Twenty years ago, Tiger Woods turned professional and subsequently turned the golf world upside-down.
The PGA Tour have been commemorating 20 years since Tiger Woods turned pro and played in his first tournament, the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open. The hype surrounding Tiger’s rise to the professional world was unprecedented.
After winning his third consecutive US Amateur championship, Woods made the step into the professional world by immediately signing with Nike and Titliest in one of the most lucrative sponsor endorsement deals at that time and finished in a tie for 60th place that included a hole-in-one in his final round.
One of the best videos to be shared around this week was this interview between Curtis Strange and Tiger Woods. Strange is clearly miffed by Woods’ apparent arrogance and ridiculously high expectations, but in hindsight, it’s Strange that comes off looking stupid.
This interview looks much different 20 years later.
— SkratchTV (@skratchTV) 30 August 2016
“A victory would be awfully nice, too,” said Woods.
“To me that comes off as a little cocky or brash …” said Strange.
“I’ve always figured that why go to a tournament if you’re not going there to try and win? There’s really no point in even going. That’s the attitude I’ve had my entire life, and that’s the attitude I will always have. As I’ve explained to my dad, second sucks. Third is even worse. I want to win. That’s my nature,” Woods says.
“You’ll learn,” joked Strange.
Here is Tiger Woods’ press conference when he announced to the world he was turning professional. Check out PGA Tour’s “Hello World” feature for a full (but clunky and scrolly) blow-by-blow summary of that crazy week 20 years ago.