The Rise and Fall of Tiger Woods
When you think about famous golfers, Tiger Woods will pop into your head even though there are many other notable professional golfers, such as Jack Nicklaus or Sam Snead. Tiger has the distinction of being one of the most successful golfers in the history of golf. He’s earned many achievements during the past and the current centuries, spanning a professional career of over two decades. It’s no surprise that he’s also become one of the highest paid athletes for several years.
Many people who aspire to be professional golfers may envy Tiger Woods, but one thing is certain the man has certainly spent his lifetime improving his game so he could become the best. He certainly never experienced any shortcuts, such as may happen with musical or entertainment celebrities.
Tiger Woods’s story is interesting, and even though he is in his early 40s, and his golf star doesn’t shine as brightly anymore, he still continues to enjoy popularity in the golfing industry. You may be interested in learning more about Tiger Woods’s many roles in life—the golfer, the family man, and the celebrity.
Who is Tiger Woods?
Everyone knows Tiger Woods as a golfer, but many haven’t heard his background story. Tiger Woods was born as Eldrick Tont Woods on December 30, 1975, in Cypress, California, USA. His dad, Earl, passed away in 2006, but his mom, Tida, is still alive. His mom was from Thailand where she met Earl, who was in the Vietnam War. He’s the only child of this marriage, but does have some other siblings from his dad’s first marriage.
Like many other celebrities, he is best known by his nickname of “Tiger”. He’s over six feet tall and has a friendly smile at any time.
It was his dad who introduced him to golf at the very young age of two years old. His dad was naturally athletic, and had been an amateur golfer and college baseball player at Kansas State University. He played on the Navy golf course in Los Alamitos. Tiger was also allowed to play golf there.
At only the age of three, Tiger shot a 48 for nine holes at the Navy course. With a preview of what was ahead, when he was only five, he appeared in Golf Digest and the That’s Incredible TV show. His childhood was one accomplishment after another. He was certainly a natural. There seemed to be no doubt in his parents’s minds about what he would do for a living.
Despite his potential, college was still a must, so he attended Stanford University. After two years, he became a professional golfer at the age of twenty years old, in 1996. That year, he won the Rookie of the Year.
In less than a year, Tiger won the 1997 Masters, which actually broke records. It took him only twelve strokes to win the game, his winnings totalled $486,000. By June of that year he had achieved number one in the world rankings.
He’s also won the distinction of many titles, “Rookie of the Year”, “PGA Player of the Year” for eleven times, “PGA Tour Leading Money Winner” for ten times, and more.
Tiger has earned more major wins and PGA Tour wins than any other golfer alive today. Perhaps in our lifetime we will never see another player surpass his incredible record.
As an adult, Tiger Woods admitted to stuttering as a child, in an effort to help a little boy. He wrote a letter to the boy for encouragement, and said he practiced speech with his dog and took special classes until he learned how to improve his speech.
Tiger Woods married Elin Nordegren in 2004, but they divorced in 2010 which was estimated to cost him over $100m in settlement costs. They have two children, Sam Alexis and Charlie Axel. He’s extremely proud of his children, and still has the same love of dogs from when he was a child.
Official Tiger Woods Stats
Tiger Woods has earned a long and astounding number of career achievements. Even if we were the best amateur golfer at our company’s golfing tournaments, we’d still be kilometres away from him. He has earned an amazing 106 professional tournament wins in his life.
Tiger has won several Masters Tournaments over the years, beginning in 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2005. He’s also won in the US Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship.
During the 2000s, Tiger was one of the leading players in golf. This encompassed over ten years. He’s won 79 times in the PGA Tour, 40 times in the European Tour, twice in the Japan Golf Tour, and a scattering of other wins in other regions.
He’s also been the youngest golf player ever to get the Grand Slam—winning all the championships in one year. He’s also the youngest to win 50 tournaments. He’s achieved the Grand Slam three times, but Nicklaus is still in first place with that distinction.
In 2007, Woods earned his place in the California Hall of Fame at “The California Museum of History” in Sacramento. Associated Press called him the “Athlete of the Decade” in 2009.
Tiger Woods’s Endorsements
Naturally, all of an athlete’s earnings aren’t limited by their winnings. Shortly after earning distinction with his wins in 1996, he signed a deal with Nike. Apparently this was one of the most lucrative endorsements in golfing history. He also worked with AT&T, Buick, and Gatorade.
Tiger earned Sports Illustrated’s 1996 Sportsman of the Year, which further increased his earning potential.
The Fall of Tiger Woods
Sadly, like many people, personal troubles seemed to get in the way of Tiger Woods’s career. By 1998, he wasn’t doing too well, as evidenced by his records.
He did manage to step forward in 1999 with eight wins, which included the PGA Championship.
