Monday, April 12, 2010

Tiger Woods Scandals

Tiger Woods Scandal

Tiger Woods is undergoing intense marriage counseling for his sex addiction and to attempt to repair his marriage which has been shattered by increasing media news about more women he was sexually involved with during his short marriage.

Tiger Woods has been reclusive and requests privacy now for his “transgressions” which were posted yesterday after more women are coming forth stating they have had sexual encounters with him while he was married.

The news broke out days ago when Woods crashed his SUV in front of his mansion in Florida and the rumor mills are now buzzing with trying to get to the truth about his accident. Woods under advisement from his handlers has remained silent and only when other women have come forth with details then he decided to make a confession on his site.

The secretive private life is no longer a secret and Woods is now in damage control to his squeaky clean image as a pro-golfer facing the loss of his sponsorships and the loss of millions of dollars in endorsements by his brand name which is now tarnished.

Tiger Woods is in intense marriage counseling. This comes as reports fly around regarding what his wife Elin Nordegren would get if she filed for divorce.

For example, if the Tiger Woods scandal (which continues with Rachel Uchitel's press conference today) ends with a divorce between Woods and his wife Elin Nordegren, the Herald Sun reports she would realize a settlement payout of $300 million.

But that $300 million figure has been floating around unsubstantiated, so I'm not going to use it as anything more than a jumping-off point for blogging.

The matter of a divorce payout is more complicated than the Herald Sun presents and Nordegren's already receiving a "stay home" gift. According to Chicago Sun Times Columnist Bill Zwecker, his sources claim that the couple is currently involved in intense marriage counseling and Nordegren already has a "hefty seven-figure amount (that was) immediately transfered into an account she alone controls".

For those of you math challenged that's at least $1 million.

Moreover, Zwecker writes that Woods original prenup required Nordegren to remain married to Woods for over 10 years, and then she would receive $20 million. But after the Tiger Woods scandal, she demanded and got a shorter term at a high amount. Zwecker does not report what that is as of this writing.

Tiger Woods with even more women? C'mon claims even more women are expected to come forward to claim their moment in the spotlight, er, say that they had sex with Tiger Woods. But now this is, to borrow a term now-President Obama used during the 2008 Democratic Primary, "Silly Season" because we will have to continue to sort through the garbage to determine which story is real. Oh brother.

I've got news for any woman who's part of the "I slept with Tiger" set. If you expect to receive the same level of media attention enjoyed by Rachel Uchitel, Jaimee Grubbs, and Kalika Moquin, forget it and for a very technical reason: the novelty factor is wearing off.

What we're seeing now is the public adjusting to a new image of Tiger Woods because of the scandal, but once that sets in, and it's happening fast because of New Media, the public's collective ear will not perk up as high the next time a woman says "I slept with Tiger Woods." The collective response will be a yawn and a snarky "So what" which will translate into no payouts for news, unlike the $150,000 US Weekly is rumored to have paid to Jaimie Grubbs for her affair story

Tiger Woods apologized once again for humiliating his family by having numerous extra-marital affairs at a news conference at Augusta National Golf Club.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, the 34-year-old said that "a lot has happened in my life in the past five months," but the hardest part was "having to look at myself in a light that I never wanted to look," reports US magazine.

"The pain and the damage I caused my wife, my mom, my kids ... Going forward, I am going to have to explain all [this to them] ... but that's my responsibility. I did it."

The golfer refused to reveal why he went to rehab, but said it allowed him to "to take a look at myself ... I've come out better. I am certainly a much better person for it."

He said he never considered going to rehab before the scandal broke.

Woods is 'a big fat liar' says alleged porn star lover-
Tiger Woods "is a big fat liar" who slept with a porn actress 10 days after the birth of his child, the woman, who claims a relationship with the golf megastar, said on Monday.

Joslyn James, real name Veronica Siwik-Daniels, held a press conference with celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred at her side immediately after Woods's own press conference at his return to competition at the US Masters in Augusta, Georgia.

"We believe he has not been rehabilitated," Allred told reporters and photographers at the event. "We are disappointed, we waited for the apologies to the mistresses, to the women. He didn't say to whom he lied.

James, 39, was more blunt.

"He is a big fat liar. He is not honest. After the birth of his daughter he was with me 10 days later," she said.

At his press conference Woods evaded the question when asked details of how he kept secret his cheating on wife Elin, who will not be joining him at Augusta.

"You're living a life where you are lying all the time," Woods explained. "I wasn't having any fun. Now I have stopped all that and it's fun again."

He added: "I hurt so many people close to me. I lied to myself. It's pretty brutal. I take full responsibility for what I have done."

Woods kept quiet when asked about many details of his numerous affairs, the November 27 car crash that launched the scandal, and his current relationship with his wife.

James earlier posted emails and text messages purportedly from Woods that suggested she and the golf star were texting each other during last year's PGA Buick Open near Flint, Michigan.

Tiger Woods Press Conference - Woods gives 35 minute talk-
Tiger Woods, The World's Greatest Golfer, just finished his longest press conference, and his first real one, since that infamous Thanksgiving night when he crashed his Cadillac, and the subsequent revelation that Woods had affairs with as many as 14 women. The Tiger Woods of the 35 minute press conference is getting an A-plus on the Golf Channel; this blogger will give him an A.

Tiger Woods, while still obviously a rash of emotions, took every question - 39 in all - given to him head on. He was asked about steroid allegations four times and surrounding the fact that Dr. Anthony Galea did visit Woods home in the past. Tiger Woods said that Anthony Galea did not give him steroids or Human Growth Hormone.

Woods said he felt comfortable working with Dr. Galea, but that the doctor did not give him HGH or mention it. Woods said that he was ready to cooperate with any investigation, but that he was not asked to appear for questioning as of that time.

In all Tiger Woods did an incredible job of "manning up" to what happened and admitted that he still has "a long way to go." He's rediscovered meditation and says he does it with his Mom as part of his effort to "keep centered." But what was interesting was this comment:

"Winning Golf Championships is not what life is all about."

Tiger Woods said he's at The Maters "to win it", but again family is now more important to him and he says the period of telling lies and feeling the need to tell a lie is behind him.

While a number of questions were asked, no one asked questions about the allegations that came out in various gossip publications, from the alleged $10 million he gave to Rachel Uchitel to the public requests for specific apology by some of Tiger Woods mistresses.

On the matter of Tiger Woods on the Golf course for The Masters and the idea that he needs to be more "under control", Tiger said, "I'm actually going to try to not get as hot when I play. But when I'm not as hot I'm not as exuberant either."

That part, I really don't care about. Frankly, and no disrespect to the great Tom Watson, who made the observations about Tiger Woods on course behavior and how it could be better, that's Tiger. It's part of the man who became the World's Greatest Golfer. I hope he keeps the fist-pump in his game, but not the four-letter words. Well, OK. One or two.

People are ready to see Tiger Woods play Golf.

Tiger Woods – golf or scandal, what makes him outstanding forever?-
Tiger Woods – who is this man? If we ask you the question, what answer would you have? A scandalized athlete who has been accused of cheating his wife recently? Or the best golfer of the world who has several winning titles in his kitty?

Probably the second answer would be the reply from you, isn’t it? Yes, the man is primarily known for his golf and the scandal has just been a part of his life that has of course affected his career and reputation.

But people would be wrong if they feel Tiger’s career is lost forever. If they think that a mere sex scandal can affect the professional front of the man who is worshipped for his contribution to the world of golf, they need to revise their thoughts for sure!

We think exactly the same as The Guilfordian who reports that for a winner like Tiger, winning back reputation would not be a big issue. And most importantly, sex scandal of an athlete is not something that has happened for the first time with Tiger Woods. There are number of scandalized men from the world of sports whose infidelity cases have been soon forgotten once they have proved their worth in the comeback matches.

If Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and David Beckham were forgiven, then why not Tiger Woods too? We are sure that Masters Tournament this month would be the real comeback session for the golfer and once again he would get back the tag of “best golfer” and the “scandalized athlete” would soon be over and done!

Tiger Woods Scandal Is Over, Investors Say-
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Tiger Woods comeback is, in a way, official, now that the world's No. 1 golfer has completed his return to the world stage at The Masters tournament this past weekend.
Still, analysts are varied in their opinion of how his return will impact the companies that are still sponsoring Woods. Some believe the impact will be minimal, arguing that while Tiger is good for network ratings, he does not actually contribute all that much to the sales of sponsors like Electronic Arts(ERTS) and Nike.

Others believe that Tiger's return to golf will ultimately lead to a satisfying payoff for those companies, both of whom have supported Tiger through the height of his sex scandal.

Given the divergence of opinion, we wanted to know what TheStreet has to say, and thus posed the question: "Do you think the Tiger Woods scandal has finally played itself out?"

As if to further complicate matters, on Wednesday, April 7, a mere day before the opening round at Augusta National, Nike released a new, roughly 30-second ad, featuring a silent Tiger Woods, with the voice of his deceased father, Earl, posthumously reprimanding his son.

