Sports

Golf Genius Tiger Woods

American golfer Tiger Woods is the youngest man ever, and the first man of color, to win the Masters Tournament of golf. He is a living and breathing golf genius. Of that, there is no doubt. An elite combination of power, finesse and athletic prowess, he single-handedly redefined the game of golf and made it his own through a countless number of exciting tournament victories.

Tiger Woods was born Eldrick Woods on December 30, 1975, in Cypress, California. He is the only child of Earl and Kultida Woods. His journey from golf prodigy to golf professional began at age 2, when he was already learning to swing from his athletic and influential dad, Earl Woods. In 1978, Tiger putted against comedian Bob Hope in a television appearance on The Mike Douglas Show. At age three, he shot a 48 over nine holes over the Cypress Navy course, and at age five, he appeared in Golf Digest and on ABC’s That’s Incredible.

With titles like U.S. Junior Amateur Champion and Southern California Amateur Player of the Year to his name, Tiger Woods was courted by the college circuit following his 1994 graduation from Western High School. Tiger got his professional start on the PGA Tour in the summer of 1996. By year’s end, he would be named by the PGA Tour as its Rookie of the Year and capture the illustrious Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award at the shockingly young age of only 21.

Tiger has had an unprecedented career since becoming a professional golfer in the late summer of 1996. He has won 66 tournaments, 48 of those on the PGA TOUR, including the 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005 Masters Tournaments, 1999 and 2000 PGA Championships, 2000 and 2002 U.S. Open Championships, and 2000 and 2005 British Open Championships. With his second Masters victory in 2001, Tiger became the first ever to hold all four professional major championships at the same time.

As he conquered golf tournaments at an exhausting pace, Tiger Woods became an unbeatable talent on the green. Tiger stayed atop the world golf rankings for more than 260 weeks before a surprisingly lengthy series of average performances dropped him from the top spot in 2004. Tiger regained his prowess and endured as the world’s best golfer. Tiger won the Masters again (2005), the British Open and Buick International (2005 and 2006), and named as the PGA Tour Player of the Year in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

On October 31, 2010, Tiger lost the world number one ranking to Lee Westwood. Since mid-November 2009, shortly before the infidelity scandals began breaking in the media, Tiger has been winless worldwide for two years, the longest streak without a title of his professional career. Tiger opened his 2011 season at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course near San Diego. He has enjoyed tremendous success there, with six past Tour titles and a dramatic playoff win in the 2008 U.S. Open.

As of November 14, 2011, Tiger is ranked #50 in the world, after finishing third at the Emirates Australian Open, his best result in 2011. In addition, Tiger made the clinching point at the Presidents Cup.

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