Born: 30 December 1975
Birthplace: Cypress, California
Best known as: The worldwide golf superstar who admitted infidelity
Name at birth: Eldrick Tont Woods
The winner of 14 major championships, Tiger Woods was golf's dominant superstar when a sex scandal interrupted his career in 2009. Woods had been a golfer and a celebrity for decades: his father Earl allegedly introduced Tiger to golf at age 9 months, and at age 2 the youngster made a now-famous appearance putting with Bob Hope on The Mike Douglas Show. Woods won three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles (1994-96), and in 1996 turned pro with a $40 million contract from Nike and a fame usually reserved for movie stars. Woods made good on the hype, winning 46 PGA tournaments in his first ten seasons on the tour. He won the 1997 Masters in his first attempt as a pro and later won the PGA Championship (1999), the British Open (2000) and the U.S. Open (2000) to become one of the few golfers to win all four major tournaments during their careers. In April of 2001 Woods won the Masters again, becoming the first golfer in the modern era to hold all four major tournament titles at once (2000 U.S Open, British Open and PGA Championship, and 2001 Masters). In 1999-2000 Woods won six consecutive tournaments, making him the first man to do so since Ben Hogan in 1948. Woods wed Elin Nordegren on 5 October 2004 in Barbados; a Swede, she was the former nanny to golfer Jesper Parnevik. Although 2005 and 2006 were tough on Woods -- his father died 3 May 2006 -- he won the British Open in 2005 and 2006, and the PGA Championship in both 2006 and 2007.
But in 2009 things took a major turn when The National Enquirer alleged that Woods was having an affair with an event planner named Rachel Uchitel. Uchitel told The New York Post that she and Woods had "never had an affair," but the story gained traction after Woods had an early-morning car crash outside his home on 27 November 2009, with gossip sites reporting that it followed an argument with his wife. Soon other women, including Jaimee Grubbs, came forward to claim they had slept with Woods before and during his marriage. On December 11th, Woods released a statement admitting "infidelity" and he then took a break from golf, reportedly attending a rehabilitation clinic. He returned to playing golf in the spring of 2010. Woods and Nordegren announced their divorce in August of 2010.
Extra credit: Tiger Woods has won all of pro golf's major tournaments at least three times: The Masters in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005, the PGA Championship in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007, the British Open in 2000, 2005 and 2006, and the U.S. Open in 2000, 2002 and 2008... Woods's father served in Vietnam and nicknamed his son "Tiger" after a South Vietnamese army officer. Woods's mother, Kultida, is from Thailand. Tiger's middle name, Tont, is a traditional Thai name, according to Australian newspaper The Age... Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren have a daughter, Sam Alexis Woods (born on 18 June 2007), and a son, Charlie Axel (born on 8 February 2009). Woods told reporters that "Sam" was a nickname his father sometimes called him as child... By winning The Masters in both 2001 and 2002, Woods joined Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo as the only men to win in consecutive years... Tiger Woods once told Oprah Winfrey that as a child he had decided he was "Cablinasian" -- a mixture of Caucasian, black, American Indian and Asian. His mother Kutilda is from Thailand, his father is an American of multiple ethnic backgrounds... Before his marriage to Elin Nordegren, Tiger Woods's longtime girlfriend was UCLA law student Joanna Jagoda.
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