Tiger Woods remembers the past, thanks family in World Golf Hall of Fame induction speech

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – In what seemed like a formality from the first time he played in a PGA Tour event at the Greater Milwaukee Open in August 1996, or perhaps even earlier, tiger wood He was officially inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Woods, 46, was elected to the Hall of Fame in March 2020 and was due to be inducted next year, but the ceremony was delayed due to COVID-19. The event was held at the PGA Tour headquarters; The World Golf Hall of Fame is located about 25 miles away in St. Augustine, Florida.

Woods was introduced at the ceremony by his 14-year-old daughter Sam.

During his introduction speech, Woods spoke of being denied entry to all-white country club clubs when he was young and taking his parents a second mortgage on their home to pay for his travel expenses.

Woods said his late father, Earl, and mother, Coltida, “instilled in me this work ethic of fighting for what I believe in, chasing my dreams, and you will be given absolutely nothing, everything will be earned.”

“If you don’t go out there and do the work, you don’t go out and make an effort, one, you’re not going to get results, but two, and most importantly, you can’t earn it,” Woods said.

No one has had a more profound impact on the game of golf than Woods, whose bold playing and dominance drew minorities into the sport and made playing it great for younger generations. His popularity went beyond sports and made him one of the richest and most famous people in the world.

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Woods achieved his first of 15 major tournaments in his second year on the PGA Tour, when he won the 1997 Masters Championship by breaking the 12-shot record and set the record at 18-under. He won the 2000 US Open by 15 strokes and the 2000 US Open by eight. In 2001, Woods became the only player in history to win four consecutive majors – winning the last three majors in 2000 and then the 2001 Masters – a feat that became known as the “Tiger Slam”.

Woods has won the Masters five times, the PGA Championship four times, and the US Open and European Championships three times each. Ranked #1 in the official golf world rankings for 683 weeks, tied with a PGA Tour record of 82 wins and a record 142 consecutive cuts.

After multiple knee and back surgeries, Woods won the 2019 Masters, his first major in 11 years.

“I know golf is an individual sport,” Woods said. “We often do things ourselves for hours on end, but in my case, I didn’t come here on my own. I had wonderful parents, mentors, and friends, who allowed and supported me through the toughest times, the darkest times, and celebrated the highest times.”

Woods may not have finished yet. He has not participated in an official PGA Tour event since the Masters in November 2020. He sustained serious injuries to his right leg and right foot in a car wreck near Los Angeles on February 23, 2021. He underwent several surgeries and last said the month he plans to return to competitive play, But he does not know when.

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When Woods and his family arrived at the PGA Tour headquarters a few hours before Wednesday night’s concert, he wasn’t wearing the big black sleeve he had on his right leg at his last public appearance.

“Recently, my dad has had to train harder than ever,” Sam Woods said during her opening speech. “About a year ago, I was stuck in a hospital bed in one of the worst moments I’ve ever had and one of the scariest moments of my life and ours. We didn’t know if you were going to come home with two feet or not. Now, no, you’re just about to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. , but you are standing here on your two feet.

“That is why you deserve this, because you are a fighter. You have defied the odds every time, being the first black and Asian golfer to win a major, being able to win a Masters V after several back surgeries and being able to walk a few months later. Who broke you?

Many PGA Tour players, including Justin ThomasAnd the Jordan SpiethAnd the Tony Vino And the Bubba WatsonAttended the induction ceremony.

“I think the fact that he’s a person of color and what that brings to the table in terms of golf being a more acceptable sport if you’re from a certain ethnic background, I think that left a huge imprint on the game,” Rory McIlroy He said this week. “I certainly think the game is more diverse because of him. And just his overall play and the excitement he created about golf, he was, as I said at his pomp in the early 2000s, he was probably the most famous man in the world.”

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To put Woods’ impact on the PGA Tour into perspective, consider that when he first played in the Players Championship in 1997, the total purse was $3.5 million. The winner of this week’s tournament at TPC Sawgrass will receive $3.6 million from a $20 million purse.

“We, as his colleagues and peers, have all benefited from that,” McIlroy said. “He made golf, the game of professional golf at the highest level, very attractive to be involved in. Television paid more. Sponsors paid more. And suddenly his peers, teammates, and other players got paid more because of it.”

former LPGA star Susie Maxwell Burning, a three-time winner of the US Women’s Open; former commissioner of PGA Tours Tim Finchum; and Marion Hollins, 1921 American Amateur Champion and first golf developer.

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