Tiger Woods is known around the world — golf fan or not — and is revered as not only one of the greatest golfers in history but as one of the greatest athletes period.
Woods turned pro September 1996, and no player has ever started as fast, and with as much success. After winning three times between the fall 1996 and spring 1997, Woods won his first major title in April 1997, when he dominated the field at the Masters, becoming the tournament’s youngest champion. Woods decided to take a 31-day break after his Masters win — returning to the stage at none other than the Nelson.
At just 21 years old, Woods teed off in Las Colinas with massive crowds following him from hole-to-hole. There were so many fans at the TPC Four Seasons, the tournament cut off ticket sales at 100,000 one-day badges and 50,000 weekly passes.
Woods shot an impressive 64 the first two rounds of the tournament and ended with a record-tying victory of 17-under, matching Ernie Els’ winning score in 1995. Woods’ performance was noticed by all, including Byron Nelson himself.
“He was the best 15-year-old player I had ever seen,” said Byron Nelson. “He was the best at 16 and 17 and so on. He’s the best 21-year-old player anyone has ever seen. If he keeps getting better, oh boy. I’m not sure golf has seen anything like him before.”