Monday, February 22, 2010

About Tiger Woods

This is the Tiger year.

But will it be the Tiger Woods year?

Read all about the iconic American golfer who recently displayed a whole new side of himself.

Thanks Wikipedia.

Eldrick Tont Woods (born December 30, 1975), better known as Tiger Woods is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers. Currently the World No. 1, he was the highest-paid professional athlete in 2008, having earned an estimated US$110 million from winnings and endorsements.

Woods has won 14 major golf championships, the second highest of any male player and 71 PGA Tour events, the third highest of any male player. He has more major wins and PGA Tour wins than any other active golfer. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam and the youngest and fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour. Additionally, Woods is the second golfer, after Jack Nicklaus, to have achieved a career grand slam three times. Woods has won 16 World Golf Championships and has won at least one of those events each of the 11 years they have been in existence.

Woods has held the number one position in the world rankings for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest number of weeks. He has been awarded PGA Player Of The Year a record 10 times.

On December 11, 2009, Woods announced he would take an indefinite leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity. His multiple infidelities were revealed by over a dozen mistresses, through many worldwide media sources.

Woods was born in Cypress, California, to Earl (1932–2006) and Kultida (Tida) Woods (born 1944). He is the only child of their marriage but has two half-brothers, Earl Jr (born 1955) and Kevin (born 1957) and one half-sister, Royce (born 1958) from the 18-year marriage of Earl Woods and his first wife Barbara Gray. Earl, a retired United States Army lieutenant colonel and Vietnam War veteran was of mixed African American, Chinese and Native American ancestry. Kultida Punsawad, originally from Thailand, is of mixed Thai, Chinese and Dutch ancestry.

At birth, Woods was given 'Eldrick' and 'Tont' as first and middle names. Tont is a traditional Thai name. He got his nickname from a Vietnamese American soldier friend of his father, Vuong Dang Phong, to whom his father had also given the Tiger nickname. He became generally known by that name and by the time he had achieved national prominence in junior and amateur golf, he was simply known as 'Tiger' Woods.

Woods grew up in Orange County, California. He was a prodigy, introduced to golf before the age of two, by his athletic father Earl, who was a good standard amateur golfer and a college baseball player at Kansas State University. 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 at the Navy Golf Club in Cypress, California and at age five, he appeared in Golf Digest and on ABC's That's Incredible. In 1984 at the age of eight, he won the 9–10 boys' event, the youngest age group available at the Junior World Golf Championships. He went on to win the Junior World Championships six times, including four consecutive wins from 1988 to 1991.

While attending Western High School in Anaheim at the age of 15, Woods became the youngest ever US Junior Amateur Champion, was voted Southern California Amateur Player Of The Year for the second consecutive year and Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player Of The Year 1991. In 1992, he defended his title at the US Junior Amateur Championship, becoming the first multiple winner, competed in his first PGA Tour event, the Nissan Los Angeles Open and was named Golf Digest Amateur Player Of The Year, Golf World Player Of The Year and Golfweek National Amateur Of The Year.

The following year, Woods won his third consecutive US Junior Amateur Championship and remains the event's youngest and only multiple winner. In 1994, he became the youngest winner of the US Amateur Championship, a record that stood until 2008 when it was broken by Danny Lee. He was a member of the American team at the 1994 Eisenhower Trophy World Amateur Golf Team Championships (winning) and the 1995 Walker Cup (losing).

Woods graduated from Western High School in 1994 at age 18.

Woods obtained a golf scholarship and enrolled at Stanford in 1994. He won his first collegiate event, the 40th Annual William H. Tucker Invitational in September. He declared a major in economics. In 1995, he defended his US Amateur title and was voted Stanford's Freshman Of The Year (an award that encompasses all sports). At age 20 in 1996, he became the first golfer to win three consecutive US Amateur titles, and won the NCAA individual golf championship.

Tiger Woods became a professional golfer in August 1996 and signed endorsement deals worth US$40 million from Nike and US$20 million from Titleist. These endorsement contracts were the highest in golf history then. He played his first round of professional golf at the Greater Milwaukee Open, tying for 60th place, but went on to win two events in the next three months to qualify for the Tour Championship. For his efforts, Woods was named Sports Illustrated's 1996 Sportsman Of The Year and PGA Tour Rookie Of The Year. He began his tradition of wearing a red shirt during the final round of tournaments, a link to his college days at Stanford and a colour he believes symbolises aggression and assertiveness.

On May 3, 2006, Woods's father, mentor and inspiration, Earl, died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Woods and tennis star Roger Federer, who share a major sponsor, first met at the 2006 US Open tennis final. Since then, they have attended each other's events and have voiced their mutual appreciation for each other's talents.

Woods has established several charitable and youth projects. The Tiger Woods Foundation was established in 1996 by Woods and his father Earl. It focuses on projects for children. Initially these comprised golf clinics (aimed especially at disadvantaged children) and a grant programme. Further activities added since then include university scholarships, an association with Target House at St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, the Start Something character development programme, which reached one million participants by 2003 and the Tiger Woods Learning Centre.

The Tiger Jam is an annual fundraising concert which has raised over US$10 million for the Tiger Woods Foundation. Past performers at Tiger Jam include Sting, Bon Jovi and Stevie Wonder.

Woods has written a golf instruction column for Golf Digest magazine since 1997 and in 2001 wrote a best-selling golf instruction book, How I Play Golf, which had the largest print run of any golf book for its first edition, 1.5 million copies.

Woods announced on December 3, 2006 that he would develop his first golf course in the United Arab Emirates through his golf course design company, Tiger Woods Design. On August 14, 2007, Woods announced his first course to be designed in the US, The Cliffs at High Carolina.

Shortly after his 21st birthday in 1996, he began signing endorsement deals with numerous companies, including General Motors, Titleist, General Mills, American Express, Accenture and Nike.

Woods collaborated closely with TAG Heuer to develop the world's first professional golf watch, released in April 2005.

On August 20, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that Woods would be inducted into the California Hall Of Fame.

He has been named "Athlete Of The Decade" by the Associated Press. He has been named Associated Press Male Athlete Of The Year a record four times and is the only person to be named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman Of The Year more than once.

Woods is a big fan of Barack Obama.

On October 5, 2004, Woods wed Elin Nordegren, a former Swedish model and daughter of former minister of migration Barbro Holmberg and radio journalist Thomas Nordegren. They were introduced during The Open Championship in 2001 by Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who had employed her as an au pair. Their first child Sam Alexis was born on June 18, 2007. Their second child Charles Axel came on February 8, 2009.

On November 25, 2009, supermarket tabloid The National Enquirer published a story claiming that Woods had an extramarital affair with nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel, a claim she denied. The story began to attract media attention when Woods had a car accident a day later. He was leaving his home around 2.30am in his SUV when he collided with a tree. Woods refused to speak to the police and the accident fanned intense speculation for two days until he released a statement on his website. He took blame for the crash but said it was a private matter. He also praised his wife Elin for getting him out of the car.

In the next few days, over a dozen women claimed in various media outlets that Woods had affairs with them. Woods subsequently apologised for his misconduct and requested privacy.

As a result of his infidelity, Woods lost several corporate endorsements most notably Gillette and Nielsen.

Tiger Woods donated US$3,000,000 to the 2010 Haitian earthquake victims.

He is both Christian and Buddhist, and endorses legendary boxer Muhammad Ali’s famous statement in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks that all faiths are equally good and lead to the same destination.