Tiger Woods inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame by his daughter Sam

Tiger Woods inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame by his daughter Sam

©PGA Tour

Tiger Woods hasn’t spoken about his 82 PGA Tour wins, his 15 majors or the eight surgeries he’s had along the way.

He talked about his parents taking out a second mortgage to allow him to play on the California junior circuit, and choked up when he mentioned his late father, who told him he should earn whatever he wants.

“If you don’t go out there and put in the effort, on the one hand, you’re not going to get results,” Woods said. But second, and most importantly, you don’t deserve it. You have to deserve it. That is what defined my education. It defined my career. »

He was introduced by his 14-year-old daughter Sam, who said her father preaches to her and her 13-year-old brother Charlie the same message he learned from their late father.

“Train hard fight easy”.

Tiger Woods led an induction class that included retired PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem, three-time US Women’s Open champion Susie Maxwell Berning and the late Marion Hollins, a visionary who became the first woman to develop leading golf courses. .

Woods was on a list of nominees two years ago, everyone was presented one by one with a list of their achievements, except for Woods. There was no need to talk about his achievements, the people he influenced and the huge impact he had on his sport by attracting new fans, increasing television ratings and increasing prize money. .

The purse for this week’s PLAYERS Championship is $20 million, and the players on the field didn’t miss out. The total purse was $3.5 million in 1997 when Woods debuted. This week’s winner receives $3.6 million.

“I think every professional player owes Tiger a debt of gratitude because this game would not be what it is today without his impact,” said Patrick Cantlay, who won the $15 million prize last year as FedExCup champion, earlier this week.

Tiger Woods, the first player of black and Asian descent to win a major tournament at the 1997 Masters when he was 21, also spoke of the discrimination he suffered in his youth. He told a story where he went to a country club to play a tournament and was not allowed into the clubhouse like other juniors because of his skin color.

“So I was denied access to the clubhouses. It’s good. I put my shoes on in the parking lot,” she said. “I only asked two questions, that’s all. Where was the first tee and what was the course record? not complicated. »

The PGA TOUR Global Home venue, which could only hold about 500 people, erupted in applause.

The ceremony was moved from the World Golf Village, which had previously held ceremonies in Florida, to the new PGA TOUR headquarters located a mile from where Woods enjoyed his first win.

Of course, there was the appearance on The Mike Douglas Show when he was just a two-year-old wunderkind and the three consecutive United States Junior Amateur titles. But it was on TPC Sawgrass’ famous par-3 17th hole in the 1994 US Amateur that Woods delivered the first hook that would define his celebration.

It was the first of an unprecedented streak of three consecutive American amateur titles, and it only got better…

His record is so solid that Tiger Woods has had three World Golf Hall of Fame careers in one. After four full years as a professional, he already had a career Grand Slam and 24 wins on the PGA TOUR. The first major was the 1997 Masters, which he won by 12 points, one of 20 records.

At 30 years old, he already had 46 victories on the circuit and 10 majors, including a great sweep, a feat that no one had ever achieved.

Tiger Woods now holds the PGA TOUR record of 82 wins, as well as 15 majors, three short of the record set by Jack Nicklaus.

More than his victories, it is his influence that counts.

Woods never wanted to be seen as a golfer but as an athlete. He wasn’t the first to find a gym, but his devotion to strength and fitness created a role model for others to follow.

“Tiger changed people’s perception of golf from a game to a sport,” said Padraig Harrington.

The popularity of Tiger Woods, his showmanship, was such that Finchem was able to turn him into television deals that skyrocketed profits.

Finchem also created the World Golf Championships and a Presidents Cup to give the nascent group of non-European international players the opportunity to compete in team matches. And he kept the PGA TOUR strong from his sponsors during the 2008 recession.

Maxwell Berning won 11 times on the LPGA Tour, but he played at a time when juggling family and golf led to short careers.

She has won the US Women’s Open three times (only five other people have won at least three) in a span of six years. She also won the Women’s Western Open, a major tournament in her day. She noted that she earned a total of $16,000 from her three Women’s Open titles. “I was wondering if she would like to cash her checks,” Berning told Tiger Woods.

Hollins financed and developed a women’s golf course in New York and was the mastermind behind two legendary golf courses in California: Cypress Point and Pasatiempo. Hollins, who died in 1944 at the age of 51, was a visionary golf course architect, confidant of Alister Mackenzie, and American amateur champion.

Renee Powell received the inaugural Charlie Sifford Award for her contributions to promoting diversity in golf, while Peter Ueberroth and the late Richard Ferris, both members of the Pebble Beach Owners Group, were honored for their career achievements.

The induction brought the Hall of Fame to 164 members.

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