His Real Name Is Eldrick
Eldrick Tont Woods, better known as Tiger Woods, was born on December 30, 1975, in Cypress, California. He is the son of Earl and Kultida Woods. His real name , Eldrick was the brain child of his mother. The “E” comes from his father’s name of Earl, and the “K” comes from his mother’s name, Kultida. He was nicknamed Tiger in honor of his father’s good friend, whose nickname was also Tiger.
Calls Himself ‘Calibinasian’
Tiger Woods’ mother is originally from Thailand. She met Earl while he was on a tour of duty for the U.S. military there. Kultida’s ethnicity is Thai, Chinese and Dutch. Earl is mostly African American with traces of European. With all of his different roots around the world, Tiger refers to himself as Cablinasian – a syllabic abbreviation he coined from Caucasian, Black, American Indian, and Asian.
He Was A Child Prodigy
By the time Tiger was 2-years-old, he began showing great promise in the game of golf. His father who was also an athlete pushed Tiger to be the best he could. As his father was a member of the military, Tiger was able to play on prestigious courses such as the Navy Golf Course in Los Alamitos. He also played the par 3 Heartwell course in Long Beach.
Great Talent Led To TV Appearances
Tiger Woods’ talent soon began spreading around the sports and entertainment industry. When he was only 2, he appeared on The Mike Douglas Show and putted against Bob Hope. At age 5, he appeared in “Golf Digest” and on ABC’s That’s Incredible. Finally, when he was 8-years-old, he was invited onto Good Morning America to show off his skills. It was clear to everyone that Tiger was a star.
Stuttered As A Child
Although he was a champion on the course, Tiger struggled when he was a child. He dealt with a stutter. This was widely unknown until he reached out to a boy who was contemplating suicide. Woods wrote this boy a letter. In the letter, Woods wrote “I know what it’s like to be different and to sometimes not fit in. I also stuttered as a child and I would talk to my dog and he would sit there and listen until he fell asleep. I also took a class for two years to help me, and I finally learned to stop.”
Didn’t Have Many Friends Growing Up
Even though Tiger was in the spotlight for his talent from a very young age, he wasn’t very popular. He didn’t have any friends his own age. Joe Grohman was the pro at the Navy golf course (the course which Tiger and his Dad frequented). Grohman said he worried about Tiger not having any friends his own age. But, he was friends with his dad and his dad’s military buddies.
His Father Was A Cheater
Tiger and his father butted heads a lot. According to ESPN, “Tiger hated that his dad cheated on his mom and cried to his high school girlfriend about it. His parents never divorced but moved into their own houses, and the only reason they still needed to communicate at all was their son’s rising golf career; like many overachieving kids in a broken home, Tiger found early on that his talent could help create the family he wanted.” Ironically, despite trying to be better than his father, Tiger too made bad decisions.
Dominated Amateur Leagues
Tiger Woods was recruited by many, many different colleges. However, he chose to attend Stanford University. He began his career at Stanford in Fall 1994. He had won his first college event by that September. In 2005, he was voted Pac-10 Player of the Year, NCAA First Team All-American, and Stanford’s Male Freshman of the Year. By the time he was 19, he participated in his first PGA tour, the 1995 Masters. He tied for 41st. However, he finished his college carer on top, by winning three consecutive U.S. Amateur title as well as the NCAA individual golf championship.
After college, Tiger decided to move back to California and become a professional golfer. He was quickly nabbed by big time sports companies, such as Nike and Titleist, for endorsement deals. In 1996, he was named Sports Illustrated‘s Sportsman of the Year and the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. His career was becoming the dream he and his father always planned for him.
Youngest To Ever Win The Masters
In 1997, Tiger Woods shot into super stardom. That year, he became the youngest-ever, and first African-American, to win the U.S. Masters. Soon after his win at the Masters, he set the record for the fastest-ever ascent to #1 in the Official World Golf Rankings. His 1998 wasn’t as stellar. However, by 1999, he was quickly reestablished himself as one of the world’s best golfers.
Elin Nordegren grew up in Sweden. While working in a clothing store, she met a woman named Mia Parnevik. Mia was married to the famed golfer Jesper Parvenik. Upon getting to know Elin, Mia offered her an au pair job with her family in the U.S. Elin accepted the job. elin attended the 2001 Open Championship with the family. Tiger was also competing that day. There was an instant connection.
A Seemingly Happy Marriage
Tiger and Elin got married on October 5, 2004. They moved to Jupiter Island, Florida to begin their family together. Their daughter, Sam Alexis Woods was born in 2007. Their son, Charlie Axel Woods, was born in February 2009. They seemed like the perfect family. However, that quickly changed only a few months later.
In November 2009, the National Enquirer published a story that claimed Tiger Woods was having an affair with nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel. The publication claimed the two were recently in Australia together. Although just rumors at first, only a few short days later, Woods was seen crashing his Escalade into a fire hydrant and a tree. Many people speculated this was due to an argument with his wife about the affair.
The Truth Emerges
Only a few days later, Tiger publicly apologized and admitted to his infidelities. “I’m human and I’m not perfect,” he said. However, the trouble did not stop there. More women slowly started to come forward saying they also had an affair with Woods. By mid-December, Woods began to lose large endorsements such as Gatorade.
Divorce & Rebuilding
By August 2010, Elin and Tiger announced they would officially be separating. They both still live in Florida, in order to easily raise their children. Tiger has had a few rough years since the news broke. However, he is slowly regaining his confidence as the champion golfer he once was. Charlie has taken after his father and is a talented young golfer, while his daughter Sam prefers soccer.