When he was shorter than a 3-wood, 2-year-old Tiger Woods went on The Mike Douglas Show with Bob Hope and showed off his golf skills to the world on late-night TV. Between his debut on national TV and his illustrious professional career that includes 15 major championships (5 Masters, 4 PGA Championships, 3 U.S. Opens and 3 Open Championships) and 82 career PGA Tour wins, Tiger spent two years at Stanford, where he quickly established himself as the best college golfer in the country at the time.
Here is a look at Tiger Woods' college career accomplishments at Stanford from the start of his freshman season in 1994 to the end of his sophomore year in 1996, when he claimed a national championship before becoming a professional golfer.
Tiger Woods was the 1996 NCAA Individual Champion
Tiger won the 1996 NCAA Championship at the Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tennessee, shooting a 3-under to defeat Arizona's Rory Sabbatini by four strokes. Tiger was the only player to finish under par. He could have won by an even larger margin as he shot a first-round 69, a course-record 67 in the second round and another 69 in the third round before carding an 8-over 80 in the final round.
Tiger was Stanford's first individual NCAA champion since Frank Tatum in 1942. The Cardinal placed fourth as a team.
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Tiger was the national player of the year in 1996
The player who Tiger has been compared to most in his career is Jack Nicklaus, who had a national player of the year award named in his honor that is given annually to the top players at the Division I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA levels. Tiger won the award in 1996, when he won the individual NCAA championship.
Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Justin Leonard and Stewart Cink won the award in the '90s prior to Tiger.
Tiger also won the Haskins Award and Ben Hogan Award in 1996.
Tiger was a First Team All-American, Pac-10 Player of the Year
Tiger was one of the best players in the country and he was twice honored as the Pac-10 Player of the Year. He was the individual Pac-10 champion in 1996 and he was named First Team All-Pac-10 in both of his college seasons.
Tiger Woods was an 11-time tournament winner in college
Tiger Woods won roughly 42 percent of the tournaments he competed in while attending Stanford, winning 11 of the 26 he entered. As a senior, Tiger won eight of the 13 tournaments in which he competed, he set a program-record round of 61 at the Pac-10 Championships and he finished at par or better in 27 of his 41 rounds.
Tiger holds the single-season wins record at Stanford and he won at least two more tournaments in '96 than any other Stanford golfer has won in a season. Despite playing in just 26 tournaments in his career, he's tied for first in career wins.
Here are the 11 college wins Tiger had at Stanford:
- 1994 William Tucker Invitational
- 1994 Jerry Pate Invitational
- 1995 Stanford Invitational
- 1996 John Burns Invitational
- 1996 Southwestern Intercollegiate
- 1996 Tri-Match
- 1996 The Brawl
- 1996 Cougar Classic
- 1996 PAC-10 Championship
- 1996 NCAA West Regional
- 1996 NCAA Championship
Third-best stroke average
In 76 rounds of golf at Stanford, Tiger had a stroke average of 70.96, which is the third-best in program history. Maverick McNealy holds the school record of 70.12.
Sources: Stanford men's golf greats, Stanford history and records