In the spot, as the camera pans closer to Tiger's face, Earl intones: "Tiger -- I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. And did you learn anything?" The ad was produced by ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, and ABC News reported that the audio was "selectively spliced" from an interview in 2004, in which Earl was actually referring to his wife Kultida, and not Tiger.

When asked how he felt about the ad, Woods said he believed it was "very apropos," and that "any son who has lost a father, and who meant so much in their life, I think they would understand the spot." Tiger added that he felt his father, who had passed away in 2006 and had been his coach and mentor, was still helping him from beyond the grave.

Howe Burch, executive vice president and managing director at Baltimore-based ad agency TBC, said of the ad: "I think a lot of people would respond negatively to the fact Nike is exploiting this situation for commercial gain," but noted that it has generated a lot of publicity that could lead to significant returns for its golf business. Burch has run marketing units at Reebok International and Fila. Nevertheless, the "stuff that happens outside the court" for the athletes it sponsors are "merely a sideshow for Nike," Burch says, arguing that Tiger's performance at the Masters is of utmost importance to the sports apparel and equipment maker.

In an email to TheStreet, Susquehanna Financial footwear and apparel analyst Christopher Svezia wrote that he thinks Tiger's return is overall "a positive for sports and broadcasting (ratings), but not a reason to buy Nike -- the company is too big to be driven by one athlete."

Svezia also said: "I don't believe Nike skipped a beat during the Tiger situation," given that Nike Golf is a $650 million business for Nike or about 3% of total company revenues. He noted that golf sales are improving year-on-year for the industry, even without Tiger in the game, citing newer technology and favorable comparisons as consumers "held off a year ago."

As for how TheStreet sees the scandal, our poll takers appear to be over it all. The majority, or 54.3%, of you who responded to our poll answered: "Yes, the Tiger scandal is played out, and has no bearing on whether I would invest in a company he endorses."

Another 22.3% agreed of poll respondents agreed with the statement: "Tiger is still a winner, and I would invest in any company he's associated with."

Meanwhile, 23.4% of you can't wipe his recent past from your memories, agreeing with the sentiment: "No -- Tiger is still a pariah, and I wouldn't invest in any company associated with him.

Tiger struggles to stay on the straight and narrow-
Tiger Woods returned to Augusta promising a cleaned-up act but delivered a mixture of the impossibly good and some rank bad golf plus a sprinkling of behaviour bordering on the ugly.

He had promised a "more respectful" approach to the game but in many ways during four days of white-hot US Masters competition, Woods showed he has not changed from the pre-scandal version of the world number one.

True, the worst expletives and club-throwing which have marred his majestic play of the last couple of years were gone but Woods still struggled to maintain his cool when a drive or approach shot soared a fairway's width away from its target.

"Ti-ger -- you suck!" he hollered at himself and quite often he was right.

His technique verged from the sublime to the almost ridiculous, often within the space of a couple of holes, with only an unmatched determination not to cede ground to his rivals taking him to his eventual fourth place behind winner Phil Mickelson.

One minute in a final round of 69, he was carving a Sunday hacker's drive deep into a copse, the next he was fashioning an extraordinary recovery from pine needles over sky-high trees to within 10 feet of the pin from about 190 yards.

The next moment he would be miserably pushing a snatched four foot putt past the hole for a bogey with the attitude of a man who had apparently lost his technique and touch completely.

Fans who feared that this extraordinary player, who had pocketed 14 major titles before his dramatic fall from grace through a string of extra-marital affairs, had lost his fighting spirit and frightening will to win could have nothing to worry about.

Others hoping to see a more relaxed and amiable individual who had put the sport and its inevitable travails into perspective would largely have been disappointed, certainly on the final two days as the pressure grew.

Woods, in short, gave a pretty convincing impression of a golfer both temperamentally and technically on the very edge of his game. A man often literally struggling to keep his balance.

He could not have asked for a warmer welcome from the huge galleries who watched him and, as he had promised in a news conference, he initially engaged with the fans at every opportunity.

For the first two rounds, Woods continually tipped his cap to acknowledge his supporters, repeatedly saying 'Thank you' as the Georgian pines resounded with calls of 'Go Tiger' and 'We love you, Tiger'.


After five holes in Saturday's third round, however, the old Tiger with the hot tongue returned.

A poor swing on the par-three sixth tee sparked a profanity-laced outburst which was heard clearly on live television. Woods followed up by shouting to himself: "You suck!"

Further outbursts of mild swearing sporadically followed as the world number one went on a roller-coaster ride of great and dreadful golf for the final 30 holes of the tournament.

While many had doubted whether Woods would be able to contend at Augusta, he was not among them and he became increasingly frustrated as he failed to put more pressure on Mickelson in the final round.

"I wanted to win this tournament," he said after finishing five shots behind his compatriot and arch-rival. "As the week wore on I kept hitting the ball worse.

"I entered this event and I only enter events to win and I didn't get it done. I didn't hit the ball good enough and I made too many mistakes around the greens, consequently I'm not there."

Asked whether it would take him more time to control his on-course emotions since he pledged to show more respect for the game, he replied with a look almost of contempt.

"People are making way too much of a big deal of this thing," he said. "I was not feeling good. I'm not going to be walking around there with a lot of pep in my step because I hadn't hit a good shot yet."


Woods gave no hint as to the next event he would play on the PGA Tour.

"I'm going to take a little time off and kind of re-evaluate things," he said.

With the June 17-20 US Open at Pebble Beach the next major on his horizon, Woods is likely to compete in at least two tournaments before then.

The May 6-9 Players Championship at the PGA Tour's headquarters in Florida is a virtual certainly, given its status as the unofficial fifth major at the venue where he made his first public apology following his stunning fall from grace.

Also likely is the Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio from June 3-6 where he typically plays.

The April 29-May 2 Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina is another possibility and Woods has until the Friday before that week to commit to the event.

Wherever he does play next, the world number one will not have the luxury of the tightly controlled environment at Augusta and he could well experience his first on-course heckling since he became engulfed in his sex scandal.

Should he be heckled by the fans, he will have to negotiate yet another severe test of his ability to keep his now notorious tongue in check

New Tiger a bit like old one-
Tiger Woods might not have been all that pleased with his performance in his comeback event, but the world No1 has shown enough glimpses to suggest he can still be the player he was.

One such glimpse came on Thursday afternoon, when he hit his opening drive. It was his first shot in competition for five-and-a half months and it flew straight to position A on the fairway. It was greeted with loud applause.

The spectators were applauding the return of the world's best golfer and did so with the decorum expected at a genteel place such as Augusta National.

It was not the sort of noise you get during a Ryder Cup nor the sort of whistling and yelling that you might get in parts of New York or Boston, but decent applause nonetheless.

For some time yet Woods will be known and thought of in two ways, as a golfer and a sex addict, or, if you prefer, a sex addict and a golfer. As his successes at the game grow, so his past misdemeanours will fade.

Someone close to Woods pointed out earlier in the week: "A president was involved with Monica Lewinsky and he was forgiven . People in America forgive. They may not forget but they forgive."

While he was attempting to win the Masters for a fifth time and remind everyone just what an exceptional golfer he is, there remained a prurient interest in his "off-the-field" activities.

To be honest, few, if any, thought he could return to competition and be as good as he has been. Whether it was his touch around the greens, his wildness off the tee or simply a degree of rustiness, it was thought that this week Woods could not possibly be the golfer he once was.

Yet somehow he almost was. Starting with the first sub-70 opening round in the 16 Masters in which he has competed, he played almost as if he had not been away.

His temperamental outbursts that had become such a part of his game last year have improved.

In his press conference last week Woods spoke of his need to curb his outbursts even if meant curbing his celebrations as well.

"I am going to try and be more respectful of the game and acknowledge the fans," Woods said.

On Thursday there was a moment on the second hole when his right hand came off the club and he turned away and looked down. One sensed he was biting his lip. In years gone by he might have sworn or banged his club or both

Tiger Woods is also cheap, mistresses tell Vanity Fair-
A new Vanity Fair article delves into the private life of Tiger Woods, claiming the golfer's friends, employees - even his genetic makeup - are responsible for his philandering ways. And, the mag says, Woods didn't even have the decency to buy stuff for his mistresses. The cad!

According to the article's author, Mark Seal, Woods was surprisingly cheap when it came to his various ladies: Mindy Lawton claimed the only thing he ever bought her was a chicken wrap from Subway (less than five grams of fat!), and Jamie Jungers revealed the reason she broke things off was that Woods refused to help her financially. (Not because, you know, he was married.)

Jungers also claimed that despite Woods' assertions that nobody was aware of his affairs, all of her trysts with him were organized through Bryon Bell, the pro's longtime friend and president of Tiger Woods Design. Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, was allegedly also in on the secret: When Lawton told Woods the National Enquirer was reporting on the affair, he got Steinberg to tell her, ``We'll take care of it.''

But it wouldn't be an in-depth profile of the Woods' scandal without trying to place blame somewhere; apparently, simply blaming Woods isn't good enough. The golfer's lawyer, John Merchant, reportedly warned Woods away from hanging out with Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley in Las Vegas.

