It was a special night for Tiger Woods as he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Wednesday. The 46-year-old pro golfer got visibly emotional during Wednesday’s ceremony, held in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, while reflecting on his career and sacrifices his parents made for him.
Tiger’s mother, Kultida Woods, was in attendance, as well as his 14-year-old daughter, Sam, and 13-year-old son Charlie. Woods’ girlfriend Erica Herman also attended.
The honor was made even more meaningful as Sam inducted him into the Hall of Fame, delivering a heartfelt speech filled with personal anecdotes. The teen also touched on his Feb. 23 car crash, calling him “a fighter.”
“Recently, dad, you had to train harder than ever. About a year ago, you were stuck in a hospital bed,” Sam said, expressing that it was one of the scariest moments of their lives.
Tiger then took the stage, posing alongside his daughter as he received the Hall of Fame plaque. Between sharing stories of his upbringing and devotion to the game, Tiger recalled his parents taking out a second mortgage to help him pursue his dreams of becoming a golfer.
He teared up as he recalled his mother and late father, Earl Woods, putting him first.
“Without the sacrifices of mom,” he began, getting emotional, pausing and looking at his mother in the audience, “who took me to all the tournaments. And dad, who’s not here, but who instilled in me this work ethic to fight for what I believe in, chase after my dreams.
“Nothing is ever going to be given to you, everything’s going to be earned. If you don’t go out there and put in the work, you don’t go out and put in the effort, one, you’re not going to get the results. But two, more importantly, you don’t deserve it. You need to earn it. That defined my upbringing, that defined my career.”
The five-time Masters winner continued by noting that while golf is an individual sport, he “didn’t get here alone.”
“I had unbelievable parents, mentors, friends who allowed me and supported me in the toughest times, the darkest of times and celebrated the highest of times,” he expressed, before thanking his family and friends.
Susie Maxwell Berning, Tim Finchem and Marion Hollins were also among the other inductees of the night.
Last year, Tiger was involved in a severe car crash, suffering injuries to his right leg. Doctors initially feared that they might have had to amputate it.
In a November press conference, he stated that he was “lucky to be alive, but also to still have the limb.” He later told “Golf Digest” that he’ll “never” be able to golf full time again.
“I think something that is realistic is playing the (PGA) tour one day — never full time, ever again — but pick and choose, just like Mr. (Ben) Hogan did,” he stated. “I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
He competed in his first tournament since his car crash in December, with his son, Charlie. The two finished in second place at the PNC Championship in Orlando, Florida. The event partners PGA players with family members.