IN THE NEWS #476 - Tiger Woods

By Paul Thompson

This is the VOA Special English program IN THE NEWS.

A twenty-five year old American has shown he may be the best professional golfer ever. Tiger Woods proved that when won the Master's Golf Championship last Sunday at the Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia.

The win set a record. It made Tiger Woods the first golfer to win the series of championships called the "Grand Slam." He has won the most recently played of the four most important games in golf. These games are the Master's, the United States Open, the British Open, and the Professional Golf Association Championship. He also has won another game that many experts consider a fifth major championship, the Players.

Golf experts say it is not just the fact that Tiger Woods has won the four major championships. It is how well he played when he won them. They say he is so good within his sport that he may be the best American athlete ever.

David Duval is a top professional golfer. He finished second behind Tiger Woods in the Master's Tournament last week. Mr. Duval said all the major golf championships are extremely difficult to win. He said of Tiger Woods, "I don't know how you compare what he is done became I am not sure there is anything you can compare it to in modern golf."

The sport of golf has been important to Tiger Woods since he was a child. He won the world championship for young golfers when he was just eight years old. At fifteen, he was the youngest junior national champion. He also was America's college golf champion.

In Nineteen-Ninety-Six, Tiger was a student at Stanford University in California. In September of that year, he announced that he would leave school to become a professional golfer. He won the Master's Tournament the next year.

Tiger Woods earned more money last year than any other American athlete. Reports say he earned as much as fifty-three-million dollars from playing golf and from representing sports products and other companies. He earned more than one-million dollars for winning the Masters on Sunday.

Sports experts say this is only the beginning of Tiger Woods success as a businessman. They expect that by the time he is finished as professional golfer, his earnings could reach into the thousands of millions of dollars. They say Tiger Woods could earn more money that any other athlete in history.

Many sports experts believe Tiger Woods will only improve as a golfer. They say he has not yet played his best golf game.

Last Sunday, after Mr. Woods had won the Master's, he slowly took his hat off and covered his face. For a moment he was crying. Later he told reporters, "When you must think so hard about every shot, you forget about everything else. Then I thought, that's it. I'm done I've won."

This VOA Special English program IN THE NEWS was written by Paul Thompson.

Voice of America Special English