"Stay away from that son of a (bad word),'' Merchant allegedly said of Jordan. ``Because he doesn't have anything to offer to the (expletive) world in which he lives except playing basketball."

According to the article, Merchant also said: "Are they his black role models? You've got to be kidding me."

So it's official: Tiger Woods is no longer to blame for his marital problems! Let's give him a warm welcome back into our hearts.

Is the Tiger Woods Scandal a Sports Story?-
Recently, the Web site BloggingheadsTV asked me to come on and talk basketball. That's unusual because Bloggingheads usually focuses on politics, not sports. Then again, as managing editor Sang Ngo joked, the site did cover the Tiger Woods scandal.

This offhand joke raised a sort of philosophical question. Namely, is Tiger Woods a sports story? At first glance the question seems absurd, but it turns out to be a kind of Rorschach test, with your answer saying a lot about why you do, or don't, follow big-time American spectator sports.

Like any modern celebrity, professional athletes are paid to be in the public eye—to project an image, both on and off the field. Fans who love Tiger Woods and companies who pay him to endorse products aren't interested only in his golf game any more than people who care about Jennifer Aniston are only interested in her films.

For Woods, a non-white athlete dominating a historically segregated sport, the broader social implications of his career have always been immense. Woods's success, for instance, was unquestionably part of the process that helped Americans accept the idea of a non-white president. The revelations of infidelities, while certainly embarrassing and costly, only broadened his significance as a social figure. Woods has gone from symbol of athletic achievement and racial equality to a pretext for debate on virtually any topic at all.

You can see in Tiger's story whatever matters to you most. People interested in racial issues might notice that Tiger's sizeable sexual appetites don't seem big enough to include black women. Cheaters might realize their text messages don't magically disappear once they send them. Someone concerned about domestic violence might wonder why allegations that Elin Woods attacked her husband with a golf club (rumors Tiger angrily denies) became a source of so much sick humor. If a husband was suspected of beating his famous wife with a golf club, one wonders, would the jokes have seemed quite so funny?

Here, though, is where we find the Great Divide between sports fans and everyone else. Star athletes, like all celebrities, do serve a broader social function. For fans, though, the social implications of Woods or any other athlete are secondary at best. What matters to fans is what happens between the lines. Fans love sports for the spectacle, precision, and strategic thinking; for self-discipline, sacrifice, and grace under pressure. Fans, especially men, love sports for their celebration of raw, physical prowess—speed, strength, agility and endurance—the qualities of masculinity that an industrialized society no longer requires.

Whether Tiger's comeback is a sports story, then, really depends on who is doing the asking—or the watching. For the casual observer, Woods is interesting mostly for what he represents off the golf course. How he performs on it from this point forward, win or lose, can only be epilogue. For the fan, how he performs matters most, not because birdies bring redemption, but because the simple beauty of the game trumps all social discourse. The question, really, is whether you only care about Tiger Woods because he plays golf or you only care about golf because Tiger plays it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

South Africa

The Republic of South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of Africa, with a 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) coastline on the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. To the north lie Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; while Lesotho is an independent country wholly surrounded by South African territory.

Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for more than 100,000 years. At the time of European contact, the dominant indigenous peoples were tribes who had migrated from other parts of Africa about one thousand years before. From the 4th-5th century CE, Bantu-speaking tribes had steadily moved south, where they displaced, conquered and assimilated original Khoikhoi and San peoples of southern Africa. At the time of European contact, the two major groups were the Xhosa and Zulu peoples.

In 1652, a century and a half after the discovery of the Cape Sea Route, the Dutch East India Company founded a refreshment station at what would become Cape Town. Cape Town became a British colony in 1806. European settlement expanded during the 1820s as the Boers (original Dutch, Flemish, German and French settlers) and the British 1820 Settlers claimed land in the north and east of the country. Conflicts arose among the Xhosa, Zulu and Afrikaner groups who competed for territory.

The discovery of diamonds and later gold triggered the 19th-century conflict known as the Anglo-Boer War, as the Boers and the British fought for the control of the South African mineral wealth. Although the British defeated the Boers, they gave limited independence to South Africa in 1910 as a British dominion. Within the country, anti-British policies among white South Africans focused on independence. During the Dutch and British colonial years, racial segregation was mostly informal, though some legislation were enacted to control the settlement and movement of native people, including the Native Location Act of 1879 and the system of pass laws. Power was held by the European colonists.

In the Boer republics, from as early as the Pretoria Convention (chapter XXVI), and subsequent South African governments, the system became legally institutionalised segregation, later known as apartheid. The government established three classes of racial stratification: white, coloured, and black, with rights and restrictions for each.

South Africa achieved the status of a republic in 1961. Despite opposition both in and outside of the country, the government legislated for a continuation of apartheid. As the 20th century went on, some Western nations and institutions began to boycott doing business with the country because of its racial policies and oppression of civil rights. After years of internal protests, activism and insurgency by black South Africans and their allies, finally in 1990, the South African government began negotiations that led to dismantling of discriminative laws, and democratic elections in 1994. The country then rejoined the Commonwealth of Nations.

South Africa is known for a diversity in cultures, languages, and religious beliefs. Eleven official languages are recognised in the constitution. English, despite having a large role in public and commercial life, is only the fifth most-spoken home language. South Africa is ethnically diverse, with the largest European, Indian, and racially mixed communities in Africa. Although 79.5% of the South African population is black, the people are from a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status. About a quarter of the population is unemployed and lives on less than US $1.25 a day.

South Africa is one of the founding members of the African Union, and has the largest economy of all the members. It is also a founding member of the United Nations and NEPAD. South Africa is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Antarctic Treaty System, Group of 77, South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, Southern African Customs Union, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, G20 and G8+5.

South Africa contains some of the oldest archaeological sites in the world. Extensive fossil remains at the Sterkfontein, Kromdraai and Makapansgat caves suggest that various australopithecines existed in South Africa from about three million years ago. These were succeeded by various species of Homo, including Homo habilis, Homo erectus and modern humans, Homo sapiens.

Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were already present south of the Limpopo River by the fourth or fifth century CE. (see Bantu expansion). They displaced, conquered and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers. The Bantu slowly moved south. The earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050. The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan people. The Xhosa reached the Great Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province. As they migrated, these larger Iron Age populations displaced or assimilated earlier peoples, who often had hunter-gatherer societies.

In 1487, the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias became the first European to reach the southernmost point of Africa. Initially named the Cape of Storms, The King of Portugal, John II, renamed it the Cabo da Boa Esperança or Cape of Good Hope, as it led to the riches of India. Dias' great feat of navigation was later immortalised in Camões' epic Portuguese poem, The Lusiads (1572). In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck established a refreshment station at the Cape of Good Hope on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. The Dutch transported slaves from Indonesia, Madagascar, and India as labour for the colonists in Cape Town. As they expanded east, the Dutch settlers met the south-westerly expanding Xhosa people in the region of the Fish River. A series of wars, called the Cape Frontier Wars, ensued, mainly caused by conflicting land and livestock interests.

Great Britain took over the Cape of Good Hope area in 1795, ostensibly to stop it from falling under Revolutionary French control. Given its standing interests in Australia and India, Great Britain wanted to use Cape Town as an interim port for its merchants' long voyages. The British returned Cape Town to the Dutch in 1803, but soon afterwards the Dutch East India Company declared bankruptcy.

The British annexed the Cape Colony in 1806. The British continued the frontier wars against the Xhosa, pushing the eastern frontier eastward through a line of forts established along the Fish River. They consolidated the territory by encouraging British settlement. Due to pressure of abolitionist societies in Britain, the British parliament first stopped its global slave trade with the passage of the Slave Trade Act 1807, then abolished slavery in all its colonies with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

n the first two decades of the 19th century, the Zulu people grew in power and expanded their territory under their leader, Shaka.[23] Shaka’s depredations led indirectly to the Mfecane (“Crushing”) that devastated the inland plateau in the early 1820s. An offshoot of the Zulu, the Matabele, created an even larger empire under their king Mzilikazi, including large parts of the highveld.

During the 1830s, approximately 12,000 Boers (later known as Voortrekkers), departed from the Cape Colony, where they had been subjected to British control. They migrated to the future Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal regions. The Boers founded the Boer Republics: the South African Republic (now Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West provinces) and the Orange Free State (Free State).

The discovery of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1884 in the interior encouraged economic growth and immigration. This intensified the European-South African subjugation of the indigenous people. The struggle to control these important economic resources was a factor between Europeans and the indigenous population, and also between the Boers and the British.

The Boer Republics successfully resisted British encroachments during the First Boer War (1880–1881) using guerrilla warfare tactics, which were well suited to local conditions. However, the British returned with greater numbers, more experience, and more suitable tactics in the Second Boer War (1899–1902), which was won by the British.

Government and politics-
South Africa has three capital cities: Cape Town, the largest of the three, is the legislative capital; Pretoria is the administrative capital; and Bloemfontein is the judicial capital. South Africa has a bicameral parliament: the National Council of Provinces (the upper house) has 90 members, while the National Assembly (the lower house) has 400 members.

