Tiger Woods, the world’s biggest sports star, actually was famous before TMZ and other news gossip shows began leading their nightly shows with the latest of his scandals. For those who have only recently become interested in his life, here’s an A-to-Z:
A: Augusta National. Home of the Masters and where Woods will make his return to professional golf after 4 1/2 weeks of tabloid tell-alls. He will address the media on Monday; play begins Thursday. He is favored to win.
B: Billionaire. Woods is the sports’ world first billionaire, with most of his money coming from endorsements. He has made $105,592,843 on the course.
C: Cablinasian. Woods told Oprah Winfrey in 1997 that he wasn’t African-American, he was Cablinasian. Woods is one-fourth black, one-fourth Thai, one-fourth Chinese, one-eighth white and one-eighth American Indian. He said he came up with the term when he was a boy.
D: Driving distance. Woods has the reputation as a long hitter. His drives forced Augusta National, among other courses, to alter their layouts. But he’s never led the PGA Tour in driving distance, finishing second four times.
E: Elin Nordegren. Woods’ wife and mother of their two children. She was formerly a Swedish bikini model. Seriously.
F: Fourteen. Woods has won 14 majors: The Masters four times, the U.S. Open three times, the British Open three times and the PGA Championship four times. He has won 71 times on the PGA Tour and 83 times worldwide.
G: Golden Bear: The nickname of Woods’ idol, Jack Nicklaus, who won 18 majors, the most in golf history.
H: Hello, World. With that simple message released by Nike, Woods became a professional golfer in August, 1996, armed with a $40 million deal from the swoosh and a $20 million deal from golf equipment manufacturer Titleist.
I: Isleworth. One of Woods’ homes is located in this upscale neighborhood in Orlando. It’s where Woods crashed his Escalade into a tree the night of Nov. 27, and his world began to temporarily unravel.
J: Jupiter Island. Located off Florida’s east coast between Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach, Woods is building a home there. He bought four properties on the thin slip of land for $38 million in 2006. He had the existing homes tore down and began construction on a 9,700-square foot mansion. It’s not complete.
K: Kuehne, Trip. As an amateur Woods was known in golf circles, but he caught the nation’s attention at the U.S. Amateur Championship in 1996 when he rallied from five holes down with 12 to play to defeat Kuehne, 1-up. It remains the biggest reversal in the event’s history.
L: Lasik or laser eye treatment. Woods has had it twice, in 1999 and 2007. After his first procedure he won six consecutive events. He bested that streak in 2007, before he had his second procedure, by winning seven consecutive PGA Tour events.
M: Mike Douglas. When Woods was 2 years old, he appeared on the Mike Douglas show and putted against Bob Hope. There are lots of videos of his appearance on youtube.
N: Navy golf course. Woods’ father, Earl, taught Woods the game and the two would often play at the Navy Golf Course in Cypress, Calif. He shot a 48 over nine holes at age 3.
O: Online. Googleing Woods will get 39,500,000 hits in 0.15 seconds. In comparison, Sandra Bullock, also in the news for the wrong reasons, got 17,500,000 in the same time. Obama nets 152,000,000. Jason Heyward 13,000,000 in 0.25 seconds.
P: Parnevik, Jesper. The Swedish golfer introduced Woods to Elin at the 2001 British Open when she was his family’s nanny. After Woods’ various affairs became public, Parnevik said he wished that Nordegren had hit Woods with a driver. She was rumored to have hit him in the face with an iron before he wrecked the Escalade. Woods has denied that occurred.
Q: Q-scores, what businesses use to measure celebrities’ appeal to consumers. There are two scores, positive and negative. Woods had a positive score of 28 and negative score of 19 last year before the scandal, meaning28 percent rated him favorably and 19 percent rated him negatively. After the scandal his positive score plummeted to 16 and his negative score skyrocketed to 50.
R: Red. Woods wears red during the final round of tournaments. He wears it because he said it symbolizes aggression. His mother, Kutilda, says it brings good luck.
S: Stanford. Woods attended Stanford for two years. He won the NCAA Championship as a sophomore. His teammates nicknamed him “Urkel” after the annoying character on the sitcom Family Matters.
T: TV ratings. When Woods plays, ratings double. For example, the final of the 2007 PGA Championship,which Woods won, was viewed by 9.1 million people. When he missed the 2008 event with a knee injury, just 3.9 million people watched. Ratings for events Woods missed because of the injury dropped by an average of 46.8 percent between 2007 and 2008.
U: Uchitel, Rachel. The first mistress to be reported, albeit by the National Enquirer. The revelation allegedly sparked the fight that led to the Escalade incident. The two met at a party in New York. Woods was rumored to have flown her to Australia for a tournament in November.
V: Vietnam. Woods’ first name is Eldrick. His father nicknamed him Tiger, borrowed from a South Vietnamese soldier he befriended during the Vietnam conflict.
W: Williams, Steve. Woods’ caddy. A New Zealand native who loves to race cars and bark at spectators who make noise when Woods is trying to concentrate. Williams replaced Woods’ first caddy, Mike “Fluff” Cowan, in 1999.
X: X-rated, as in the text messages allegedly sent from Woods to mistress and former porn actress Joslyn James. She released them to the public two weeks ago, days after Woods announced that he was going to play the Masters.
Y: Yang, Y.E. Woods’ super-hero status took its first hit when for the first time in 14 majors, Woods entered the final round either in the lead or tied for the lead and lost. Yang bested him by three strokes at last year’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine.
Z: Zen. As in Buddhism. Woods was raised a Buddhist by his mother, and said he lost sight of its teachings during his recent troubles. “Buddhism teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught.”
– Doug Roberson