida.

Originally named 'Eldrick' he was quickly nicknamed 'Tiger' after a Vietnamese soldier friend of his father's.

A child golf prodigy, he featured on TV putting against Bob Hope aged two, and shot 48 for nine holes at the age of three.

After a glittering amateur career, he turned pro in 1996 and backed up his maiden Masters win with a second major at the USPGA Championship in 1999.

He added the US Open title, by a record 15 strokes at Pebble Beach, and the Open Championship, by eight strokes at St Andrews, to his haul in 2000.

In doing so he became only the fifth player (along with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Nicklaus and Gary Player), and the youngest, to complete a career Grand Slam by winning all four of golf's major titles.

Woods then captured the USPGA later the same year and clinched the 2001 Masters to hold all four major titles at the same time, a feat dubbed the 'Tiger Slam'.

In 2002 he won back-to-back Masters titles and claimed his second US Open at Bethpage to become the first player ever to lead the tournament twice from start to finish.

Masters: 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005
US Open: 2000, 2002, 2008
The Open: 2000, 2005, 2006
USPGA: 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007

With his major tally at eight, Woods remodelled his swing, leading to accusations of a slump in his game as he remained without a major win until the 2005 Masters, his fourth victory at Augusta.

In the meantime, Woods married Swedish girlfriend Elin Nordegren, who he met during the 2001 Open Championship.

With his 'MkII swing', Woods went on to capture the Open at St Andrews in 2005, but he missed the first cut in 38 majors as a professional at the US Open in June 2006 after a nine-week lay-off following the death of his father and mentor Earl.

Amid emotional scenes a month later, Woods broke down in tears as he clinched the Open Championship at Hoylake and immediately dedicated the win to his father.

"I just miss my dad so much. I wish he could have been here to witness this," he said at the time.

"He enjoyed watching me grind out major wins and this would have brought a smile to his face."

Less than 24 hours after finishing second at the 2006 US Open, Woods's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, daughter Sam Alexis, and he went on to win the USPGA again two months later.

He took his major haul to 13 wins after victory at the USPGA in 2007, maintaining his record of never having lost a major when leading heading into the final round.

But 2008 was to mark a period of anguish and uncertainty for Woods, though it also further added to his legend.

Tiger Woods
Woods captured the 2006 Open at Hoylake shortly after his father died

In April he underwent a third operation on a troublesome left knee, ruling him out for two months.

But he returned to claim a remarkable win in the US Open at Torrey Pines after a 18-hole play-off with Rocco Mediate, despite being crippled by knee pain almost from the beginning of the tournament.

Two days later Woods announced he was to undergo further surgery on his knee, which would rule him out for nine months.

In February 2009 Woods's second child Charlie Axel was born, and he returned to action in March.

Despite the lay-off, Woods won five tournaments in his first 11 strokeplay events back, during which he was only outside the top 10 once, when he missed the cut at the Open at Turnberry for only his second missed cut in 49 majors as a professional.

He then led going into the final round of this year's USPGA but surrendered his 100% record of never having lost when leading after 54 holes of a major when he was beaten into second by South Korean YE Yang.

Woods ended the season as winner of the US PGA Tour's FedEx Cup standings and world number one for the 233rd straight week.

He has been the world's best player for 575 weeks, won a total of 71 PGA Tour events, the third highest ever behind Sam Snead and Nicklaus, and has broken almost every record in golf along the way.

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see also
Woods admits letting family down
02 Dec 09 |  Americas
Tiger Woods 'at fault' for crash
01 Dec 09 |  Americas
Woods pulls out of own tournament
30 Nov 09 |  Golf
Woods hits out at 'false rumours'
29 Nov 09 |  Americas
Golfer Woods hurt in US car crash
28 Nov 09 |  Golf
Tiger Woods's career in photos
12 Dec 09 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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