Members of the lower house are elected on a population basis by proportional representation: half of the members are elected from national lists and the other half are elected from provincial lists. Ten members are elected to represent each province in the National Council of Provinces, regardless of the population of the province. Elections for both chambers are held every five years. The government is formed in the lower house, and the leader of the majority party in the National Assembly is the President.

The primary sources of South Africa law are Roman-Dutch mercantile law and personal law with English Common law, as imports of Dutch settlements and British colonialism. The first European based law in South Africa was brought by the Dutch East India Company and is called Roman-Dutch law. It was imported before the codification of European law into the Napoleonic Code and is comparable in many ways to Scots law. This was followed in the 19th century by English law, both common and statutory. Starting in 1910 with unification, South Africa had its own parliament which passed laws specific for South Africa, building on those previously passed for the individual member colonies. During the years of apartheid, the country's political scene was dominated by figures like B. J. Vorster and P. W. Botha, as well as opposition figures such as Harry Schwarz, Joe Slovo and Helen Suzman.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, South African politics have been dominated by the African National Congress (ANC), which has been the dominant party with 60–70% of the vote. The main challenger to the rule of the ANC is the Democratic Alliance party, which received 16.7% of the vote in the 2009 election and 14.8% in the 2006 election.

The formerly dominant New National Party, which introduced apartheid through its predecessor, the National Party, chose to merge with the ANC on 9 April 2005. Other major political parties represented in Parliament are the Congress of the People, which split from the ANC and won 7.4% of the vote in 2009, and the Inkatha Freedom Party, which mainly represents Zulu voters and took 4.6% of the vote in the 2009 election.

Since 2004, the country has had many thousands of popular protests, some violent, making it, according to one academic, the "most protest-rich country in the world". Many of these protests have been organised from the growing shanty towns that surround South African cities.

In 2008, South Africa placed 5th out of 48 sub-Saharan African countries on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. South Africa scored well in the categories of Rule of Law, Transparency & Corruption and Participation & Human Rights, but was let down by its relatively poor performance in Safety & Security. The Ibrahim Index is a comprehensive measure of African governance, based on a number of different variables which reflect the success with which governments deliver essential political goods to its citizens.

After the end of apartheid in 1994, the "independent" and "semi-independent" Bantustans were integrated into the political structure of South Africa by the abolition of the four former provinces (Cape Province, Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal) and the creation of nine fully integrated new provinces. The generally smaller size of the new provinces theoretically means that local governments have more resources to distribute over smaller areas. The provinces are subdivided into 52 districts: 6 metropolitan and 46 district municipalities. The district municipalities are further subdivided into 231 local municipalities. The metropolitan municipalities perform the functions of both district and local municipalities.

Foreign relations and military-
Since the end of apartheid, the South African foreign policy has focused on its African partners particularly in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union. South Africa has played a key role as a mediator in African conflicts over the last decade, such as in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Comoros, and Zimbabwe. After apartheid ended, South Africa was readmitted to the Commonwealth of Nations.

As the Union of South Africa, South Africa was a founding member of the United Nations. The then Prime Minister Jan Smuts wrote the preamble to the United Nations Charter. South Africa was a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council between 2007 and 2008, and has attracted controversy by voting against a resolution criticising the Burmese government in 2006 and against the implementation of sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2008. South Africa is a member of the Group of 77 and chaired the organisation in 2006. South Africa is a member of the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, Southern African Customs Union, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, G20 and G8+5.

The South African National Defence Force was created in 1994, as an all volunteer force composed of as the former South African Defence Force, the forces of the African nationalist groups (Umkhonto we Sizwe and Azanian People's Liberation Army), and the former Bantustan defence forces. The SANDF is subdivided into four branches, the South African Army, the South African Air Force, the South African Navy, and the South African Medical Service.

In recent years, the SANDF has become a major peacekeeping force in Africa, and has been involved in operations in Lesotho, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Burundi, amongst others. It has also participated as a part of multi-national UN peacekeeping forces.

South Africa undertook a nuclear weapons programme in the 1970s and may have conducted a nuclear test over the Atlantic in 1979. It is the only African country to have successfully developed nuclear weapons. It has become the first country (followed by Ukraine) with nuclear capability to voluntarily renounce and dismantle its programme and in the process signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1991.

South Africa is located at the southernmost region of Africa, with a long coastline that stretches more than 2,500 km (1,553 mi) and along two oceans (the South Atlantic and the Indian). At 1,219,912 km2 (471,011 sq mi), South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world and is comparable in size to Colombia. Njesuthi in the Drakensberg at 3,408 m (11,181 ft) is the highest peak in South Africa.

South Africa has a generally temperate climate, due in part to being surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides, by its location in the climatically milder southern hemisphere and due to the average elevation rising steadily towards the north (towards the equator) and further inland. Due to this varied topography and oceanic influence, a great variety of climatic zones exist.

The climatic zones vary, from the extreme desert of the southern Namib in the farthest northwest to the lush subtropical climate in the east along the Mozambique border and the Indian ocean. From the east, the land quickly rises over a mountainous escarpment towards the interior plateau known as the Highveld. Even though South Africa is classified as semi-arid, there is considerable variation in climate as well as topography.

The interior of South Africa is a vast, flat, and sparsely populated scrubland, the Karoo, which is drier towards the northwest along the Namib desert. In contrast, the eastern coastline is lush and well-watered, which produces a climate similar to the tropics.

The extreme southwest has a climate remarkably similar to that of the Mediterranean with wet winters and hot, dry summers, hosting the famous Fynbos Biome of grassland and thicket. This area also produces much of the wine in South Africa. This region is also particularly known for its wind, which blows intermittently almost all year. The severity of this wind made passing around the Cape of Good Hope particularly treacherous for sailors, causing many shipwrecks. Further east on the south coast, rainfall is distributed more evenly throughout the year, producing a green landscape. This area is popularly known as the Garden Route.

The Free State is particularly flat due to the fact that it lies centrally on the high plateau. North of the Vaal River, the Highveld becomes better watered and does not experience subtropical extremes of heat. Johannesburg, in the centre of the Highveld, is at 1,740 m (5,709 ft) and receives an annual rainfall of 760 mm (29.9 in). Winters in this region are cold, although snow is rare.

To the north of Johannesburg, the altitude drops beyond the escarpment of the Highveld, and turns into the lower lying Bushveld, an area of mixed dry forest and an abundance of wildlife. East of the Highveld, beyond the eastern escarpment, the Lowveld stretches towards the Indian Ocean. It has particularly high temperatures, and is also the location of extended subtropical agriculture.

The high Drakensberg mountains, which form the south-eastern escarpment of the Highveld, offer limited skiing opportunities in winter. The coldest place in South Africa is Sutherland in the western Roggeveld Mountains, where midwinter temperatures can reach as low as −15 °C (5.0 °F). The deep interior has the hottest temperatures: a temperature of 51.7 °C (125.06 °F) was recorded in 1948 in the Northern Cape Kalahari near Upington.

Flora and fauna-
South Africa is ranked sixth out of the world’s seventeen megadiverse countries, with more than 20,000 different plants, or about 10% of all the known species of plants on Earth, making it particularly rich in plant biodiversity. The most prevalent biome in South Africa is the grassland, particularly on the Highveld, where the plant cover is dominated by different grasses, low shrubs, and acacia trees, mainly camel-thorn and whitethorn. Vegetation becomes even more sparse towards the northwest due to low rainfall. There are several species of water-storing succulents like aloes and euphorbias in the very hot and dry Namaqualand area. The grass and thorn savannah turns slowly into a bush savannah towards the north-east of the country, with denser growth. There are significant numbers of baobab trees in this area, near the northern end of Kruger National Park.

The Fynbos Biome, which makes up the majority of the area and plant life in the Cape floristic region, one of the six floral kingdoms, is located in a small region of the Western Cape and contains more than 9,000 of those species, making it among the richest regions on earth in terms of floral biodiversity. The majority of the plants are evergreen hard-leaf plants with fine, needle-like leaves, such as the sclerophyllous plants. Another uniquely South African plant is the protea genus of flowering plants. There are around 130 different species of protea in South Africa.

While South Africa has a great wealth of flowering plants, only 1% of South Africa is forest, almost exclusively in the humid coastal plain of KwaZulu-Natal, where there are also areas of Southern Africa mangroves in river mouths. There are even smaller reserves of forests that are out of the reach of fire, known as montane forests. Plantations of imported tree species are predominant, particularly the non-native eucalyptus and pine. South Africa has lost a large area of natural habitat in the last four decades, primarily due to overpopulation, sprawling development patterns and deforestation during the nineteenth century. South Africa is one of the worst affected countries in the world when it comes to invasion by alien species with many (e.g. Black Wattle, Port Jackson, Hakea, Lantana and Jacaranda) posing a significant threat to the native biodiversity and the already scarce water resources. The original temperate forest found by the first European settlers was exploited ruthlessly until only small patches remained. Currently, South African hardwood trees like Real Yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius), stinkwood (Ocotea bullata), and South African Black Ironwood (Olea laurifolia) are under government protection.

