May 3rd, 2022
Tiger Woods: Career timeline
The life of a living golfing legend
When he turned pro in 1996, he shook up the golfing world and things have never been the same. He hadn’t been playing at quite the same level in recent years, but he was still making his mark.
Just a few short weeks ago, everyone’s attention was turned back to Tiger Woods. The golf legend had retired from the sport following a car crash that severely injured his leg. To the world’s surprise, he made his return to the sport at The Masters.
This makes it the perfect time to take a look back over the life of this living golfing legend.
Tiger Woods got an earlier start playing golf than most people — by the age of two, he was already being taught how to play by his father and appearing on TV as a golf prodigy. By age five, he was appearing in Golf Digest and at only eight years old he won his first major competition at the Junior World Golf Championship. He was playing with boys aged nine to 10, but still won.
By the time Woods was a teenager, he was meeting and impressing golf stars such as John Daly and Jack Nicklaus. At 15, he became the youngest US Junior Amateur champion, a title that he won twice more the next two years.
After graduating high school, he accepted a golf scholarship to Stanford. He won the US Amateur title in 1994 and again in 1995 and 1996. He competed in his first PGA event as an amateur at only 19 years old. By the time he turned 20, though, he was ready to go pro.
From the moment he turned pro, Tiger Woods was a star. He was immediately signed to advertising deals with Nike and Titleist and named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. By 1997, he had won his first major PGA event and had flown to the top of the PGA rankings.
Over the course of his career, Woods won 82 PGA Tour events, including 15 majors. He won The Masters five times, the PGA Championship four times and the US Open and The Open Championship three times each. The 2000 US Open win was one of the most remarkable. Not only was it part of one of the longest winning streaks in PGA history, he also broke or tied nine tournament records.
The scandal years
In November 2009, it came to light that Tiger Woods had been having multiple affairs with a large number of women. His wife, Elin Nordegren, soon left him and many of his sponsors chose not to continue their relationships with him either. It wasn’t just his reputation that suffered during these years, his golf game worsened as well.
Another aspect of Woods’ life that the adultery scandal brought to light was his love of gambling. Rumours circulated that Woods would go to Vegas with his affair partners and also take some time to play blackjack. He is said to have occasionally bet as much as $250,000 on a single hand.
If only he had considered playing at an online casino to protect his privacy. The table games with live dealers that many online casinos now offer are so close to the land-based casino experience that it’s amazing, but maybe privacy wasn’t the first thing on his mind.
In February of 2021, Tiger Woods was in a horrible car accident. He rolled his SUV going 80mph. The injuries to his legs included multiple fractures and a compound fracture as well as a shattered ankle. He underwent multiple surgeries to repair the damage.
Tiger Woods finished the 2022 Masters in the 47th position. It really was a case of taking part mattering more than winning. Woods had had to face the very real possibility that even with extensive surgery he would struggle to walk again and would most likely never play golf. The Masters was an opportunity to prove to everyone, and most importantly himself, that he had recovered.
Woods’ professional and personal lives have had their ups and downs. Yet this resilient player has consistently come out on top — or if not on top, then fighting his way there. We can look forward to his appearance at the Open Championship in July at St Andrew, but anything more than that remains a mystery.