Tiger Woods is widely regarded as one of the most successful golfers of all time. A child prodigy who began working on his legendary swing as a toddler, he went on to dominate the next stages at the junior level, college level, and amateur level. Since turning professional at the age of 20, Woods has built an unprecedented competitive career.
In 1997 Woods became the first golfer of African-American descent to win the Masters Tournament, one of the most-prestigious events in the sport. Soon he reached the No.1 position in the world rankings and dominated world golf through the 1990s and 2000s, breaking many records. He has been awarded PGA Player of the Year a record eleven times, has more career major wins and career PGA Tour wins (82) than any other active golfer, and is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam. Aside from excellence on the field, Woods has become one of the most iconic athletes in the world, having earned $1.5 billion from endorsements, appearances, and course design fees since turning pro. Among his countless awards and honors over the years, in 2019 Woods was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the fourth golfer to ever receive the honor.
Although Woods only spent two years at Stanford University, he left an indelible mark on the school. In 1994, as a heavily recruited athlete, he enrolled at Stanford under a golfing scholarship. Although he was majoring in economics, Woods seemed to be putting most of his energy in golf. In only two years in college, he won a Stanford record tying 11 tournaments, including an incredible 8 wins in 13 starts in 1996. Woods was twice named a 1st team All-American. In 1995 he was Stanford's Male Freshman of the Year player. While in 1996 he was the NCAA individual champion and also the Jack Nicklaus national player of the year. Although he loved being a student, it was time for him to go pro.
A longtime fan of Stanford sports, Woods has attended many events back on his alma mater's campus over the years. In 2009 Stanford inducted the golf legend into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame during the halftime of the home football game between Stanford and California. (Woods was also named an honorary captain by the football team.)
"I had a wonderful time competing at Stanford, was challenged in and out of the classroom, and developed many life-long friendships," Woods said, explaining his attachment to his alma mater. "The university helped me grow as a person and an athlete, and I will always be grateful."
Which explains why in 2006 Woods announced that he would be giving back to the place which had given him so much. Using his earnings from the U.S. Ryder Cup, Woods designated a $100,000 donation to go to Stanford University—which considering his reputation for generosity, is only par for the course.