Woods, Tiger (Eldrick Woods), 1975–, American golfer, b. Cypress, Calif. The son of a African-American father and a Thai mother, he was a college star at Stanford and became the only three-time (1994–96) U.S. amateur champion before turning professional in 1997. Seeming to justify publicity promoting him as the "future of golf," Woods won the 1997 Masters in a runaway. After mixed success in 1998, he won the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Championship and again dominated golf in 1999. In 2000, Woods won the U.S. and British opens and PGA Championship, setting or tying several records in the process and becoming the youngest of only five golfers to achieve a modern career Grand Slam. Woods's victory at the Masters in 2001 made him the first golfer to win all four major professional championships in a row. He has since won the Masters (2002, 2005), U.S. Open (2002, 2008), British Open (2005–6), and PGA Championship (2006–7) twice, and achieved more than 50 tournament victories by age 30, a PGA record. In 2007 he won the inaugural FedEx Cup, a four-tournament championship, and since 2012 he has been second only to Sam Snead for most PGA Tour wins. Lurid revelations in 2009 of marital infidelities tarnished his personal reputation.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.