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At age 21, Tiger Woods became the youngest Masters champ and the first golfer since Jerry Pate in 1976 to win in the first major he played. In 1997, Woods took the lead at the Augusta golf classic and then put on a golf clinic never seen before. He fired a 3-under-par 69 and broke the tournament 72-hole record with an unbelievable 18-under 270. The 12-stroke margin of victory was the largest in Masters history. Woods was chosen as the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year and ESPY Male Athlete of the Year in 1997. He was also one of the most accomplished amateur golfers in history, winning six USGA national championships, an NCAA title during his two years at Stanford University, and an unprecedented three consecutive U.S. Amateur Championships. He finished first on the PGA Tour five times in 1999. More importantly, Woods opened wide a door of society in becoming the first African American, as well as the first Asian American, to win a major. Woods was granted dual citizenship by the Thai government (his mother, Kultida, is Thai) in 1997 prior to playing in the Asian Honda Classic. Woods has captured the hearts and imaginations of even non-golf fans around the world. Affable and good looking, he became an international star and a prime endorser of golfing equipment and apparel. Born Eldrick Woods on December 30, 1975, in Cypress, California, his distinctive nickname "Tiger" came from his father Earl's Green Beret army past. "Tiger" had been the moniker of a South Vietnamese officer who saved Earl's life on several occasions. As a child, Woods was one of junior golf's most accomplished players. He putted against Bob Hope on "The Mike Douglas Show" (1961) at the improbable age of 2, shot 48 for nine holes at age 3, and was featured in "Golf Digest" at age 5. Woods won several major youth titles in southern California. He won three straight U.S. Amateur titles in 1994, 1995 and 1996 after winning three consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur titles in 1991, 1992 and 1993. He turned professional in the summer of 1996, and the game of golf hasn't been the same since. Sense of humor intact, Woods once observed, "Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps".