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  Sunday, 23 July, 2000, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Tiger Woods: A living legend
Tiger Woods
Woods' win at St Andrews places him in a party of five
At the age of 24, Eldrick "Tiger" Woods has become what many believe to be the greatest golfer ever.

The epic victory at the US Open last month saw him shatter the record for the largest winning margin in a Major - an amazing 15 strokes.

From then on the pressure was on the young American - could he become the youngest player to win all four Majors? The answer was a resounding yes.

His win at St Andrews proved to the world that not only has he the natural game but also the temperament.

The Californian's dream is now reality and he becomes the fifth member of an elite group to have won all the Majors - Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Gary Player and Ben Hogan being the other four.

Green jacket

But what stands him apart from the crowd is that he has achieved the feat at such a tender age; whereas Nicklaus took 19 Major attempts to win all four, Woods has just taken 15.

Tiger Woods
Winning the green jacket was just the start
He played his first Major championships in 1995 making the 36-hole cuts in the Masters and The Open and made the cuts for the Masters, US Open and The Open the following year, where his total of 281 tied for the best by an amateur at the Championship.

Woods was just 21, a year after turning professional, when he became the youngest golfer to don the coveted green jacket, winning the US Masters by 12 strokes - another record.

The player had suddenly been thrust into the golfing stratosphere, people were now expecting great things from Woods although others thought that his accomplishment could have been down to good form coming at the right time.

Tiger Woods
The PGA win topped a fantastic year on the circuit

He had become the first player of an African or Asian heritage to have lifted a Major title and had broken down a number of barriers, attracting would-be players from ethnic minorities to take up the sport.

The Stanford University graduate continued to have a great year on the American PGA circuit, winning four events in total and leading the money list with nearly 1.5m.

As a 21-year-old he became the youngest-ever world number one golfer, the previous being German Bernhard Langer, who was 29.

Largest margin

The Woods juggernaut picked up pace the following year and his skills on the greens were tested to the limit when he won the Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand after having started the final round tied for 18th place.

Tiger Woods
The win at Pebble Beach shattered all records
A second Major came in 1999 - the PGA Championship was one of eight titles Woods won on the Tour, he accumulated nearly 6m which was 52% of the prize money available on the circuit that year.

Records began to tumble as he emerged with the highest points average (20.61 points) in the history of the World Ranking and in turn achieved the largest margin over his closest rival (7.46) David Duval.

The turn of the millennium did not slow Woods down, having won a total of 11 world-wide events the previous year the 24-year-old went on to record a further five victories in the year 2000.

The win at Pebble Beach left him with just one more goal to achieve and that came on a late July evening out on the Old Course.

The world now awaits to see what the future holds for this living legend.

The Open at St.Andrews
20th - 23rd July
See also:

23 Jul 00 | The Open
23 Jul 00 | The Open
22 Jul 00 | The Open
22 Jul 00 | The Open
21 Jul 00 | The Open
21 Jul 00 | The Open
22 Jul 00 | The Open
Links to more The Open stories are at the foot of the page.


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