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Tiger Woods

Eldrick "Tiger" Woods (born December 30, 1975 in Cypress, California) is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Currently the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world, Woods was the highest paid professional athlete in 2005, having earned an estimated $87 million.In 2006, at the age of 30, he won his eleventh and twelfth professional major golf championships and has more wins on the PGA Tour than any other active golfer. He is the only active golfer currently in the top 10 in either career major wins or career PGA Tour wins.

Woods, who is multiracial, is credited with prompting a major surge of interest in the game of golf among minorities and young people in the United States.

Tiger soon lived up to his nickname when Woods' father introduced him to the game at age three, later boasting, "Tiger knew how to swing a club before he could walk".

The gifted young golfer went on to win his first Optimist International Junior World Title at the ripe old age of eight.

He later took the U.S. Junior Amateur Championships by storm, winning three consecutive titles beginning in 1991, together with the U.S. Amateur title in 1994, 1995, and 1996.

The following year, he was ready for the pro tour - for at age 21 Tiger Woods became the youngest player ever to win the Masters, followed by the youngest to rank No. 1 in professional golf, and the first golfer of African or Asian descent to win a major professional championship - all in his debut year.

Success followed success when in 1999 Woods scored 8 victories on the PGA Tour, along with the PGA Championship, and the following year won the British Open becoming at age 24 the youngest player ever to win the Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open, and the British Open.

Woods was named the No. 1 player in the world in 2005, following his win at the Ford Championship at Doral, and in April took the 2005 Masters Tournament in a spectacular playoff against Chris DiMarco for his fourth career Masters win.

Woods dominated the British Open in July 2005 for his second win of the year at a major tournament.

Concerns over the seriously ill Earl Woods some say was the reason the golfing superstar has been off his game during the 2006 season. Now dead of cancer at age 74, Earl Woods was forever sited by his son as the bedrock of his success.

The 2006 U.S. Open in June marked the first time that Woods would have competed in a major tournament without the coaching and guidance of his equally famous mentor. However, he failed to make the cut in a major for the first time in his professional career.

His comeback was heralded by an emotional & triumphant win at this year's British Open, and by his 50th PGA victory at the Buick Open in August, followed closely by a five-shot victory in the 2006 PGA Championship.

Away from the golf course, Woods heads up the Tiger Woods Foundation which provides youth scholarships & career guidance through such programs as Start Something, and the recently opened Tiger Wood Learning Center offering free courses in math, science, technology and language arts to area children.

Woods married long-time girlfriend, Swedish model, Elin Nordegren in a lavish wedding ceremony in Barbados on October 5, 2004. They are expecting their first baby, due this summer.

Tiger Woods and former model ElinTiger Woods is to marry his Swedish girlfriend Elin, a 23-year-old former model, a Swedish newspaper reported on Friday.

Woods, 27, popped the question after the President's Cup golf competition in South Africa, the daily Expressen said. She said "Yes" and called her father, telling him: "Dad, we are engaged."

"She called me yesterday morning and was incredibly happy," Elin's father, Thomas Nordengren, told Expressen.

Woods and Elin, his girlfriend of two years, had spent a few days in the romantic setting of South Africa's Shamwari game reserve near Port Elizabeth, where they cooked their meals over an open campfire.

The wedding is to take place in Sweden but the couple are in no rush, Expressen said, quoting unnamed friends of the pair, who have their home in Orlando, Florida.

Tiger met Elin when she was working as a nanny to the children of Swedish professional golfer Jesper Parnevik.

"I just wish my father could be around to share the experience" said Woods, who also ended 2006 named as AP Sportsman of the Year.

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