Woods had his first brush with fame when he was just 2 years old. The young golfing prodigy appeared on « The Mike Douglas Show » in 1978, winning a putting contest with comedian Bob Hope.
Woods, 6, sizes up a putt in Los Alamitos, California, in 1982. His real name is Eldrick, but his father nicknamed him « Tiger » after a South Vietnamese soldier he fought alongside with during the Vietnam War.
Woods and his father, Earl, celebrate after a 15-year-old Tiger won the US Junior Amateur Championship in 1991. He won the event in 1992 and 1993 as well.
Woods, 16, tees off at the Los Angeles Open in 1992. That was his first taste of PGA Tour competition, albeit as an amateur. He missed the 36-hole cut.
Woods played for the United States during the World Amateur Team Cup, which took place in France in 1994.
Woods hits a tee shot during the 1995 Walker Cup, an international team event.
Woods talks to the media after winning his third-straight US Amateur in 1996. Throughout his life, Woods has worn red on the final day of a big tournament.
Woods played two years of college golf at Stanford University. He won the NCAA individual golf title in 1996.
Woods turned professional in August 1996, and it didn’t take long for him to win his first tournament. Six weeks after he announced he was going pro — with a famous « Hello, world » ad campaign for Nike — Woods won the Las Vegas Invitational. That earned him this big check, a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and a spot in the following year’s Masters tournament.
Woods made history at the 1997 Masters, blowing away the field by 12 strokes to win his first major. At the time, it was also a record-low Masters score of 18 under par.
Woods hugs his father, Earl, after winning the 1997 Masters. Earl, a former Green Beret, was widely credited with developing his son’s prodigious talent and pushing him to be the ultimate competitor.
Woods arrived at an airport in Hamburg, Germany, in May 2000.
Woods plays a shot from the ninth fairway during the 2000 US Open in Pebble Beach, California. Woods won the tournament by 15 shots, a record for any major. It was Woods’ third major title by this point; he had also won the 1999 PGA Championship.
A month after the US Open, Woods won the 2000 British Open at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. That gave him the career Grand Slam — a win in each of the four different majors — at the age of 24.
Woods chips out of the rough at the 2000 PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. Throughout his career, Woods has always had the largest galleries, with thousands of people flocking from hole to hole to watch him play. He’s also been credited with bringing in millions of new fans to the sport.
Woods reacts as he sinks a putt during a playoff at the 2000 PGA Championship. Woods defeated Bob May in the playoff to win his third straight major.
Fans watch Woods tee off on the 18th hole at the 2001 Masters. Woods went on to win the event and complete what’s now called the Tiger Slam—four consecutive major titles.
Woods chats with golf legend Jack Nicklaus at the Memorial tournament in June 2001. The two are widely considered to be the two greatest golfers in history, and only Nicklaus has won more major titles than Woods.
Woods arrives in a military vehicle before a golf exhibition in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 2004. Woods spent the week training with Army troops before hosting a junior golf clinic for his Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods’ father, Earl, was stationed at the base in the 1960s.
Woods and Phil Mickelson line up their putts during the final round of the Ford Championship in March 2005. For much of Woods’ career, Mickelson was considered his biggest rival.
Woods celebrates with his caddy, Steve Williams, after his famous chip-in at the 2005 Masters. Woods went on to win his fourth green jacket.
Woods hugs Williams after winning the British Open in Hoylake, England in 2006. It was Woods’ first major win since the death of his father just a couple of months earlier.
Woods stands with his mother, Kultida, and his daughter, Sam, as a statue of him and his father is unveiled at the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, California, in January 2008.
Woods had a fractured tibia and a torn ligament in his knee, but he gutted out a playoff win over Rocco Mediate at the 2008 US Open. It was his third US Open win and his 14th major title.
President Barack Obama hosted Woods in the White House Oval Office in April 2009.
Woods hits a shot during a PGA Championship practice round in August 2009.
Woods holds his daughter, Sam, as he and his wife, Elin, attend a Stanford football game in November 2009. Woods married Elin, a model, in 2004. The couple also have a son, Charlie.
Woods plays virtual golf with talk show host Jimmy Fallon in 2011.
Woods jokes with golf great Arnold Palmer after winning the Bay Hill Invitational in March 2013 and regaining his spot as the world’s top-ranked golfer.
Woods falls to the ground in pain after hitting a shot at The Barclays in August 2013. A few months later, he would undergo back surgery for a pinched nerve.
From left, Woods, Jason Dufner and Mickelson hang out at the Muirfield Village Golf Club, where the Presidents Cup was taking place in Dublin, Ohio, in October 2013.
Woods kisses his then-girlfriend, skiing superstar Lindsey Vonn, at an event in Beaver Creek, Colorado, in 2015. The two dated for a couple of years.
Woods captained the US team to a Presidents Cup win in December 2019.
Woods putts during the second round of the Masters in November 2020.