“I had to be twice as good to be given a chance,” golf legend Tiger Woods said at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
On Wednesday, March 9, golf legend Tiger Woods, 46, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in front of his family and friends. His daughter Sam, 14, presented her father at the event in a moving speech that celebrated both his physical and emotional recovery over the past year. Referring to his near-fatal car crash in 2021, she expressed how proud she was of his “fighter spirit.”
“We didn’t know if you’d come home with two legs or not. Now, [you’re] not only about to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but you’re standing here on your own two feet. This is why you deserve this,” she said at the podium. “You’ve defied the odds every time.”
Woods’ daughter Sam and son Charlie, 13, are both the children of Woods’ ex-wife, former Swedish model Elin Nordegren.
Also present at the ceremony were Woods’ mother Kultida Woods, girlfriend Erica Herman and longtime sponsor Phil Knight, founder of Nike.
In his own speech, Woods touched on the sacrifices of his parents, especially those of his father, the late Earl Woods, who passed away from cancer at age 74 back in 2006. Woods credited them as the reason for his success.
“Without the sacrifices of mom and dad who instilled in me this work ethic, to fight for what I believe in, to chase after my dreams – nothing’s ever going to be given to you, everything’s going to be earned,” he said with tears in his eyes. “If you don’t go out there and put in the work, if you don’t go out there and put in the effort, one, you’re not going to get the results, but two, more importantly, you don’t deserve it, you didn’t earn it. And so that defined my upbringing, that defined my career.”
Woods also talked about facing racial discrimination as a mixed Black teenager trying to play golf.
“I had to be twice as good to be given a chance,” Woods said, “I was not allowed in the club houses, where all [of] the other juniors were. The color of my skin dictated that. As I got older, that drove me even more. So as I was denied access into the club houses, that’s fine, put my shoes on air in the parking lot. I asked two questions only, and that was it: ‘Where was the first tee?’ and ‘What was the course record?’ Not complicated.”
Woods is widely regarded as the best golf player in history, with 82 PGA tour wins. He was the youngest Masters champion, at the age of 21 years, and was also the first major championship winner of African or Asian heritage.
Featured Image via World Golf Hall of Fame