Tiger Woods
Has taken golf to a new level since winning a hat-trick of US amateur championship titles before turning professional in 1996. Woods won the U.S. Masters in 1997, by a record 12 strokes, to become the youngest winner at Augusta at the age of 21 years, three months and 15 days.
He won 11 tournaments in just 15 starts in 1999, including the U.S. PGA championship, but scaled new heights in 2000, winning the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA championship, as well as nine other titles during the season. Was voted U.S. PGA Tour Player of the Year, ESPY Male Athlete of the Year and was also named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated, Reuters and Laureus after his remarkable success.
Last year, the world number one triumphed in the U.S. Masters at Augusta to become the first golfer in history to hold all four major titles at the same time. His Masters win was his third on the U.S. Tour in as many outings, following earlier victories during March at the Bay Hill Invitational and the Players Championship.
He ended 2001 with five U.S. Tour titles -- two more than anyone else – and clinched the order of merit for the fourth year in a row. His final earnings of $5,687,777 put him more than $1 million clear of second-placed Phil Mickelson.