Tiger Woods Timeline
A glance at the golf sensation's life and career
by Mike Morrison and Christine Frantz
- 1970s •
- 1980s •
- 1990s •
- 2000 •
- 2001 •
- 2002 •
- 2003 •
- 2004 •
- 2005 •
- 2006 •
- 2007 •
- 2008 •
- 2009 •
- 2010s •
Born Eldrick T. Woods on Dec. 30 in Southern California to Earl Woods, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, and Kultida, a native of Thailand. Given the nickname “Tiger” after Earl's friend Vuong Dang Phong, a Vietnamese soldier with the same nickname.
Six Months Old
Sees his father hitting golf balls into a net and begins to imitate his swing.
Appears on the Mike Douglas Show and putts against comedian Bob Hope.
Shoots a 48 over nine holes at the Navy Golf Club in Cypress, Calif.
Appears in Golf Digest magazine and on ABC's That's Incredible.
Wins the Optimist International Junior Championship. He would repeat this win at age 9, 12, 13, 14, and 15.
Becomes the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur Champion in golf history. Voted Southern California Amateur Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. Also voted Golf Digest Amateur Player of the Year.
Successfully defends title at the U.S. Junior National Championships, becoming the first golfer to win the title more than once (he would win the following year as well). Competes in his first PGA Tour event, the Nissan Los Angeles Open.
Wins the U.S. Amateur Championship at the TPC at Sawgrass, becoming the youngest winner ever. Enrolls at Stanford University and wins first collegiate event, the William Tucker Invitational.
Defends title as U.S. Amateur champion. Voted Pac-10 Player of the Year, NCAA First Team All-American, and Stanford's Male Freshman of the Year (an award that encompasses all sports). Participates in the Masters, his first PGA major tournament, and ties for 41st as the only amateur to make the cut.
Becomes the first golfer in history to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles. Wins the NCAA individual men's championship with a 69-67-69-80-285. Ties the British Open record for an amateur with a 75-66-70-70-281. Turns pro in August and immediately signs endorsement deals worth $40 million from Nike and $20 million from Titleist. Wins the Las Vegas International and the Disney/Oldsmobile Classic—earning close to $800,000 in just eight events. Voted Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.
Leading money winner on the PGA Tour with a record $2,066,833 in earnings. Wins first major championship, The Masters, by an amazing 12 strokes, the widest margin of victory the tournament has ever seen. Becomes youngest Masters winner ever, and the first of African or Asian descent. Wins three other PGA events. Achieves No. 1 world ranking in his 42nd week as a pro. Voted PGA Player of the Year and Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.
In an "off" year, wins just one official PGA event (BellSouth Classic) and finishes fourth on the PGA Tour money list with $1,841,117. Still makes 19 cuts out of 20 tournaments played, and closes the year with a No. 1 world ranking.
Earns the most money on the PGA Tour with a record $6,616,585 in winnings for the year. Records 16 top-10 finishes in 21 PGA Tour starts and makes the cut in all 21. Wins second PGA major title with a one-shot victory over Sergio Garcia in the PGA Championship. Records eight PGA victories overall, including the final four official tournaments of the year. Defeats David Duval at the Showdown at Sherwood, the first live network prime time golf telecast. Member of U.S. Team that recorded a tremendous final-day comeback to win the Ryder Cup. Voted PGA Player of the Year and AP Male Athlete of the Year for the second time in three years.
Opens the year with wins at the Mercedes Championship and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, his fifth and sixth consecutive PGA Tour victories (the longest streak since Ben Hogan in 1948). Wins U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by a record 15 strokes (65-69-71-67--272), the largest margin of victory ever recorded at a major tournament. Breaks or ties a total of nine records at the U.S. Open. Becomes the Tour's all-time career money leader.
Becomes the fifth player in history (and youngest ever) to complete the career Grand Slam by winning the British Open by eight strokes. His 19-under 269 is the best score ever at St. Andrews and the lowest score (in relation to par) at a major tournament.
Defeats Bob May in a three-hole playoff at Valhalla in Louisville to win his second consecutive PGA Championship and third consecutive major title. He joins Ben Hogan (1953) as the only two players to win three majors in one season.
In April, wins the Masters tournament, becomes the first golfer to be reigning champion of all four majors simultaneously. Wins five overall PGA events and takes home PGA Player of the Year honors for the third consecutive year.
Wins second consecutive Masters, third overall, with a three-stroke victory over Retief Goosen. Becomes the youngest golfer in history to win seven PGA majors.
