Tiger Woods Rookie Year: How Many Titles and Records Did He Accumalate in His First PGA Tour Season?

Published 08/05/2021, 4:06 PM EDT
ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 23: Tiger Woods of the United States reacts during the trophy presentation ceremony after winning the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)


At 45, Tiger Woods is considered the greatest player of all time by most. Woods has been around for over two decades, putting together one of the most illustrious careers in the sport. While the Cypress-native bagged his first major win when he was 21, Woods had been playing professionally since he was only 16.

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Let’s look back at the icon’s rookie season, detailing how he announced his arrival in golf.

Tiger Woods’ rookie season, achievements, and records

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Before 1996

Before officially joined the PGA Tour, Woods played the Nissan Los Angeles Open in 1992 when he was 16. Even though he did miss the 36-hole-cut, he was named the Golf Digest Amateur Player of the Year and the Golfweek National Amateur of the Year. The following year, Woods played in the Nissan Los Angeles Open, the Honda Classic, and the GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic, not making the cut in any of them. 

In 1994, he played in the Nestle Invitational, the Buick Classic, and the Motorola Western Open. Next year, he played the US Open Championship (withdrew), the Masters’ Tournament (T41), the Motorola Western Open (T57), and the Open Championship (T68).

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Rookie season


Woods’ rookie was as spectacular as everyone expected it to be – winning him the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and the Sport’s Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. His journey began with a “I guess, hello world, huh?”, signing his deals with Nike and Titleist worth $40 million and $20 million, respectively. Woods played his very first event at the Greater Milwaukee Open (September), finishing T60.

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His first tournament also recorded his very first professional hole-in-one, which came during the 14th hole of his final round. He earned $2,544. As of now, he is the only one to win three back-to-back US Amateur titles. Woods played the Championship at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon against Steve Scott.


In the next few months, the rookie made sure that everyone knew he had arrived. He won the Las Vegas Invitational and the Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic, finished third in some other events. The then-20-year-old had two wins in his eight starts, also scoring an average of 69.443 – which ranked after Tony Lehman. Woods even played the Tour Championship that year, finishing 21st (tied) with a $790,594 prize. Here’s a look at all the tournaments Woods played in 1996.

DATE

TOURNAMENT NAMEFINISHING POSITION

04/14/1996

Masters TournamentCUT

06/16/1996

U.S. Open Championship

T82

07/21/1996

The Open Championship

T22

09/01/1996

Greater Milwaukee Open

T60

09/08/1996

Bell Canadian Open

11

09/15/1996

Quad City Classic

T5

09/22/1996

B.C. Open

T3

10/06/1996

Las Vegas Invitational

1

10/13/1996

LaCantera Texas Open

3

10/20/1996

Walt Disney World/Oldsmobile Classic

1

10/27/1996

THE TOUR Championship

T21

12/01/1996

Skins Game *

3

12/08/1996JCPenney Classic *

T2

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The very next year, Woods went to win his first Masters in 1997. He became the youngest to do so at 21 and went on to win four more later on. He has 82 PGA Tour Wins – ties with Sam Snead. As of now, he is also one of the only five players to win all four major championships, Woods remaining the youngest to do so.

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Devika

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