Tiger Woods - Professional Golfer and Highest Paid Athlete in the World

Tiger Woods is a professional American golfer who has dominated and changed the sport in the past 15 years. Up to his first major titles in the middle of the 1990s golf was dominated by older, white players. When Tiger Woods appeared on the golf scene he was 20 and of mixed race. He helped make golf popular among African Americans and other non-whites.

His real name was Eldrick but his father called him “Tiger” in honour of a friend who saved his life during the Vietnam War. He picked up his first golf club when he was two and started taking lessons when he was four. He won more titles and tournaments when he was a teenager than anyone else before him. In 1991 he became the youngest golfer to win the American Junior Title.

Tiger Woods became a professional golfer in 1996, at the age of 20. A year later he was the youngest player to win the Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia. He also was the first African American to win a big tournament.

In 2000 Tiger Woods became the fifth golfer in history to win all four major tournaments in one year: the Masters, the PGA championship, the U.S. Open and the British Open.

Between 1998 and 2009 Woods ranked as the world’s number one golfer 11 out of 12 times. He is also the world’s highest paid athlete. In 2008 his earnings were reported to be about $110 million, his overall fortune is about $1 billion. Tiger also donates a lot of money. In 1996, Woods founded the Tiger Woods Foundation, a charity organization that helps children.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

 

Tiger Woods is almost a perfect player, a professional golfer with no weak sides. He can hit long drives and is a great putter. He practices a lot and is known for his mental strength. He does not only like to win tournaments but also wants to break course records.

In 2008 Tiger Woods missed the last part of the season because of knee problems. He underwent surgery and came back to professional golf in February 2009, but was not able to win a major tournament in that year.

While he stayed number one on the golf course, his personal life suffered ups and downs. In 2004 he married a Swedish model, Elin Nordegren. The couple has two children.

Towards the end of 2009 Woods’ personal life took a downturn. First he crashed his SUV near his Florida home, and then reports came up that accused Woods of having a number of affairs. Shortly later he admitted them and apologized to his fans. He said he would take time out from golf to get his personal things in order.

 

 

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Words

  • accuse = blame, to say that someone has committed a crime
  • admit = to say that you have done something
  • apologize = to say you are sorry
  • appear = come out, show himself
  • athlete = sportsperson
  • charity = an organization that gives money to people or children who are poor and sick
  • couple = man and wife
  • crash = to have an accident
  • dominate = control, to be better than the rest
  • donate = to give money to an organization in order to help someone
  • downturn = a time when things do not go so well
  • drive = to hit the ball long and hard
  • earning = the money you get by when you have a job
  • found – founded = start
  • golf club = a wooden or metal stick that you use to hit the ball
  • in honour of = to show that you respect and like a person
  • major = big
  • mental = everything that is connected to your mind or brain
  • miss = not to play
  • mixed race = his family has American, Asian and European roots
  • non-white = a person who does not belong to the white race
  • overall fortune = all the money a person has earned in their life
  • popular = well –known, liked by many people
  • professional = to get money for playing
  • put = to hit the ball a short distance into the hole
  • rank = to be in a list or position
  • suffer = go through
  • SUV = sport-utility vehicle = a car that with which you can travel over rough ground
  • time out = to take a break
  • tournament = an event in which players play against each other in a series of games
  • undergo surgery = to be operated on
  • weak = not strong