Numerous mammals are found in the bushveld including lions, leopards, white rhinos, blue wildebeest, kudus, impalas, hyenas, hippopotamus and giraffes. A significant extent of the bushveld exists in the north-east including Kruger National Park and the Mala Mala Reserve, as well as in the far north in the Waterberg Biosphere.

Climate change is expected to bring considerable warming and drying to much of this already semi-arid region, with greater frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as heatwaves, flooding and drought. According to computer generated climate modelling produced by the South African National Biodiversity Institute parts of southern Africa will see an increase in temperature by about one degree Celsius along the coast to more than four degrees Celsius in the already hot hinterland such as the Northern Cape in late spring and summertime by 2050.

The Cape Floral Kingdom has been identified as one of the global biodiversity hotspots since it will be hit very hard by climate change and has such a great diversity of life. Drought, increased intensity and frequency of fire and climbing temperatures are expected to push many of these rare species towards extinction.

By UN classification South Africa is a middle-income country with an abundant supply of resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors, a stock exchange that ranks among the top twenty in the world, and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centres throughout the entire region. South Africa is ranked 25th in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) as of 2008.

Advanced development is significantly localised around four areas: Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, and Pretoria/Johannesburg. Beyond these four economic centres, development is marginal and poverty is still prevalent despite government efforts. Consequently the vast majority of South Africans are poor. However, key marginal areas have experienced rapid growth recently. Such areas include Mossel Bay to Plettenberg Bay; Rustenburg area; Nelspruit area; Bloemfontein; Cape West Coast; and the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast.

Unemployment is extremely high and income inequality is approximately equal to Brazil. During 1995–2003, the number of formal jobs decreased and informal jobs increased; overall unemployment worsened. The average South African household income decreased considerably between 1995 and 2000. As for racial inequality, Statistics South Africa reported that in 1995 the average white household earned four times as much as the average black household. In 2000 the average white household was earning six times more than the average black household. The affirmative action policies have seen a rise in black economic wealth and an emerging black middle class.[52][53] Other problems are crime, corruption, and HIV/AIDS. South Africa suffers from relatively heavy overall regulation burden compared to developed countries. State ownership and interference impose high barriers to entry in many areas. Restrictive labour regulations have contributed to the unemployment malaise.

The 1994 government inherited an economy wracked by long years of internal conflict and external sanctions. The government refrained from resorting to economic populism. Inflation was brought down, public finances were stabilised, and some foreign capital was attracted. However, growth was still subpar. At the start of 2000, then President Thabo Mbeki vowed to promote economic growth and foreign investment by relaxing restrictive labour laws, stepping up the pace of privatisation, and cutting unneeded governmental spending. His policies face strong opposition from organised labour. From 2004 onward economic growth picked up significantly; both employment and capital formation increased.

South Africa is the largest energy producer and consumer on the continent. South Africa is a popular tourist destination, and a substantial amount of revenue comes from tourism.[56] Among the main attractions are the diverse and picturesque culture, the game reserves and the highly regarded local wines.

The South African rand (ZAR), is the most actively traded emerging market currency in the world. It has joined an elite club of fifteen currencies, the Continuous linked settlement (CLS), where forex transactions are settled immediately, lowering the risks of transacting across time zones. The rand was the best-performing currency against the United States dollar (USD) between 2002 and 2005, according to the Bloomberg Currency Scorecard.

South Africa has a large agricultural sector and is a net exporter of farming products. There are almost a thousand agricultural cooperatives and agribusinesses throughout the country, and agricultural exports have constituted 8% of South African total exports for the past five years. The agricultural industry contributes around 10% of formal employment, relatively low compared to other parts of Africa, as well as providing work for casual labourers and contributing around 2.6% of GDP for the nation.[64] However, due to the aridity of the land, only 13.5% can be used for crop production, and only 3% is considered high potential land.[65]

Although the commercial farming sector is relatively well developed, people in some rural areas still survive on subsistence agriculture. It is the eighth largest wine producer in the world, and the eleventh largest producer of sunflower seed. South Africa is a net exporter of agricultural products and foodstuffs, the largest number of exported items being sugar, grapes, citrus, nectarines, wine and deciduous fruit. The largest locally produced crop is maize (corn), and it has been estimated that 9 million tons are produced every year, with 7.4 million tons being consumed. Livestock are also popular on South African farms, with the country producing 85% of all meat consumed. The dairy industry consists of around 4,300 milk producers providing employment for 60,000 farm workers and contributing to the livelihoods of around 40,000 others.

In recent years, the agricultural sector has introduced several reforms, some of which are controversial, such as land reform and the deregulation of the market for agricultural products. The South African government has set a target of transferring 30% of productive farmland from whites to previously disadvantaged blacks by 2014. Land reform has been criticised both by farmers' groups and by landless workers, the latter alleging that the pace of change has not been fast enough, and the former alleging racist treatment and expressing concerns that a similar situation to Zimbabwe's land reform policy may develop,[68] a fear exacerbated by comments made by former deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. The sector continues to face problems, with increased foreign competition and crime being two of the major challenges for the industry. The government has been accused of either putting in too much effort, or not enough effort, to tackle the problem of farm attacks as opposed to other forms of violent crime.

Another issue which affects South African agriculture is environmental damage caused by misuse of the land and global climate change. South Africa is unusually vulnerable to climate change and resultant diminution of surface waters. Some predictions show surface water supply could decrease by 60% by the year 2070 in parts of the Western Cape. To reverse the damage caused by land mismanagement, the government has supported a scheme which promotes sustainable development and the use of natural resources.[74] Maize production, which contributes to a 36% majority of the gross value of South Africa’s field crops, has also experienced negative effects due to climate change. The estimated value of loss, which takes into consideration scenarios with and without the carbon dioxide fertilisation effect, ranges between 10’s to 100’s of millions of Rands.

South Africa houses many endemic species, among them the critically endangered Riverine Rabbit (Bunolagus monticullaris) in the Karoo.

South Africa also has one possession, the small sub-Antarctic archipelago of the Prince Edward Islands, consisting of Marion Island (290 km2/110 sq mi) and Prince Edward Island (45 km2/17 sq mi) (not to be confused with the Canadian province of the same name).

Blogger Buzz: Blogger integrates with Amazon Associates

Blogger Buzz: Blogger integrates with Amazon Associates

Tiger Woods

Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods (born December 30, 1975) is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Currently the World No. 1, he was the highest-paid professional athlete in 2008, having earned an estimated $110 million from winnings and endorsements.

Woods has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second highest of any male player, and 71 PGA Tour events, third all time. 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 16 World Golf Championships, and has won at least one of those events each of the 11 years they have been in existence.

Woods has held the number one position in the world rankings for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks. He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record ten times, the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times, and has the record of leading the money list in nine different seasons.

On December 11, 2009, Woods announced he would take an indefinite leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity. His multiple infidelities were revealed by over a dozen mistresses, through many worldwide media sources. On March 16, 2010, he announced that he will be playing in the 2010 Masters.

Background and family

Woods was born in Cypress, California, to Earl (1932–2006) and Kultida (Tida) Woods (born 1944). He is the only child of their marriage but has two half-brothers, Earl Jr. (born 1955) and Kevin (born 1957), and one half-sister, Royce (born 1958) from the 18-year marriage of Earl Woods and his first wife, Barbara Woods Gray. Earl, a retired United States Army lieutenant colonel and Vietnam War veteran, was of mixed African American, Chinese and Native American ancestry. Kultida (née Punsawad), originally from Thailand, is of mixed Thai, Chinese, and Dutch ancestry. This makes Woods himself half Asian (one-quarter Chinese and one-quarter Thai), one-quarter African American, one-eighth Native American, and one-eighth Dutch. He refers to his ethnic make-up as “Cablinasian” (a syllabic abbreviation he coined from Caucasian, Black, (American) Indian, and Asian).

From childhood he was raised as a Buddhist and actively practised this faith from childhood until well into his adult career. He has attributed his deviations and infidelity to his losing track of Buddhism. He said that "Buddhism teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught.

At birth, Woods was given 'Eldrick' and 'Tont' as first and middle names. His middle name, Tont , is a traditional Thai name. He got his nickname from a Vietnamese soldier friend of his father, Vuong Dang Phong, to whom his father had also given the Tiger nickname. He became generally known by that name and by the time he had achieved national prominence in junior and amateur golf, he was simply known as 'Tiger' Woods.

Early life and amateur golf career-
Woods grew up in Orange County, California. He was a prodigy, introduced to golf before the age of two, by his athletic father Earl, who was a good standard amateur golfer and one of the earliest Negro college baseball players at Kansas State University. In 1978, Tiger putted against comedian Bob Hope in a television appearance on The Mike Douglas Show. Before turning three, Tiger entered and won the Under Age 10 section of the Drive, Pitch, and Putt competition, held at the Navy Golf Course in Cypress, California. At age three, he shot a 48 over nine holes over the Cypress Navy course, and at age five, he appeared in Golf Digest and on ABC's That's Incredible. In 1984 at the age of eight, he won the 9–10 boys' event, the youngest age group available, at the Junior World Golf Championships.[19] He first broke 80 at age eight. He went on to win the Junior World Championships six times, including four consecutive wins from 1988 to 1991.

