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Professional golfer born Eldrick Woods on December 30 1975 in Orlando Florida Early on Tigers parents Earl and Kultilda Woods introduced their only child to the sport he has come to dominate giving him a sawed-off putter to practice with as soon as he could stand up on his own At the age of 8 he won the first of six Optimist International Junior World Titles After perhaps the most remarkable amateur career everhe won the US Junior Amateur Championships in 1991 1992 and 1993 and the US Amateur title in 1994 1995 and 1996and two years at Stanford University where he won the NCAA title Woods turned pro in the summer of 1996 His potential seemed unlimited especially when he won 2 titles and finished in the top 10 five times out of his first 8 Professional Golf Association tour events In 1997 at the age of 21 Woods became the youngest player ever to win the Masters by the largest margin in a major championship in this century and the first person of African or Asian descent to win a major golf championship That year his first full year on the tour Woods was chosen as the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year and ESPN Male Athlete of the Year and became the youngest player ever to hold the No 1 ranking in professional golf Nothingnot even an unbelievably lucrative endorsement portfolioforetold what would happen in 1999 when Woodss success reached heights never before imagined With his victory at the American Express Championship on November 7 in Valderrama Spain Woods became the first golfer in 25 years to win 8 PGA tour events in one season including the PGA Championships He also shattered the previous single season winnings record by nearly 3 million making him the first player ever to break the 6 million mark with 66 million True to form Woods only got better in 2000 when he capped
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