When his dad died in 2006, he took leave for nine weeks. His return was a bit slow, but he picked up the pace by the end of the season.
Tiger Woods did well in 2007 to 2008. In 2008, he required knee surgery which kept him off the course for about two months. He bounced back in time for the 2008 US Open, not doing so great on that first day, but then finally winning against Rocco Mediate.
People were amazed that Tiger did so well on only one leg. Tiger was out for the remainder of that season, needing further surgery on his knee. Today, Woods acknowledges that it was perhaps his greatest ever championship, being disabled but still winning. Not surprisingly, the golf season’s TV ratings took a hit while he was away.
Tiger was back in 2009. While he did well, there were no major wins.
Tiger Woods got caught in infidelities in 2009, as revealed by several women, and since there was a lot of bad press about it, it affected his popularity.
He was prompted to deliver a televised apology for his behaviour, but the damage was done—he lost many of his major endorsements.
Throughout 2010 he didn’t do that well, being tied in fourth spot in the 2010 Masters Tournament. He withdrew from the Players Championship due to injury.
By 2010, Tiger took a step back from golf to focus on his marriage. He tried to work it out with Elin Nordegren, but they soon divorced after six years of marriage. Even though he didn’t win a single event in 2010, he still earned “No. 2” in the world ranking.
Results of 2011 and Beyond
Not to be deterred, Woods continued to play into the new decade. His rankings continued to be poor, and he continued to suffer from his leg injury, missing many summer events. By August, he had an all-time low of #58. He managed to bounce up a bit to #50 at the Emirates Australian Open.
In 2012, Tiger Woods did marginally better, with a second tie at the Honda Classic. Sadly, he got yet another leg injury. Finally, he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and his first PGA Tour win since 2009. He also got a PGA Tour win in June, and tied with Jack Nicklaus.
Tiger had a few wins in 2013: Farmers Insurance Open, and WGC-Cadillac Championship.
2014 started out slow, as Tiger Woods had to withdraw from the Honda Classic due to a back injury. This was the first year ever that he missed the Masters Tournament due to back surgery. He tried at the PGA Championship and Open Championship, but had no luck.
In 2015, Tiger Woods suffered from yet another back injury. He took a break from golf during this time to allow his back to heal. He was back for the 2015 Masters Tournament and tied at 17th. He was cut from the Open Championship, but did play the Quicken Loans National to earn a position at 18th. He blamed his losses on a variety of injuries.
For 2016, Tiger Woods skipped the Masters Tournament to recover from his back injury. He announced that he was making great progress, but he didn’t know when he’d be able to return to competitive golf. It was the first year he’d missed out on all four major tournaments that year.
His Effect in the Golfing World
Many people in the golfing industry were worried about Tiger Woods’s negative impact on golf but these fears were unfounded. But what was true was that he had an intimidating presence on the course, as many pro golfers would compete poorly during their game with him.
Some golf courses have gone so far as to add yardage to their tees to thwart long hitters like Woods. This has been affectionately called “Tiger-Proofing” the golf course. Apparently he has welcomed the change, and said it has had no effect on his ability to win.
Tiger Woods Today
In December last year, Tiger Woods made his official return to pro golf. It had taken him about fifteen months to recover from back surgery.
Today, Tiger is doing the PGA Tour, which he had originally joined in 1996.
He never remarried but has been dating Kristin Smith, a personal styler. He is currently living in Jupiter Island, Florida. He remains on friendly terms with his ex, Elin, just minutes away from his house, and shares the custody of their children together. Elin has said that he’s a really good father. She is currently a psychology student, and has achieved happiness with life.
Despite losing most of his endorsements to scandal, Tiger Woods has amassed quite a fortune. Nike has been the only partner to stick with him through the years, with earnings of over $20 million a year. However, Nike has since announced their departure from golfing equipment so Tiger Woods has announced he’s open to a new golfing equipment partnership. He also has current partnerships with Kowa, Rolex, Upper Deck, and Hero MotoCorp.
Tiger Woods is the world’s first athlete to have made over a billion dollars in career earnings, and is the second richest person of colour in the world with an estimated fortune of $740m, second to Oprah Winfrey.
Now that Tiger Woods is officially back, it will be exciting to see how well he performs during the 2017 tournaments. He opened the season by playing at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January. Sadly, it was a mediocre start.
Perhaps it will take him a few games to bounce back. Experts believe that he’s sure to win at least a few games. Hopefully he can avoid all the knee and back injuries that have been plaguing him for many years, and keep his personal life out of the news. His fans will be eagerly anticipating his performance at the 2017 Genesis Open, and from there, we’ll see what else he has planned.
Whether he succeeds or not, Tiger Woods has brought golf back into the spotlight again.