Woods grew up in Orange County, California. He was a child prodigy who was introduced to golf before the age of two by his athletic father, Earl Woods. Earl was a single-digit handicap amateur golfer who also was one of the earliest African-American college baseball players at Kansas State University.[25] Tiger's father was a member of the military and had playing privileges at the Navy golf course beside the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, which allowed Tiger to play there. Tiger also played at the par 3 Heartwell golf course in Long Beach, as well as some of the municipals in Long Beach.[26]

Woods was raised as a Buddhist, and he actively practiced his faith from childhood until well into his adult, professional golf career.[230] In a 2000 article, Woods was quoted as saying that he "believes in Buddhism... not every aspect, but most of it."[231] He has attributed his deviations and infidelity to his losing track of Buddhism. He said, "Buddhism teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught."[232]


The Open Championship: Captured his 11th major championship at The Open Championship, tying Walter Hagen for second on the all-time major professional championships list. Defeated Chris DiMarco by two strokes after holding both the second- and third-round leads. First back-to-back Open Championship winner since Tom Watson in 1982-83. Became 19th player to win The Open Championship three times. Posted his career-best opening 36-hole total in a major with his 12-under 132. Using a driver just once during the week due to hard and fast conditions, led the field in Driving Accuracy (85.7 percent) and was second in Greens in Regulation (80.6 percent).

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Following an outstanding junior, college, and amateur golf career, Woods turned professional in 1996 at the age of 20. By the end of April 1997, he had won three PGA Tour events in addition to his first major, the 1997 Masters, which he won by 12 strokes in a record-breaking performance. He reached number one in the world rankings for the first time in June 1997, less than a year after turning pro. Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, Woods was the dominant force in golf. He was the top-ranked golfer in the world from August 1999 to September 2004 (264 weeks) and again from June 2005 to October 2010 (281 weeks). During this time, he won 13 of golf's major championships.
The year 2013 would bring a return of Woods' dominating play. In January, he won the Farmers Insurance Open by four shots for his 75th PGA Tour win. It was the seventh time he had won the event.[93] In March, he won the WGC-Cadillac Championship, also for the seventh time, giving him his 17th WGC title and first since 2009.[94] Two weeks later, he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, winning the event for a record-tying 8th time. The win moved him back to the top of the world rankings.[95] To commemorate that achievement, Nike was quick to launch an ad with the tagline "winning takes care of everything".[96]
Surgery: Pulled out of next two PGA TOUR starts, the Genesis Open and The Honda Classic. Released statement: "My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down. This is not what I was hoping for or expecting. I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and The Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week." In April, announced on his website he had undergone further back surgery. The operation was performed by Dr. Richard Guyer of the Center for Disc Replacement at the Texas Back Institute.
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World Golf Championships-American Express Championship: With victory at the World Golf Championships-American Express Championship, became the first player in TOUR history to win five times in five consecutive seasons. Captured his record fifth consecutive Byron Nelson Award and the PGA of America's Vardon Trophy, based on each player's adjusted scoring average. Finished the season with an adjusted scoring average of 68.41, the second-lowest in TOUR history.
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