In June, he goes on to win his second U.S. Open at Bethpage Black.
Although he didn't win any of the major titles this year, Tiger still came in first in 5 of the 18 tournaments he entered, and ended the season winning over $6.6 million dollars.
Early in the year, Tiger became the first player to pass the $40 million mark in career earnings.
A tough year for Tiger, he loses his number one ranking to a hot Vijay Singh after Singh, Woods, and Adam Scott battle it out at the Deutsche Bank Championship over the Labor Day weekend. Tiger had been at the top since Aug. 1999—a record 264 weeks.
Tiger and Swedish model/nanny Elin Nordegren get married in a $1.5 million ceremony on Barbados in early October.
In January, Tiger wins the Buick Invitational, ending a slump that started in 2003. The last full-field PGA tournament he won was the Western Open in July 2003.
In April, Tiger defeats Chris DiMarco in a playoff to win the Masters for the fourth time. Tiger joins six-time winner Jack Nicklaus and other four-time winner Arnold Palmer as the only players to win four or more Masters.
With a commanding 5-stroke victory, Tiger takes the British Open trophy for the second time. This is his 10th major title and he joins Jack Nicklaus in being the only players to win all four major tournaments at least twice.
A good omen for Tiger—for the fourth time in his professional career he opens the season with a win. He wins the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines in an exciting three-way playoff, defeating Nathan Green and Jose Maria Olazabal.
Earl Woods, 74, Tiger's father and the guiding force behind his career, dies of cancer in early May.
In June, Tiger returns to the links and fails to make the cut for the U.S. Open by three strokes. He had made the cut in 39 consecutive majors, a record he shares with Jack Nicklaus.
Tiger snags his third British Open claret jug with an 18-under-par score. His 11th major win, he wins by two strokes over Chris DiMarco, who also recently lost a parent (his mother on July 4).
Tiger wins the Buick Open in August becoming the youngest player to win 50 PGA tournaments. Jack Nicklaus, who had previously held the record, had been 33 years old when he snagged his 50th title.
Tiger cruises through the last round of the PGA Championship to win the title 5 strokes behind his closest competitor and with an 18-under-par score for the tourney. He racks up his 12th major tournament win and continues his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's records—the Golden Bear had 18 major victories in his career.
In August, Tiger braves four straight days of triple-digit temperatures at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to win his fourth PGA Championship and 13th major title. He shoots 8-under par for the tournament and wins by two strokes over Woody Austin and Ernie Els, who both make late charges but are no match for Tiger's tournament-long consistency. Woods is improves his record to 13-0 when leading a major championship going into the final day
In January, Tiger wins the 2008 Buick Invitational by eight strokes, marking his sixth win at the event and his 62nd PGA Tour win.
On June 16, Tiger wins the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf course in San Diego, California. Parring the 91st hole in a sudden death match against Roco Mediate, Tiger claimed his third win at the event.
Days after winning the U.S. Open, Woods announces that needs to have reconstructive anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery on his left knee. He takes the remainder of the season off after the procedure.
Eight months after undergoing knee surgery, Tiger returns to the tour in February, playing in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
In August, Tiger wins his 70thd PGA Tour win, prevailing by four strokes over Padraig Harrington and Robert Allenby at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Tiger was in a one-car accident in the early hours of November 27. He hit a fire hydrant and a tree while backing out of his driveway in Orlando, Florida. Initially listed in "serious condition," Woods was released from the hospital with facial cuts. Many media outlets reported that the accident occurred after Woods and his wife, Elin Nordegren, had an argument. A series of women came forward following the accident, claiming to have had romantic relationships with Woods. In December, Woods acknowledged that he had been unfaithful to his wife and announced he was taking an "indefinite break from professional golf" to "to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person."
Tiger returns to golf in April with a fourth place finish at the Masters. He also places fourth in the U.S. Open.
His divorce from Elin Nordegren Woods is finalized in August.
Tiger ends the year ranked 50th in the world.
Tiger wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational—his first PGA Tour victory since 2009 and continues his winning streak at the AT&T National.
Tiger confirms he is dating professional skier Lindsey Vonn, 28.
Tiger wins five tournaments on his way to being named PGA Tour Player of the Year for the 11th time.
A back injury derails Tiger's golf game; he has back surgery in March.
With his back still troubling him, Tiger takes a break to ready himself for the Masters, where he finishes in the top 20.