Tiger Woods was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame at the PGA Tour headquarters in Florida on Wednesday.
After being introduced and presented with the award by his daughter, Woods kicked off his speech emotionally: “Thank you. Crap, I just lost a bet to [golfer Steve] Stricker that I wouldn’t cry. Thank you, Sam.”
Woods then recalled the sacrifices of his parents, and the racism he faced as a young golfer.
“One of the things that Dad had instilled in me is that he grew up in an era, same era as Charlie Sifford [the first Black golfer to play on the PGA Tour] and why my son is named after Charlie, is that you had to be twice as good to be given half a chance,” he said.
“I was not allowed in the clubhouses where all 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 clubhouses, that’s fine. Put my shoes on here in the parking lot. I asked two questions only, that was it: where was the first tee and what was the course record.”
During his career, Woods has broken many golfing records, establishing himself as arguably the greatest golfer of all time. He has won 15 majors – surpassed only by Jack Nicklaus’ 18 – as well as a joint-record 82 wins on the PGA Tour.
The American took 359 starts to achieve this milestone, according to the PGA Tour Stats Report, making for a record win percentage of 22.80%.
Woods has not played on the PGA Tour since the 2020 Masters after sustaining serious injuries from a car crash in February 2021.
While he is yet to set a date for his return to the Tour, he played with his son Charlie at the PNC Championship in December, finishing second.
The importance of his family featured throughout Woods’ acceptance speech. “I know that golf is an individual sport, we do things on our own a lot for hours on end, but I didn’t get here alone,” he said.
“I had unbelievable parents, mentors, friends who supported me in the darkest of times and celebrated the highest of times. All of you allowed me to get here and I want to say thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.”
The ceremony also inducted former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, four-time major winner Susie Maxwell and course designer and architect Marion Hollins into the Golf Hall of Fame.