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. 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.
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.
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.
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." 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. 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. 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. 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.
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, 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.