Tiger Woods hailed his family’s sacrifices in an emotional speech as he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The 15-time major winner became the latest golfing great to be added at a ceremony held ahead of the Players Championship.
After being introduced by his 14-year-old daughter Sam, Woods began by joking that he had lost a bet with Steve Stricker that he would not cry.
Visibly emotional throughout his 15-minute speech, he went on to talk about being denied entry to clubhouses because of the colour of his skin, and how his parents took out a second mortgage to allow him to travel to tournaments.
Of his mother Kultida and late father Earl, he said: “Without the sacrifices of Mom who took me to all those junior golf tournaments, and Dad, who’s not here, but who instilled in me this work ethic to fight for what I believe in, chase after my dreams, nothing’s ever going to be given to you, everything’s going to be earned.
“If you don’t go out there and put in the work, you don’t go out and put in the effort, one, you’re not going to get the results, but two, and more importantly, you don’t deserve it. You need to earn it.
“That defined my upbringing. That defined my career.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 10, 2022
Earmarked for greatness from an early age, Woods’ impact on golf was seismic. He won the first of his 15 majors, the 1997 Masters, in just his second year as a pro.
Over the following years records tumbled, with Tiger becoming the first man to win four consecutive majors in what became known as the “Tiger Slam”.
He suffered well-documented problems in his personal life, as well as a string of injuries – but capped a remarkable comeback with victory in the 2019 Masters.
After the car crash last year which not only nearly cost him his career but also his right leg, he promised last month to return to competitive golf.
Reflecting on his journey, Woods paid tribute to the “team” supporting him through “the darkest of times”.
“I know that golf is an individual sport,” he added.
“We do things on our own a lot for hours on end, but in my case, I didn’t get here alone.
“I had unbelievable parents, mentors, friends, who allowed me and supported me in the toughest times, the darkest of times, and celebrated the highest of times.”