- Full name Eldrick Tont Woods
- Birth date December 30, 1975
- Birth place Cypress, California
- Current age 39 years 284 days
- Height 6 ft 1 in
Tiger Woods lays claim to being the greatest player ever to pick up a club, such has been his dominance over the past decade. Woods trails Jack Nicklaus in terms of Major wins, but he has completely transformed the sport since turning professional in 1996.
Everyone has heard the tale of the child prodigy, who wowed a TV audience alongside Bob Hope at the age of two. He ran amok through the junior and amateur ranks, before turning his attentions to the pro circuit. Two titles came in his first year on tour, the following April he trounced the Masters field by a whopping 12 shots and a golfing phenomenon was born.
Woods drew a blank in the majors in 1998, but from 1999 to 2002 he won at least one major in each of those years. Victory in the US PGA Championship in 1999 set Woods on the way to global dominance as he won the final four events of that year. He carried the form into the new millennium and he won three of the four majors, only missing out on a Grand Slam by his failure to capture the Masters.
In 2003 and 2004 he suffered a slight dip in form, failing to win a major, and he was briefly deposed by Vijay Singh as the world No.1. Woods took the decision to tweak his swing in a bid to ease the stress on his knee and in 2005 he returned to peak form with victories at the Masters and the Open. The following year saw him pick up two major wins, but his knee continued to cause him concern and it was a below-par campaign despite victory in the PGA Championship.
Woods underwent a third bout of surgery on his knee at the start of 2008 but was still struggling when he produced a quite stunning display to win the US Open despite effectively playing on one leg. Reconstructive surgery after the US Open win ended his season and in 2009 he struggled for consistency. He missed the cut at the Open, only the second time he had failed to play at the weekend in a major, and in the US PGA Championship he was overhauled by YE Yang.
It got no better for Woods towards the end of 2009 as a scandal concern extra-marital affairs dominated the front and back pages - leading him to make an announcement that he would be taking an indefinite break from golf.
His spell on the sidelines lasted five months before he returned to finish fourth in the first major of 2010 at the Masters. He struggled for form through the remainder of the year and his 281-week reign as world No. 1 was ended by Lee Westwood in October.
He went winless through 2010, but showed green shoots of recovery towards the end of the year - particularly at the Ryder Cup and the Chevron World Challenge - that hinted at an upturn in performances in 2011.
That did not quite happen - with injury forcing him out of the big events in the middle of the year (particularly the US Open and Open Championship) and an erratic swing seeing him produce one of his worst major performances ever at the US PGA. He was nearly in the contention at the Masters, however, and did win the Chevron to end his winless streak.
It was 2012, then, that proved to be the renaissance season for Woods - as he won three times on the PGA Tour to re-establish himself as one of the game's dominant forces. A major continued to elude him, however - with good positions at the US Open and Open squandered as his swing failed him over the weekend.
Career high: For a player with 14 major titles to his name, it is tough to select one achievement above all others but his demolition job on the Masters field in 1997 made the hairs on the back of the neck stand on end.
Career low: Starting with a crash into a fire hydrant, Woods' reputation - and, subsequently, his performances - collapsed after revelations emerged about a string of somewhat sordid extra-marital affairs.
Quote: "The first time I ever saw Arnold Palmer, I said, 'There's a star.' The first time I saw Jack Nicklaus, I said, 'Superstar.' I feel the same way about Tiger Woods." Nine-time Major winner Gary Player holds Woods in high regard.
Trivia: Woods became the youngest to complete the career Grand Slam of professional major championships and only the fifth ever to do so, following Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, when winning the Open in 2000.
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