Woods' father Earl wrote that Tiger first beat him when he was 11 years old, with Earl trying his best. Earl lost to Tiger every time from then on. Woods' first major national junior tournament was the 1989 Big I, when he was 13 years old. Woods was paired with pro John Daly, then relatively unknown, in the final round; the event's format placed a professional with each group of juniors who had qualified. Daly birdied three of the last four holes to beat Woods by only one stroke. As a young teenager, Woods first met Jack Nicklaus in Los Angeles at the Bel-Air Country Club, when Nicklaus was performing a clinic for the club's members. Woods was part of the show, and impressed Nicklaus and the crowd with his skills and potential.

While attending Western High School in Anaheim at the age of 15, Woods became the youngest ever U.S. Junior Amateur Champion in 1991, was voted Southern California Amateur Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, and Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player of the Year for 1991. In 1992, he defended his title at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, becoming the first multiple winner, competed in his first PGA Tour event, the Nissan Los Angeles Open, and was named Golf Digest Amateur Player of the Year, Golf World Player of the Year, and Golfweek National Amateur of the Year.

The following year, Woods won his third consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, and remains the event's youngest-ever and only multiple winner. In 1994, he became the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship, a record that stood until 2008 when it was broken by Danny Lee. Woods won over the TPC at Sawgrass in Florida. He was a member of the American team at the 1994 Eisenhower Trophy World Amateur Golf Team Championships (winning), and the 1995 Walker Cup (losing).

Woods graduated from Western High School in 1994 at age 18, and was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" among the graduating class. He had starred for the high school's golf team under coach Don Crosby.
College golf

Woods was recruited very heavily by college golf powers, and chose Stanford University, the 1994 NCAA Division I champion. He obtained a golf scholarship and enrolled at Stanford in the fall of 1994. He won his first collegiate event, the 40th Annual William H. Tucker Invitational in September. He declared a major in economics, and was nicknamed "Urkel" by his college teammates. In 1995, he defended his U.S. Amateur title, at the Newport Country Club in Rhode Island and was 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). He participated in his first PGA Tour major, the 1995 Masters Tournament, and tied for 41st as the only amateur to make the cut. At age 20 in 1996, he became the first golfer to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles, winning at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Oregon,and won the NCAA individual golf championship. In winning the Silver Medal as leading amateur at The Open Championship, he tied the record for an amateur aggregate score of 281. He left college after two years and turned professional.

Professional career-
1996–98: Early years and first major win

With the announcement "Hello world," Tiger Woods became a professional golfer in August 1996, and signed endorsement deals worth $40 million from Nike, Inc. and $20 million from Titleist. These endorsement contracts were the highest in golf history to that stage. He played his first round of professional golf at the Greater Milwaukee Open, tying for 60th place, but went on to win two events in the next three months to qualify for the Tour Championship. For his efforts, Woods was named Sports Illustrated's 1996 Sportsman of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. He began his tradition of wearing a red shirt during the final round of tournaments, a link to his college days at Stanford and a color he believes symbolizes aggression and assertiveness.

The following April, Woods won his first major, The Masters, with a record score of 18 under par, by a record margin of 12 strokes, becoming the youngest Masters winner and the first African American to do so. He set a total of 20 Masters records and tied 6 others. He won another three PGA Tour events that year, and on June 15, 1997, in only his 42nd week as a professional, rose to number one in the Official World Golf Rankings, the fastest-ever ascent to world No. 1. He was named PGA Player of the Year, the first golfer to win the award the year following his rookie season.

While expectations for Woods were high, his form faded in the second half of 1997, and in 1998 he only won one PGA Tour event. He answered critics of his "slump" and what seemed to be wavering form by maintaining he was undergoing extensive swing changes with his coach, Butch Harmon, and was hoping to do better in the future.
1999–2002: Slams

In June 1999, Woods won the Memorial Tournament, a victory that marked the beginning of one of the greatest sustained periods of dominance in the history of men's golf. He completed his 1999 campaign by winning his last four starts—including the PGA Championship—and finished the season with eight wins, a feat not achieved since 1974. He was voted PGA Tour Player of the Year and Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for the second time in three years.

Woods started 2000 with his fifth consecutive victory and began a record-setting season, where he would win three consecutive majors, nine PGA Tour events, and set or tie 27 Tour records. He went on to capture his sixth consecutive victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with a comeback for the ages. Trailing by seven strokes with seven holes to play, he finished eagle-birdie-par-birdie for a 64 and a two-stroke victory. His six consecutive wins were the most since Ben Hogan in 1948 and only five behind Byron Nelson's record of eleven in a row. In the 2000 U.S. Open, he broke or tied a total of nine U.S. Open records with his 15-shot win, including Old Tom Morris's record for the largest victory margin ever in a major championship, which had stood since 1862, and became the Tour's all-time career money leader. He led by a record 10 strokes going into the final round, and Sports Illustrated called it "the greatest performance in golf history."[56] In the 2000 Open Championship at St Andrews, which he won by eight strokes, he set the record for lowest score to par (−19) in any major tournament, and he holds at least a share of that record in all four major championships. At 24, he became the youngest golfer to achieve the Career Grand Slam.

Woods's major championship streak was seriously threatened at the 2000 PGA Championship, however, when Bob May went head-to-head with Woods on Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club. Woods played the last twelve holes of regulation seven under par, and won a three-hole playoff with a birdie on the first hole and pars on the next two. He joined Ben Hogan (1953) as the only other player to win three professional majors in one season. Three weeks later, he won his third straight start on Tour at the Bell Canadian Open, becoming only the second man after Lee Trevino in 1971 to win the Triple Crown of Golf (U.S., British, and Canadian Opens) in one year. Of the twenty events he entered in 2000, he finished in the top three fourteen times. His adjusted scoring average of 67.79 and his actual scoring average of 68.17 were the lowest in PGA Tour history, besting his own record of 68.43 in 1999 and Byron Nelson's average of 68.33 in 1945. He was named the 2000 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, becoming the first and only athlete to be honored twice. Woods was ranked as the twelfth best golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine just four years after he turned professional.

The following season, Woods continued dominating. His 2001 Masters Tournament win marked the only time within the era of the modern Grand Slam that any player has been the holder of all four major championship titles at the same time, a feat now known as the "Tiger Slam. It is not viewed as a true Grand Slam, however, because it was not achieved in a calendar year. Surprisingly, he was not a factor in the three remaining majors of the year, but finished with the most PGA Tour wins in the season, with five. In 2002, he started off strong, joining Nick Faldo (1989–90) and Jack Nicklaus (1965–66) as the only men to have won back-to-back Masters Tournaments.

Two months later, Woods was the only player under par at the U.S. Open, and resurrected buzz about the calendar Grand Slam, which had eluded him in 2000. All eyes were on Woods at the Open Championship, but his third round score of 81 in dreadful weather at Muirfield ended his Grand Slam hopes. At the PGA Championship, he nearly repeated his 2000 feat of winning three majors in one year, but bogeys at the thirteenth and fourteenth holes in the final round cost him the championship by one stroke. Nonetheless, he took home the money title, Vardon Trophy, and Player of the Year honors for the fourth year in a row.

Death of father

Then, on May 3, 2006, Woods's father, mentor and inspiration, Earl, died after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. Woods took a nine-week hiatus from the PGA Tour to be with his family. When he returned for the 2006 U.S. Open, the rust was evident—he missed the cut at Winged Foot, the first time he had missed the cut at a major as a professional, and ended his record-tying streak of 39 consecutive cuts made at majors. Still, a tie for second at the Western Open just three weeks later showed him poised to defend his Open crown at Hoylake.
Returns to top form

At the 2006 Open Championship, Woods almost exclusively used long irons off the tee (he hit driver only one time the entire week—the 16th hole of the first round), he missed just four fairways all week (hitting the fairway 92 percent of the time), and his score of −18 to par (three eagles, nineteen birdies, 43 pars, and seven bogeys) was just one off of his major championship record −19, set at St Andrews in 2000. The victory was an emotional one for Woods, who dedicated his play to his father's memory.

Four weeks later at the 2006 PGA Championship, Woods again won in dominating fashion, making only three bogeys, tying the record for fewest in a major. He finished the tournament at 18-under-par, equaling the to-par record in the PGA that he shares with Bob May from 2000.[72] In August 2006, he won his 50th professional tournament at the Buick Open—and at the age of thirty years and seven months, he became the youngest golfer to do so. He ended the year by winning six consecutive PGA Tour events, and won the three most prestigious awards given by the PGA Tour (Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Byron Nelson Awards) in the same year for a record seventh time.

At the close of his first eleven seasons, Woods's 54 wins and 12 major wins had surpassed the all time eleven-season PGA Tour total win record of 51 (set by Byron Nelson) and total majors record of 11 (set by Jack Nicklaus). He was named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for a record-tying fourth time.

