Woods had his first taste of stardom when he was just 2 years old. The young golf prodigy appeared on “The Mike Douglas Show” in 1978, winning a putting contest with comedian Bob Hope.
Six-year-old Woods measures 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 with during the Vietnam War.
Woods and his father, Earl, celebrate after a 15-year-old Tiger won the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in 1991. He also won the event in 1992 and 1993.
Woods, 16, started at the Los Angeles Open in 1992. It was his first taste of PGA Tour competition, albeit as an amateur. He missed the cut by 36 holes.
Woods played for the United States in the Amateur World Team Cup, which was held in France in 1994.
Woods tees off in the 1995 Walker Cup, an international team event.
Woods speaks to the media after winning his third straight American amateur in 1996. Throughout his life, Woods has worn red on the last day of a major tournament.
Woods played two years of college golf at Stanford University. He won the NCAA individual golf title in 1996.
Woods turned pro in August 1996 and it didn’t take long for him to win his first tournament. Six weeks after announcing he was turning pro – with a famous “Hello, world” ad campaign for Nike – Woods won the Las Vegas Invitational. It earned him that 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, stunning the field by 12 strokes to win his first major. At the time, it was also a Masters record score of 18 under par.
Woods embraces his father, Earl, after winning the 1997 Masters. Earl, a former Green Beret, has been widely credited with developing his son’s prodigious talent and pushing him to be the ultimate competitor.
Woods arrives 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 strokes, a record for any major. It was Woods’ third major title at 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. It gave him the career Grand Slam – one victory in each of four different majors – at the age of 24.
Woods is out of the ordinary at the 2000 PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. Throughout his career, Woods has always had the biggest galleries, with thousands flocking from hole to hole to watch him play. He has also been credited with bringing millions of new fans to the sport.
Woods reacts as he lands a putt in a 2000 PGA Championship playoff. Woods beat Bob May in the playoffs to win his third straight major.
Fans watch Woods play the 18th hole at the 2001 Masters. Woods won the event and completed what is 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 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 at 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 in 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 caddie, Steve Williams, after his famous contribution to the 2005 Masters. Woods won his fourth green jacket.
Woods hugs Williams after winning the British Open in Hoylake, England, in 2006. It was Woods’ first major victory since his father’s death a few months earlier.
Woods stands with his mother, Kultida, and 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 a playoff win over Rocco Mediate at the 2008 US Open. It was his third US Open victory and his 14th major title.
President Barack Obama hosted Woods in the Oval Office of the White House 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 played virtual golf with talk show host Jimmy Fallon in 2011.
Woods jokes with golfing great Arnold Palmer after winning the Bay Hill Invitational in March 2013 and regaining his place as the best golfer in the world.
Woods falls to the ground in pain after shooting The Barclays in August 2013. A few months later, he will undergo back surgery for a pinched nerve.
From left, Woods, Jason Dufner and Mickelson hang out at Muirfield Village Golf Club, home of the Presidents Cup 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 few years.
Woods led Team USA to a Presidents Cup victory in December 2019.
Woods putts in the second round of the Masters in November 2020.