VEDRA PONTE BEACH, FLORIDA – A Woods was unsurprisingly the centerpiece of an induction ceremony that lasted far longer than the allotted two hours. No, it wasn’t Tiger Woods, who delivered a motivational 17-minute speech. Instead, it was his daughter, Sam, who introduced the World Golf Hall of Fame’s newest inductee.
Sam Woods opened with a story from the 2007 U.S. Open, in which Tiger lost by a stroke to Angel Cabrera.
“My father was in a position to make an 18-foot putt to force a U.S. Open playoff, but he missed it by a foot,” Sam Woods, 14, joked. “He had to run to the airport, fly from Pittsburgh to Orlando, and then drive to Winnie Palmer Hospital.” On June 18, I was born five minutes after my father walked into the hospital room, still wearing his red golf shirt. He may have lost that day, but he received the most precious gift of all.”
Sam Woods revealed a side of her father that has been mainly covered by an athlete who places a premium on his privacy.
She went on to describe an active father who attended violin concerts and soccer games on a regular basis. She even gave a glimpse inside a wonderful family holiday to the Bahamas, where she and her father battled jellyfish stings to keep diving and exploring for hermit crabs on the beach, displaying Tiger’s typical tenacity.
“While composing this speech, I learned that no matter what life throws at us, we always emerge stronger and together.” She said, “You know, train hard, fight easy.”
But it was Sam Woods’ recounting of Tiger’s single-vehicle accident in February 2021, which necessitated many operations on his right leg and has prevented him from competing on the PGA Tour.
“We weren’t sure if you’d returned with two legs or not.” “Now you’re not only set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but you’re also standing on your own two feet,” Sam Woods remarked. “Because you’re a fighter, this is why you deserve it.”
Everyone in the audience, including Tiger, was moved by the heartfelt introduction.
Tiger commented, “Crap, I just lost a bet to [Steve] Stricker that I wouldn’t weep.” “Thank you, Sam,” I say.