When Tiger Woods won the Masters last month, it was his first major since 2008. It's a doubly impressive statistic because Woods won 14 majors from 1997-2008; over the same amount of time, he's just won the lone Masters. Even though Tiger hasn't had the same success on the course that he once had, this month should still hold a special place in his heart.
But first, let's start back at the beginning. Tiger's first public appearance was at three years old when he putted against comedian Bob Hope. From there, his legend only grew.
Woods first defeated his dad, Earl, at age 11; his father claimed Tiger never lost to him again after that. Just one year later, Tiger first hit under 70 on a regulation golf course. He played in his first tournament at age 13, and was paired with John Daly. He lost by just one stroke.
By the time he was 17, he had already won three U.S. Junior Amateur Championships and remains the only three-time winner of the event. He even participated in the Masters before turning pro, playing in 1995 as a 19-year-old. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was the only amateur to make the cut.
Tiger made his professional golf debut on August 29, 1996. He won the Masters 228 days later, on April 13, 1997. After winning the Masters, the 21-year-old signed a $40 million deal with Nike and $20 million deal with Titleist. Both deals were for five years.
About a month later, on May 20, 1997, a day after winning the Byron Nelson Classic (the first tournament he entered after becoming the youngest player ever to win The Masters), Tiger signed a five-year, $30 million deal with American Express. The American Express deal, combined with his Nike, Titleist and tournament winnings brought his career earnings to $100 million. In other words, after turning professional, it took Tiger just 8 months (264 days) to earn $100 million.
In September 2000, Tiger signed his second Nike endorsement deal. This deal was worth $100 million over five years, or $20 million a year. In other words, between 1997 and 2005, Tiger earned $140 million from Nike alone. He likely earned a touch over $200 million from all deals during that eight-year period.
Perhaps the most impressive part? Woods moved out of California the same year he turned pro, citing the states high tax costs. He now resides in Florida, meaning he doesn't pay any state income tax. If he stayed in California, he'd pay an additional 13.3 percent on top of federal taxes.
It's just another example of Tiger being ahead of the game.