Woods and tennis star Roger Federer, who share a major sponsor, first met at the 2006 U.S. Open tennis final. Since then, they have attended each other's events and have voiced their mutual appreciation for each other's talents.

Woods began 2007 with a two-stroke victory at the Buick Invitational for his third straight win at the event and his seventh consecutive win on the PGA Tour. The victory marked the fifth time he had won his first tournament of the season. With this win, he became the third man (after Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead) to win at least five times in three different events on the PGA Tour (his two other events are the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and WGC-CA Championship). He earned his second victory of the year at the WGC-CA Championship for his third consecutive and sixth win overall at the event. With this victory, he became the first player to have three consecutive victories in five different events.

Woods earned his third victory of the season by two strokes at the Wachovia Championship, the 24th different PGA Tour tournament he won. He has collected at least three wins in a season nine times in his 12-year career. At the U.S. Open, he was in the final group for the fourth consecutive major championship, but began the day two strokes back and finished tied for second once again. His streak of never having come from behind to win on the final day of a major continued.

In search of a record-tying third consecutive Open Championship, Woods fell out of contention with a second-round 75, and never mounted a charge over the weekend. Although his putting was solid (he sank a 90-footer in the first round), his iron play held him back. "I wasn't hitting the ball as close as I needed to all week," he said, after he finished tied for twelfth, five strokes off the pace.

In early August, Woods won his record 14th World Golf Championships event at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational by 8 strokes for his third consecutive and sixth victory overall at the event. He became the first golfer to win the same event three straight times on two different occasions (1999–2001) and (2005–2007). The following week, he won his second straight PGA Championship by defeating Woody Austin by two strokes. He became the first golfer to win the PGA Championship in back-to-back seasons on two different occasions: 1999-2000 and 2006-2007. He became the second golfer, after Sam Snead, to have won at least five events on the PGA Tour in eight different seasons.

Woods earned his 60th PGA Tour victory at the BMW Championship by shooting a course record 63 in the final round to win by two strokes. He sank a fifty-foot putt in the final round and missed only two fairways on the weekend. He led the field in most birdies for the tournament, and ranked in the top five in driving accuracy, driving distance, putts per round, putts per green, and greens in regulation. Woods finished his 2007 season with a runaway victory at the Tour Championship to capture his fourth title in his last five starts of the year. He became the only two-time winner of the event, and the champion of the inaugural FedEx Cup. In his 16 starts on Tour in 2007, his adjusted scoring average was 67.79, matching his own record set in 2000. His substantial leads over the second, third, and fourth players were similar in 2000 (1.46 (Phil Mickelson), 1.52 (Ernie Els), 1.66 (David Duval)) and 2007 (1.50 (Els), 1.51 (Justin Rose), 1.60 (Steve Stricker)).
2008: Injury-shortened season

Woods started the 2008 season with an eight-stroke victory at the Buick Invitational. The win marked his 62nd PGA Tour victory, tying him with Arnold Palmer for fourth on the all time list. This marked his sixth victory at the event, the sixth time he has begun the PGA Tour season with a victory, and his third PGA Tour win in a row. The following week, he was trailing by four strokes going into the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic, but made six birdies on the back nine for a dramatic one-stroke victory. He took home his 15th World Golf Championships event at the Accenture Match Play Championship with a record-breaking 8 & 7 victory in the final.

In his next event, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Woods got off to a slow start, finishing the first round at even par and tied for 34th place. After finishing the third round in a five-way tie for first place, he completed his fifth consecutive PGA Tour victory with a dramatic 24-foot putt on the 18th hole to defeat Bart Bryant by a stroke. It was also his fifth career victory in this event. Geoff Ogilvy stopped Woods's run at the WGC-CA Championship, a tournament Woods had won in each of the previous three years. He remains the only golfer to have had more than one streak of at least five straight wins on the PGA Tour.

Despite bold predictions that Woods might again challenge for the Grand Slam, he did not mount a serious charge at the 2008 Masters Tournament, struggling with his putter through each round. He would still finish alone in second, three strokes behind the champion, Trevor Immelman. On April 15, 2008, he underwent his third left knee arthroscopic surgery in Park City, Utah, and missed two months on the PGA Tour. The first surgery he had was in 1994 when he had a benign tumor removed and the second in December 2002. He was named Men's Fitness's Fittest Athlete in the June/July 2008 issue.

Woods returned for the 2008 U.S. Open in one of the most anticipated golfing groupings in history between him, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott, the top three golfers in the world. Woods struggled the first day on the course, notching a double bogey on his first hole. He would end the round at +1 (72), four shots off the lead. He scored -3 (68) his second day, still paired with Mickelson, managing 5 birdies, 1 eagle and 4 bogeys. On the third day of the tournament, he started off with a double bogey once again and was trailing by 5 shots with six holes to play. However, he finished the round by making 2 eagle putts, a combined 100 feet (30 m) in length, and a chip-in birdie to take a one shot lead into the final round. His final putt assured that he would be in the final group for the sixth time in the last eight major championships.

On Sunday, June 15, Woods began the day with another double bogey, and trailed Rocco Mediate by one stroke after 71 holes. He winced after several of his tee shots, and sometimes made an effort to keep weight off of his left foot. Woods was behind by one stroke when he reached the final hole. Left with a 12-foot putt for birdie, he made the shot to force an 18-hole playoff with Mediate on Monday. Despite leading by as many as three strokes at one point in the playoff, Woods again dropped back and needed to birdie the 18th to force sudden death with Mediate, and did so. Woods made par on the first sudden death hole; Mediate subsequently missed his par putt, giving Woods his 14th major championship.[96] After the tournament, Mediate said "This guy does things that are just not normal by any stretch of the imagination, and Kenny Perry added, "he beat everybody on one leg.

Two days after winning the U.S. Open, Woods announced that he would be required to undergo reconstructive anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery on his left knee and would miss the remainder of the 2008 golf season including the final two major championships: The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship. Woods also revealed that he had been playing for at least 10 months with a torn ligament in his left knee, and sustained a double stress fracture in his left tibia while rehabbing after the surgery he had after the Masters. Publications throughout the world asserted his U.S. Open victory as "epic" and praised his efforts especially after learning of the extent of his knee injury. Woods called it "My greatest ever championship - the best of the 14 because of all the things that have gone on over the past week.

Woods' absence from the remainder of the season caused PGA Tour TV ratings to decline. Overall viewership for the second half of the 2008 season saw a 46.8 percent decline as compared to 2007.
2009: Returning to the PGA Tour

Called "one of the most anticipated returns in sports" by the Associated Press, Woods' first PGA Tour event after an eight month layoff came at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He lost to Tim Clark in the second round.[104] His first stroke play event was the WGC-CA Championship at Doral where he finished 9th (-11). Woods won his first title of the year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he was five strokes behind Sean O'Hair entering the final round. Woods shot a final round 67 and made a 16-foot birdie putt at the final hole to defeat O'Hair by one stroke. Afterwards, he would continue to perform consistently. At The Masters, he finished sixth, four strokes behind eventual winner Ángel Cabrera. Then, despite having the 18-hole lead at the Quail Hollow Championship, he finished two strokes behind Sean O'Hair. At The Players Championship, he played in the final grouping on Sunday, but finished eighth.

Woods won his second event of 2009 at the Memorial Tournament. He trailed by four shots after three rounds but shot a final round 65, which included two consecutive birdies to end the tournament. The win was Woods' fourth at the event. Woods won his third event of the 2009 season on July 5 at the AT&T National, an event hosted by Woods himself. However, for the third time going into a 2009 major, Woods failed to capitalize on his preceding win. Instead, at the 2009 Open Championship, he missed the cut for only the second time in a major championship since turning professional.

On August 2, Woods captured the Buick Open for his fourth win of the season, a three-shot victory over three other players. After firing an opening-round 71 that put him in 95th place and outside of the cutline, Woods responded with a second-round 63, nine-under par, that vaulted him into contention. A third-round 65 put him atop the leaderboard and he coasted to victory with a final-round 69 for a 20-under 268 four-round total. This was the biggest turnaround pro victory to date.

Woods won his 70th career event the following week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He went head-to-head against Pádraig Harrington on Sunday until the 16th, where Harrington made a triple bogey 8 on the par 5 and Woods made birdie. Tiger went on to win the event by 4 strokes over Harrington and Robert Allenby.

At the 2009 PGA Championship, Woods shot a 5-under 67 to take the lead after the first round. He remained leader or co-leader through the second and third rounds. Going into the final round, Woods had a 2 stroke lead at 8-under. However, at the 68th hole, Woods was overtaken for the first time atop the leaderboard by Yang Yong-eun. Yang eventually won the tournament by three strokes over Woods who finished second. It marked the first time that Woods would fail to win a major when leading or co-leading after 54 holes and the first time he had lost any tournament on American soil when leading by more than one shot. It also meant that Woods would end the year without a major for the first time since 2004.

Woods won his 71st career title at the BMW Championship. The win moved him to first place in the FedEx Cup standings going into the final playoff event. It was his fifth win at the BMW Championship (including three wins as the Western Open) and marked the fifth time he had won an event five or more times in his career on the PGA Tour Woods finished second at The Tour Championship to win his second FedEx Cup title.

