Tiger Woods is one of the best golfers of all time — if not the best — as well as being one of the most famous athletes of all time. There many people around the world who don’t pay attention to golf, but the odds are good they know who Tiger Woods is.
Woods has broken countless records throughout his career and has won many championships, and while his personal life has often clouded his athletic achievements, there’s no denying his greatness. At 44 years old, Woods is still going strong and playing for more titles.
From how he got his name to becoming the first billion-dollar sportsman, here are 10 things you may not have known about the prolific golfer.
Tiger’s Not His Real Name
Many fans of Woods’s know, his real name is not Tiger. In fact, his real name is Eldrick Tont Woods. He was apparently named Eldrik by his mother because it begins with his father’s first initial “E” (for Earl) and ends with his mother’s first initial “K” (for Kultida). His mother, who is Thai, added Tont to his name, as it’s a traditional Thai name.
Why He Goes by Tiger
His father decided to call his son Tiger when he was a little boy because he knew a soldier named Col. Vuong Dang Phong, who went by Tiger.
Woods won the US Amateur Championship three years in a row in 1994, 1995, and 1996. He is the only man to ever do that.
College For Two Years
As you can imagine, Woods was heavily recruited by a number of colleges but ending up picking Stanford University. However, he decided to only stay in college for two years before turning pro.
Amateur Champion and NCAA Champion
Along with winning the 1996 US Amateur Championship, Woods also won the NCAA Championship in the same year. He’s only one of five men to win both championships in the same year. Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Ryan Moore have also done it.
Overcame a Stutter
Woods revealed he had a stutter growing up when he wrote a letter to a young boy who contemplated suicide. He shared that he was able to overcome his stutter by talking to his dog at night and by also taking classes.
At just 24 years old, Woods became the youngest golfer to ever win the career grand slam.
Tied For Most PGA Tour Wins
After decades of competition, Woods tied Sam Snead at the 2019 ZOZO Championships for the most PGA Tour wins ever. Both golfers have won 82.
First Billion-Dollar Sportsman
In 2009, Forbes announced Woods was the world’s first professional athlete to earn a billion dollars in his career. In the same year, it was revealed he was the second richest person of color in the United States, trailing only Oprah Winfrey.
Countless Weeks at #1
Woods has spent nearly 700 weeks as the #1 player in the world in the Official World Golf Ranking. His amount of weeks as number one is more than double Greg Norman, who has spent the second-longest time as world number one.