By Amy Woodyatt, CNN
Published 11:53 AM EST, Thu January 12, 2023
Tiger Woods reacts after winning the Masters golf tournament in April 2019. It was his 15th major title and his first since 2008.
Woods had his first brush with fame when he was just 2 years old. The young golfing prodigy appeared on "The Mike Douglas Show" in 1978, winning a putting contest with comedian Bob Hope.
Woods, 6, sizes up a putt in Los Alamitos, California, in 1982. His real name is Eldrick, but his father nicknamed him "Tiger" after a South Vietnamese soldier he fought alongside with during the Vietnam War.
Woods and his father, Earl, celebrate after a 15-year-old Tiger won the US Junior Amateur Championship in 1991. He won the event in 1992 and 1993 as well.
Woods, 16, tees off at the Los Angeles Open in 1992. That was his first taste of PGA Tour competition, albeit as an amateur. He missed the 36-hole cut.
Woods played for the United States during the World Amateur Team Cup, which took place in France in 1994.
Woods hits a tee shot during the 1995 Walker Cup, an international team event.
Woods talks to the media after winning his third-straight US Amateur in 1996. Throughout his life, Woods has worn red on the final day of a big tournament.
Woods played two years of college golf at Stanford University. He won the NCAA individual golf title in 1996.
Woods turned professional in August 1996, and it didn't take long for him to win his first tournament. Six weeks after he announced he was going pro — with a famous "Hello, world" ad campaign for Nike — Woods won the Las Vegas Invitational. That earned him this big check, a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and a spot in the following year's Masters tournament.
Woods made history at the 1997 Masters, blowing away the field by 12 strokes to win his first major. At the time, it was also a record-low Masters score of 18 under par.
Woods hugs his father, Earl, after winning the 1997 Masters. Earl, a former Green Beret, was widely credited with developing his son's prodigious talent and pushing him to be the ultimate competitor.
Woods arrives at an airport in Hamburg, Germany, in May 2000.
Woods plays a shot from the ninth fairway during the 2000 US Open in Pebble Beach, California. Woods won the tournament by 15 shots, a record for any major. It was Woods' third major title by this point; he had also won the 1999 PGA Championship.
A month after the US Open, Woods won the 2000 British Open at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. That gave him the career Grand Slam — a win in each of the four different majors — at the age of 24.
Woods chips out of the rough at the 2000 PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. Throughout his career, Woods has always had the largest galleries, with thousands of people flocking from hole to hole to watch him play. He's also been credited with bringing in millions of new fans to the sport.
Woods reacts as he sinks a putt during a playoff at the 2000 PGA Championship. Woods defeated Bob May in the playoff to win his third straight major.
Fans watch Woods tee off on the 18th hole at the 2001 Masters. Woods went on to win the event and complete what's now called the Tiger Slam — four consecutive major titles.
Woods chats with golf legend Jack Nicklaus at the Memorial tournament in June 2001. The two are widely considered to be the two greatest golfers in history, and only Nicklaus has won more major titles than Woods.
Woods arrives in a military vehicle before a golf exhibition in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 2004. Woods spent the week training with Army troops before hosting a junior golf clinic for his Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods' father, Earl, was stationed at the base in the 1960s.
Woods and Phil Mickelson line up their putts during the final round of the Ford Championship in March 2005. For much of Woods' career, Mickelson was considered his biggest rival.
Woods celebrates with his caddie, Steve Williams, after his famous chip-in at the 2005 Masters. Woods went on to win his fourth green jacket.
Woods hugs Williams after winning the British Open in Hoylake, England in 2006. It was Woods' first major win since the death of his father just a couple of months earlier.
Woods stands with his mother, Kultida, and his daughter, Sam, as a statue of him and his father is unveiled at the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, California, in January 2008.
Woods had a fractured tibia and a torn ligament in his knee, but he gutted out a playoff win over Rocco Mediate at the 2008 US Open. It was his third US Open win and his 14th major title.
President Barack Obama hosted Woods in the White House Oval Office in April 2009.
Woods hits a shot during a PGA Championship practice round in August 2009.
Woods holds his daughter, Sam, as he and his wife, Elin, attend a Stanford football game in November 2009. Woods married Elin, a model, in 2004. The couple also have a son, Charlie.
Woods approaches a lectern before giving a televised statement in February 2010. Woods apologized for being unfaithful to his wife and letting down both fans and family. "I had affairs, I cheated," he said. "What I did was not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame." It was his first public appearance since being hospitalized a couple months earlier following a car crash outside his home. Woods said he was in therapy for "issues," which he did not explain. He and his wife divorced in August 2010.
Woods plays virtual golf with talk-show host Jimmy Fallon in 2011.
Woods jokes with golf great Arnold Palmer after winning the Bay Hill Invitational in March 2013 and regaining his spot as the world's top-ranked golfer.
Woods falls to the ground in pain after hitting a shot at The Barclays in August 2013. A few months later, he would undergo back surgery for a pinched nerve.
From left, Woods, Jason Dufner and Mickelson hang out at the Muirfield Village Golf Club, where the Presidents Cup was taking place in Dublin, Ohio, in October 2013.
Woods kisses his then-girlfriend, skiing superstar Lindsey Vonn, at an event in Beaver Creek, Colorado, in 2015. The two dated for a couple of years.
In 2017, Woods was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Woods, who was rehabbing from another back surgery, said in a statement that he had "an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications" and that alcohol was not involved. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving and went on probation.
Woods is trailed by jubilant fans during the final round of the Tour Championship in Atlanta in 2018. It was his first PGA Tour victory since 2013.
President Donald Trump presents Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in May 2019. It was just a month after Woods won his fifth Masters and 15th major. Trump hailed Woods as a "global symbol of American excellence" and congratulated him on his "amazing comeback."
Woods captained the US team to a Presidents Cup win in December 2019.
Woods putts during the second round of the Masters in November 2020.
Woods and his son, Charlie, warm up before the final round of the PNC Championship in December 2020. Videos of Charlie's impressive swing, a swing that looks much like his father's, went viral on social media.
Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of Woods' rollover crash in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, in February 2021. Woods suffered serious leg injuries in the one-car accident and had to be pulled from his vehicle by emergency responders.
Woods plays a shot at the PNC Championship as his son, Charlie, watches in December 2021. It was Tiger's first time competing since the car crash, and he used a golf cart to get around the course. He and Charlie finished in second place. "I'm a long way away from playing tournament golf," Tiger said. "This is hit, hop in a cart."
Woods attends the trophy ceremony for the Genesis Invitational, which he hosted in Pacific Palisades, California, in February 2022. A year after his crash, he said he still hoped for a return to the PGA Tour but said he was "frustrated" with the timeline of his recovery. He spoke of his intention to return to competitive golf while conceding he won't be able to play a full tour schedule.
Woods and his mother, Kultida, pose for photos during his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame in March 2022. "I had unbelievable parents, mentors, friends who supported me in the darkest of times and celebrated the highest of times," he said in his acceptance speech. "All of you allowed me to get here, and I want to say thank you very much from the bottom of my heart."
Woods hits a tee shot at the Masters as he made his return to competitive golf in April 2022. He finished his first round with a 1-under-par 71.
In pictures: Golf icon Tiger Woods
Ahead of the Sony Open in Hawaii, US captain Johnson said he wouldn’t discount selecting Woods to compete in the tournament if the 47-year-old didn’t qualify for the team automatically.
“I would only contemplate having him on the team if he felt – if he was putting up some numbers and some scores, No. 1, where he’s showing some sign of being competitive, “Johnson said at a media conference on Wednesday.
“And then No. 2, that discussion would be had with the other guys that are a part of that team, and specifically him. If there is anything I trust in Tiger Woods, is that he’s extremely invested in this team and the future Cups. Extremely invested. I can’t speak that enough,” added Johnson.
“And then I think you would do anything and everything for the betterment of the team. I assume he would say … I don’t like basing on assumptions … but I’m confident that he would say, ‘Yeah, I can play, or no, I can’t.’”
Last year, Johnson confirmed Woods would be part of the US Ryder Cup “in some capacity,” adding that Woods had made it a “priority.”
“Given who he is and what he’s all about, I can’t tell you right now: I don’t know if he will be here next year, but he will be a part of this team in some capacity,” Johnson said.
However, Woods’ health could complicate this, Johnson conceded.
“He’s gone through some things as of late that make it difficult, whether it’s travel or what-have-you,” said the US Ryder Cup captain.
Injury has hampered Woods’ recent career, his playing time decimated since he suffered serious leg injuries in a car accident in February 2021.
The 47-year-old withdrew from the Hero World Challenge in December citing his foot pain, and at various points had looked to be struggling with movement during the seventh edition of The Match that month.
“I think something that is realistic is playing the tour one day, never full time, ever again, but pick and choose, just like Mr. (Ben) Hogan did,” Woods told Golf Digest after his accident in 2021.
“Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that. You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. And you play. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on.
“It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
A biennial competition which alternates between Europe and the US, the Ryder Cup is being played in Italy for the first time later this year – September 25 to October 1 – at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, which is 10 miles from the center of Rome.
Team US regained the Ryder Cup in 2021 following a historically dominant performance over Europe at Whistling Straits.
CNN’s Jack Bantock contributed reporting.
Woods last missed a Ryder Cup in 2008, when he sat out because of knee surgery. The Americans won in a blowout at Valhalla, their only victory in the event since 1999. Nine spots on the U.S. team were finalized after the PGA Championship.What is Tiger Woods real first name? ›
Tiger (Eldrick) Woods, born December 30, 1975, is a professional golfer and entrepreneur. Since turning professional in 1996, Tiger has built an unprecedented competitive career. His achievements on the course–106 worldwide wins and 15 majors–have mirrored his success off the course as well.When did Tiger Woods start playing golf? ›
Tiger Woods is unarguably the most successful golfer in the world. The legend developed an interest in golf after his father, Earl Woods, introduced him to the game. He started playing golf when he was just 2 years old.Why didn't Tiger Woods play in the Ryder Cup? ›
More From Golf Digest
In the Bahamas, Woods revealed that he underwent “a couple more” procedures on his leg because it “wasn't working properly.” He said his plan this year, health permitting, was to “play just the major championships and maybe one or two more. That's it.
For the first time in nearly a decade, Patrick Reed won't be on a Ryder Cup team. Reed was the highest-ranked player left off the squad that will represent the U.S. at Whistling Straits later this month.Who is the most unpopular player on the PGA Tour? ›
He holds the distinction of heading a random pole on “who the least favorite playing partner” was on the tour. His head-strong, arrogant manner does not sit well with the spectators who jeer him on course.
Tiger Woods is officially a billionaire, according to a new Forbes' estimate of the golf icon's net worth. He joins Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and NBA legend Michael Jordan as the only known billionaire athletes in the world.Does Tiger want to remarry Elin? ›
Tiger Woods wants to remarry ex-wife Elin Nordegren, but it will come at a cost: report. Tiger Woods is a single man these days, but he may not still be over his ex-wife Elin Nordegren.Who is the best golf player of all time? ›
With 18 professional majors, two US Amateurs, three Players titles, 73 PGA Tour victories, 10 Champions Tour trophies and 115 worldwide victories in all, Nicklaus is the best golfer in history.
Woods's first name, Eldrick, was chosen by his mother because it began with "E" (for Earl) and ended with "K" (for Kultida). His middle name Tont is a traditional Thai name. He was nicknamed Tiger in honor of his father's friend, South Vietnamese Colonel Vuong Dang Phong, who had also been known as Tiger.
To be exact, Tiger Woods is one quarter Chinese, one quarter Thai, one quarter African American, one eighth American Indian and one eighth Dutch. His Dutch connection comes through his great grand father on his mother's side who was a Dutchman.What year was Tiger Woods best year in golf? ›
Throwback to Tiger Woods' incredible 2000 PGA Tour season
Surprisingly, he made all the 20 cuts that season. As a result, the former World Number One did not have a single missed cut that year. The former World Number One one had 17 top 10 finishes and 20 top 25 finishes in the particular PGA Tour season.
Hank Haney (born August 24, 1955) is an American professional golf instructor best known for coaching Tiger Woods and two-time major championship winner Mark O'Meara.How good was Tiger as a kid? ›
He was so good at 5 years old that he was in the golf magazine, Golf Digest. When Tiger was 8 years old, he won the Junior World Golf Championship against 9 and 10 year olds. As Tiger grew up he would win the junior golf championship 6 times!What did Tiger text to the Ryder Cup team? ›
Woods sent a group text message through captain Steve Stricker to American players, saying he was behind them in their battle to regain the cup. "The gist of basically what he said was I'm cheering you guys on, I'm right there with you and go fight and make us proud," Tony Finau said from Sheboygan, Wisc.Are Liv golfers banned from Ryder Cup? ›
Players who joined Saudi-funded LIV Golf can still play in all the majors — and qualify for the Ryder Cup — now that the PGA Championship and British Open have announced only minor tweaks to existing criteria.Will Jordan Spieth play in the Ryder Cup? ›
The PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee is gaining some fresh faces, with major champions Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas added to the six-person panel ahead of the 2023 Ryder Cup.Who hugged at the Ryder Cup? ›
DeChambeau picks up the Ryder Cup trophy and initiates a hug. Koepka meets him halfway, sort of. Thomas cheers. The hug ends.Who collapsed at the Ryder Cup? ›
Ryder Cup organizers said only that Felton experienced “a medical incident” at Whistling Straits and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. They provided no other information. Felton was on the 18th hole when he went down.What American has lost the most Ryder Cup matches in their career? ›
While Mickelson holds the Ryder Cup record for most matches played (47), he also holds the record for most matches lost (22).
Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are among the players suspended from competing on the PGA Tour following their involvement in the controversial Saudi-funded LIV International Golf Series.How many bodyguards does Tiger Woods have? ›
Fark: To defend him from the mistressesTiger Woods returns to golf in Augusta... with an army of 90 bodyguards!How much did LIV offer Tiger? ›
'Not even close to that:' Tiger Woods' lucrative LIV offer clarified in report. First, Greg Norman said Tiger Woods was offered nearly a billion dollars to join LIV Golf. Then, the LIV Golf CEO walked back that claim, saying the offer was a summation of potential value based on part ownership of a LIV franchise.Who are the three billionaire athletes? ›
But in terms of net worth, again, only three athletes have made it to the billionaires club. They are LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.Do Tiger Woods and Elin get along? ›
So they get along really well. Tiger says really great things about Elin. He never complains about her, ever. … The kids love them both."Did Tiger and Elin have a prenup? ›
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
While the two reportedly signed a prenup, Woods' sex scandal led to renegotiations in Nordegren's favor, granting her more than $100 million from the divorce, reports Forbes.
The athlete wed the model in October 2004, and their eldest child arrived three years later. Charlie was born in 2009. Since the former couple called it quits in 2010 following Woods' cheating scandal, they have been coparenting the little ones.Who is the most loved golfer? ›
70% of golf fans said they have a favorable opinion of Tiger Woods, placing him in a virtual tie with Phil Mickelson as golf's most popular player. Bubba Watson (59%), Rory McIlroy (59%) and Jordan Spieth (55%) rounded out the top five most popular golfers on tour.Who is considered the goat in golf? ›
Most fans agree that Nicklaus's golf career stands as one of the best, if not the all-time greatest. Depending on your age, Nicklaus is either your GOAT or, if you're younger, Nicklaus might fall just behind Tiger Woods.
Phong's nickname was "Tiger," and when his son Eldrick was born, Earl took to calling Eldrick "Tiger," too, after his friend Col. Phong. And from that point, Tiger was known as "Tiger" to everyone.Why did Tiger Woods change his swing? ›
One argument in favor of Woods' swing-change decisions through the years has been that he underwent these changes in order to better preserve his body for the future.Who is the Tiger King Why does the Tiger King get his name? ›
He killed about seventy tigers within ten years. He was so caught up with reaching his target of killing one hundred tigers to disprove the prophecy that all other matters took a back-seat. This was how he got to be known as the Tiger King.What religion was Tiger Woods? ›
"People probably don't realize it," he said, "but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years."What country does Tiger Woods live in? ›
The pro athlete has come a long way since growing up in the Orange County suburb Cypress, California; he has now owned properties in California, Florida, the Bahamas, and Canada.Can Tiger Woods speak Thai? ›
LORRAINE: Just out of curiosity, how much Thai did your mum speak to you when you were growing up? LORRAINE: Can you speak any words of Thai? WOODS: A little bit, not much.Has Tiger Woods ever hit a hole in one? ›
Woods has hit a hole-in-one 20 times in the course of his lifetime, his first at the age of six. Three have come in PGA Tour competitions - at the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open, 1997 Phoenix Open, and 1998 Sprint International. Woods is the only professional golfer to win four majors in a row.Who has the most hole in ones ever? ›
Many golfers go without hitting a hole in one ever in their lifetime. That's not the case for Norman Manley of California who holds the record for most hole in ones. Manley has shot 59 hole in ones over his lifetime.What is the longest hole in one ever? ›
A condor was scored without cutting over a dogleg by Mike Crean at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver, Colorado, in 2002, when he holed his drive at the 517 yard par-5 9th. This is the longest hole-in-one on record.What is Hank Haney doing now? ›
These days, Haney lives the good life of semi-retirement. He hosts a morning show on Sirius XM PGA TOUR radio, plays some pickleball and then often heads to the golf course for a round with friends.
Tiger gets bored without change. He prefers makeover to maintenance. Haney said: "He wanted to always be consciously doing something to get better.Why was Tiger Woods so good at golf? ›
Tiger the Golfer
Tiger Woods began his ascent to the top of the golf world early in his career. His father taught him the game of golf and coached him carefully. Tiger strove for excellence and built excellence into his daily training, and he carries this goal with him daily (Peters and Austin 1989).