At the 2009 Presidents Cup, Woods had an impressive and equally spectacular performance in which he won all five of his matches at the event. He joined his friend Mark O'Meara, who won all five of his matches at the 1996 Presidents Cup, and Shigeki Maruyama, who accomplished this feat in the 1998 Presidents Cup. In all three instances, their respective teams won the competition. Woods was paired with Steve Stricker all four rounds of the competition in foursomes and four-ball. On the first day of foursomes, they won 6 and 4 over the team of Ryo Ishikawa and Geoff Ogilvy. In Friday's match of four-ball, they won over the team of Ángel Cabrera and Geoff Ogilvy, 5 and 3. On Saturday, they beat the team of Tim Clark and Mike Weir after trailing for most of the match by winning the 17th and 18th holes to win 1-up in morning foursomes, and in the afternoon four-ball they defeated the team of Ryo Ishikawa and Y. E. Yang by the score of 4 and 2. In the singles match, Woods was paired with his nemesis from the 2009 PGA Championship, Yang. Yang grabbed the quick 1-up lead on the first hole, but on the third hole lost the lead and Woods went onto win the match by a score of 6 and 5. In addition, Woods was the one who clinched the Cup for the United States, which was his first time ever in his career he had the honor and opportunity to do this in a team event competition.

In November 2009, Woods was paid $3.3 million to play in the JBWere Masters, held at Kingston Heath in Melbourne, Australia from November 12 to 15. The event was sold out for the first time. He went on to win at 14 under par, two strokes over Australian Greg Chalmers, marking his 38th European Tour win and his first win on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

Following allegations surrounding his private life, Woods announced a break from competitive golf at the end of 2009. Missing the start of the 2010 season, Woods is due to return to competition for the 2010 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, starting on April 8, 2010, after a break lasting 20 weeks. In late March, Tiger began working on a new commercial for longstanding sponsor Nike.

At the 2007 Masters Tournament, Woods was in the final group on the last day of a major for the thirteenth time in his career, but unlike the previous twelve occasions, he was unable to come away with the win. He finished tied for second two strokes behind winner Zach Johnson.

Personal life

In November 2003, Woods became engaged to Elin Nordegren, a former Swedish 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 on the Caribbean island of Barbados and live at Isleworth, a community in Windermere, a suburb of Orlando, Florida. They also have homes in Jackson, Wyoming, California, and Sweden. In January 2006, they purchased a $39 million residential property in Jupiter Island, Florida, intending to make it their primary residence. Jupiter Island residents include fellow golfers Gary Player, Greg Norman, and Nick Price, as well as singers Celine Dion and Alan Jackson. In 2007, a guest house owned by Woods on the Jupiter Island estate was destroyed in a fire caused by lightning.

Early in the morning of June 18, 2007, Elin gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter, Sam Alexis Woods, in Orlando. The birth occurred just one day after Woods finished tied for second in the 2007 U.S. Open. Woods chose to name his daughter Sam because his father said that Woods looked more like a Sam. On September 2, 2008, Woods announced on his website that he and his wife were expecting their second child.[ Five months later, it was announced that Elin had given birth to a boy named Charlie Axel on February 8, 2009.

Marital infidelity and career break

On November 25, 2009, supermarket tabloid The National Enquirer published a story claiming that Woods had an extramarital affair with nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel‎ a claim she denied. The story began to attract media attention when Woods had a car accident a day and a half later. He was leaving his home around 2:30 a.m. in his SUV, a 2009 Cadillac Escalade, when he collided with a hedge, a fire hydrant, and finally a tree down the street. Woods was treated for minor facial lacerations, and cited for careless driving. He refused to speak to the police and the accident fanned intense speculation for the following two days until he released a statement on his website. He took blame for the crash, but said it was a private matter; he also praised his wife Elin for getting him out of the car.

Woods announced a short time later that he would not play in or attend his own charity golf tournament, the Chevron World Challenge (two weeks after Thanksgiving), or any other remaining tournaments in 2009.

Interest in the story grew, until San Diego cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs publicly claimed in the gossip magazine Us Weekly that she had a two-and-a-half-year affair with Woods, producing voice and text messages that she said Woods left her. The voice message stated: "Hey it's Tiger, I need you to do me a huge favor. Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone...You got to do this for me. Huge. Quickly. Bye. Woods released an apology on the same day the story was published, expressing regret for "transgressions" and saying "I have let my family down. Woods was not specific about the reason for the apology, and requested privacy.

After over a dozen women claimed in various media outlets that they had affairs with Woods, media pressure increased. On December 11, he released another statement, admitting to infidelity, offering another apology, and announcing an indefinite hiatus from professional golf. On the same day, lawyers acting on his behalf obtained an injunction in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, preventing the publication in the UK of any images of Woods naked or having sexual intercourse, while denying that Woods was aware of the existence of any such images. Reporting the subject of the injunction was also itself injuncted. The following week, one of the women who had undertaken media interviews regarding her relationship with Woods admitted having taken photographs of Woods naked, on the pre-meditated premise that she would sell them if they ever broke up.

The day after the statement, several companies indicated they were reconsidering endorsement deals. Gillette suspended advertising featuring Woods, and said they would not be hiring him for any public appearances for the company. On December 13, management consultancy firm Accenture completely cut its sponsorship of Woods, stating that the golfer was "no longer the right representative.
On December 8, 2009, Nielsen indicated that advertisers had tentatively suspended TV ads featuring Woods after news of extramarital affairs emerged. Major sponsors initially pledged support and to retain Woods, but he was suspended by Gillette on December 11, and completely dropped by Accenture on December 13. On December 18, TAG Heuer dropped Woods "for the foreseeable future" from its advertising campaigns, only to then change their home page by December 23 to the statement that "Tag Heuer stands with Tiger Woods". On January 1, 2010, AT&T announced the end of its sponsorship of Woods. On January 4, 2010, Electronic Arts, via the blog of President Peter Moore, stated that they would continue to work with Woods and cited their collaboration on a web-based golf game, Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online. On January 13, General Motors ended a free car loan deal that had been due to end on December 31, 2010.

A December 2009 study by Christopher R. Knittel and Victor Stango, economics professors at the University of California at Davis, estimated that the shareholder loss caused by Woods' alleged extramarital affairs to be between $5 billion and $12 billion.

Golf Digest magazine, which had featured monthly instructional articles from Woods on an exclusive basis since 1997, announced in its February 2010 issue that it would suspend publication of articles by Woods while he works out his problems.

On February 19, 2010, Woods delivered a televised speech from the PGA Tour headquarters in Florida. He admitted that he had been unfaithful to his wife. He said he used to believe he was entitled to do whatever he wanted to do, and that, due to his success, normal rules did not apply to him. He said he realizes now that he was wrong to have had extramarital affairs, and apologized for the hurt his behavior caused to his family, friends, fans, and business partners. Woods stated he had strayed from Buddhism, his trained faith since childhood, and that he would work to re-embrace his faith in the future. Woods also stated he had been in a therapy program for 45 days, and would be returning there soon. He stated he planned to return to competitive golf in the future, but was unspecific on details. He did not take questions.

On February 27, 2010, energy drink firm Gatorade ended its sponsorship of Tiger Woods. However, Gatorade said it would continue its partnership with the charitable Tiger Woods Foundation. In March Irish bookmaker Paddy Power revealed that Woods had declined a $75 million endorsement deal with them. On March 16, 2010, he announced that he will be returning to golf at the 2010 Masters.

On March 21, 2010, he was interviewed by Tom Rinaldi, his first interview after the incident.

On December 15, 2009, The New York Times reported that Anthony Galea, a Canadian sports doctor who had previously treated Woods, was under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly providing the drug Actovegin and human growth hormone to athletes. According to the same article, Galea visited Woods at his Orlando home at least four times in February and March 2009 to administer a special blood-spinning technique, and that Woods had responded well to the treatment.

Woods has said he "believes in Buddhism... Not every aspect, but most of it. In his February 19, 2010 public apology statement, Woods said that he had been raised as a Buddhist and had practiced this faith until recent years. He then said that he will turn back to Buddhism to help him turn his life around.

When Woods came to Thailand for a tournament in 2000, Thai officials tried to bestow on him royal decorations, and even offered him Thai citizenship, based on his mother being Thai. Woods politely turned them down.

Woods has a niece named Cheyenne Woods who, as of 2009, shows promise as an amateur golfer at Wake Forest University

Woods and his wife own a luxurious 155-ft yacht called Privacy, that is based in Florida. The $20 million, 6,500 square feet (600 m2) vessel features a master suite, six staterooms, a theatre, gym, and Jacuzzi, and sleeps 21 people. Registered in the Cayman Islands, the boat was built for Woods by Christensen Yachts,[citation needed] a Vancouver, Washington-based luxury yacht builder. Woods sometimes stays on the yacht when playing tournaments at oceanside golf courses.

Tiger Woods donated US$3,000,000 to the 2010 Haitian earthquake victims.