Tiger Woods is an American golfer and one of the most successful and highly paid golfers of all time with a record streak of 264 weeks as the highest ranked player. He was born Eldrick Tont Woods on December 30, 1975, in Cypress, California to Earl and Kultida Woods and nicknamed “Tiger” in honor of his father’s friend Col. Vuong Dang Phong, with whom Earl had served during the Vietnam War. Woods was introduced to golf at the age of 2 by his father, who had also been an amateur golfer in his time. He was a child prodigy and began making a name for himself at a very early age. He won his first tournament at the age of 8, competing in the 9–10 age group boys’ event at the Junior World Golf Championships, a contest that he won 6 times including 4 consecutive victories between 1988 to 1991.
Woods studied at Western High School, where, at the age of 15, he became the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur champion. He won the event three years in a row between 1991 to 1993, and remains the only player to have accomplished this. The following year, he became the youngest winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship. After graduating from high school in 1994, Woods was offered several scholarships and he chose to attend Stanford University. He won several tournaments while at Stanford and was named Stanford’s Male Freshman of the Year.
He left college after two years and turned pro in August 1996. He was named PGA Tour Rookie of the Year as well as the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year that year. He also got endorsement deals with Nike and Titleist, the highest paying endorsement deals in the history of golf. The first major title he won was the 1997 Masters Tournament and rose to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings just two months later, which was the fastest climb to the top in golf history. He continued on his winning streak with 8 wins in 1999, and six consecutive wins in 2000.
In the 2000 U.S. Open, he broke or tied 9 tournament records in a performance which has often been praised as the finest play in the history