Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods (born December 30, 1975 in Cypress, California) is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time.
He has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for several years. Woods turned professional in 1996, and by April 1997 he had already won his first major, the 1997 Masters in a record-breaking performance, winning the tournament by 12 strokes and pocketing $486,000. He first reached the number one position in the world rankings in June 1997.
Through the 2000s, Woods was the dominant force in golf, spending 264 weeks from August 1999 to September 2004 and 281 weeks from June 2005 to October 2010 as world number one. From December 2009 to early April 2010, Woods took leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity. His many extra-marital indescretions were revealed by several different women, through many worldwide media sources.
This was followed by a loss of golf form, and his ranking gradually fell to a low of No. 58 in November 2011. He ended a career-high winless streak of 107 weeks when he captured the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011. After winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 25, 2013, he ascended to the No.1 ranking once again, holding the top spot until May 2014. Woods has broken numerous golf records. He has been world number one for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any other golfer. He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record eleven times, the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times, and has the record of leading the money list in ten different seasons.
He has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second highest of any player (Jack Nicklaus leads with 18), and 79 PGA Tour events, second all time behind Sam Snead, who had 82 wins. He has more career major wins and career 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 only the second golfer, after Jack Nicklaus, to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times. Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships, and won at least one of those events in each of the first 11 years after they began in 1999. Woods and Rory McIlroy are the only golfers to win both The Silver Medal and The Gold Medal at The Open Championship.
In November 2003, Woods became engaged to Elin Nordegren, a Swedish former 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. They married on October 5, 2004, at the Sandy Lane resort in Barbados, and lived at Isleworth, a community in Windermere, a suburb of Orlando, Florida.
In 2006, they purchased a $39 million estate in Jupiter Island, Florida, and began constructing a 10,000-square-foot home; Woods moved there in 2010 following the couple's divorce. Woods and Nordegren's first child, a daughter named Sam Alexis Woods, was born in 2007. Woods chose the name because his own father had always called him Sam. Their son, Charlie Axel Woods, was born in 2009.
On November 25, 2009, supermarket tabloid The National Enquirer published a story claiming that Woods had an extramarital affair with New York City nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel, a claim she denied. Two days later, around 2:30 a.m. on November 27, Woods left home in his Cadillac Escalade SUV and, while still on his street, collided with a fire hydrant, a tree, and several hedges. He was treated for minor facial lacerations and received a ticket for careless driving.
On December 2, following the release by US Weekly of a voicemail message allegedly left by Tiger for a mistress, Woods released another statement in which he admitted "transgressions" and apologized to "all of those who have supported [him] over the years".
In the days and months following Woods' admission of infidelity, several companies re-evaluated their relationships with him. A December 2009 study estimated the shareholder loss caused by Woods' affairs to be between $5 billion and $12 billion.
Woods and Nordegren divorced on August 23, 2010.
On March 18, 2013, Woods announced that he and skier Lindsey Vonn were dating.
According to Golf Digest, Woods made $769,440,709 from 1996 to 2007, and the magazine predicted that by 2010, Woods would pass one billion dollars in earnings.
In 2009, Forbes confirmed that Woods was indeed the world's first athlete to earn over a billion dollars in his career (before taxes), after accounting for the $10 million bonus Woods received for the FedEx Cup title.
The same year, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $600 million, making him the second richest "African American" behind only Oprah Winfrey.
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