Tiger is the only player in the history of the sport to win four consecutive major championships. He also has the lowest scoring average of a player in the history of the PGA Tour, and is the youngest player to achieve the Grand Slam. There have been a great many legendary golf players over the decades.Why is the tiger the strongest? ›
Tigers are some of the strongest animals on the planet. They have muscular bodies, sharp claws, and powerful jaws that enable them to take down prey much larger than themselves. They are fast runners and can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Tigers can weigh 650 pounds with a swipe force of up to 10000 pounds.Is Tiger the greatest ever? ›
He is considered the greatest golfer in modern golf history. In addition to that, he is also one of the most famous golf players in the world. Tie-ing the most PGA tour wins with Sam Snead (82 wins) has a record of 11 PGA “Player of the year” awards.
Tiger Woods was the leading player on the points list but was recovering from knee surgery and unable to compete. Captains picks are shown in yellow; the world rankings and records are at the start of the 2008 Ryder Cup.Did Tiger Woods ever win the Ryder Cup? ›
In eight Ryder Cup appearances, Woods earned 14.5 points from a possible 37, and only got his hands on the trophy on one occasion. Despite being a world No.Was Tiger Woods a Ryder Cup captain? ›
Woods was a player on eight Ryder Cup teams and a vice captain in 2018.When was Tiger Woods last Ryder Cup? ›
Tiger Woods has played in seven Ryder Cups during his professional career. He played in Ryder Cup competitions in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, and 2018. In 1997, 1999, and 2018, his team won the Ryder Cup, while in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2010, his team lost the Ryder Cup.What was Tiger Woods message to the Ryder Cup team? ›
Woods sent a group text message through captain Steve Stricker to American players, saying he was behind them in their battle to regain the cup. "The gist of basically what he said was I'm cheering you guys on, I'm right there with you and go fight and make us proud," Tony Finau said from Sheboygan, Wisc.
Jack Nicklaus (United States)
Nicklaus played in six Ryder Cups from 1969-'81 (winning five times), competed in 28 matches, and earned 18 1/2 points -- the latter sits seventh among American golfers. His 17 overall wins are tied for fifth.
Phil Mickelson will continue his Ryder Cup legacy as part of the captaincy crew after being formally named as a Vice Captain for Steve Stricker's U.S. Team for the 2021 Ryder Cup later this month at Whistling Straits.What is Phil Mickelson's record for the Ryder Cup? ›
While Mickelson holds the Ryder Cup record for most matches played (47), he also holds the record for most matches lost (22).Who is the most successful Ryder Cup team? ›
There have been a total of 1012 individual matches played in the 43 Ryder Cups. Of these the United States has won 492, Europe (including Great Britain/Great Britain and Ireland up to 1977) has won 382 with 138 matches halved.Which golfer has won the most points in the history of the Ryder Cup? ›
The Spaniard became the all-time leading scorer when he surpassed Nick Faldo's record by half a point in 2018, and in 2021 became the player with more wins than any other player in history. The best Ryder Cup player of all time?
Tiger Woods will not play in 2023 Players Championship with Masters as likely next tournament appearance. Tiger Woods will not play the 2023 Players Championship after the 15-time major winner did not commit to the field for next week's event by the 5 p.m. ET deadline on Friday.Who are the 2023 Ryder Cup captains? ›
United States Ryder Cup Captain Zach Johnson today named Davis Love III as one of his Vice Captains for the 2023 Ryder Cup, which will take place September 29 - October 1 at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, Italy.Who is the most successful Ryder Cup captain? ›
The most successful Ryder Cup captain is Walter Hagen (USA) with four wins. Hagen captained the US team to victory in 1927, 1931, 1935 and 1937.Where is Tiger Woods Ryder Cup? ›
Tiger Woods has played on eight Ryder Cup teams in the past, though is still working his way back to top form having suffered leg injuries during a car crash in February 2021; next year's Ryder Cup will be held in Rome, Italy at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.How many times has Tiger won the Ryder Cup? ›
In his seven starts as a player, Woods has been a member of the winning side just once. That was in 1999 when the U.S. completed a miracle come-from-behind final day victory at the Country Club in Brookline.
The oldest player to compete in the Ryder Cup is Raymond Floyd in 1993 aged 51 years 20 days. Floyd was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1989 and still plays on the Senior PGA tour.