Some argue that Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of all time – others that he’s actually the greatest sportsman.
Woods’ struggles in the last few years have been well documented, and of course his recent inspirational win at the Masters in April – 11 years after his last major win – is one of the most remarkable comeback stories of all time.
But whether this was one last, glorious hurrah, or simply the first step in a startling new phase of Woods’ career, the 43-year-old is unquestionably a legend of the sport. His 15 major wins is the second highest total of any player – with 18 majors, only Jack Nicklaus has more.
But Woods’ accomplishments in golf go beyond mere trophies. Here’s a few mind-boggling facts about the man, the legend that is Tiger.
- Between 1998 and 2005, Tiger went 142 consecutive events on the PGA Tour without missing a cut. That’s the longest ever such streak on the tour – only Byron Nelson comes close, with 113.
- With 41 career wins, Tiger has the third highest total of European Tour wins of any player to have played on the tour, second only to Bernhard Langer and Seve Ballesteros. This is despite Tiger having never played a full season on the European Tour.
- Tiger has won 18 World Golf Championship events, more than any other player. His closest rival is Dustin Johnson, who has won six.
- Tiger is the only other player apart from Jack Nicklaus who has won majors twenty years apart – Tiger won his first in 1997 at the Masters, while Jack’s first major win came in 1962, at the US Open – his last was in 1986, at the Masters.
- Tiger’s previous last major win before this month came at the 2008 US Open – where it later emerged that he had played the tournament with a double stress fracture in his knee. Effectively, he was playing with a broken leg.
- Tiger is the only player to have held all four majors at the same time, in an achievement that came to be known as the Tiger Slam. Between 2000 and 2001, he won the US Open, the Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters.
- He has collected the Associated Press’ Athlete of the Year award on four occasions; the same organisation also called him the Athlete of the Decade in 2009.
- Tiger has the lowest scoring average in PGA Tour history.
- Tiger has won a record 80 out of the 348 tournaments he has entered – 23% of all the events he’s played in.
- Tiger’s victory at the 2000 US Open – traditionally the hardest scoring of all the majors – saw him win by a record 15 strokes.