Tiger Woods was born on December 30, 1975, to his parents, Earl Woods and Kultida Punsawad. Woods’ parents met in Thailand, where his mom was born. Woods is their only child together.
Woods’ dad passed away from cancer in 2006. His mom remains a huge support system in his life, and has stuck by his side through thick and thin.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kultida Punsawad Was Born in Thailand & Met Earl Woods When He Was Stationed There
Tiger Woods’ mother, Kultida Woods, was born Kultida Punsawad in 1944. According to ThoughtCo, she was born “about 70 miles outside of Bangkok in the province of Kanchanaburi in Thailand.” She is of mixed ancestry — Thai, Chinese, and Dutch — and was one of four children. Her parents are said to have divorced when she was very young.
Tiger’s father, Earl Woods, met his mother in 1966 during his second tour of duty during the Vietnam conflict.
“He met Kultida Punsawad, who was working as a receptionist in Thailand, and married her in 1969,” ESPN reported.
Earl Woods had fought along a lieutenant colonel from the South Vietnamese Army, “a friend he nicknamed ‘Tiger’ because of his courage and bravery. Woods promised Tiger Phong that he would name a son after him,” according to the outlet.
On December 30, 1975, Kultida Woods gave birth to Eldrick Tont Woods, who Earl Woods nicknamed “Tiger” the very next day. Kultida chose the name “Eldrick” because she felt it represented both her and her husband; the letter “E” was for “Earl” and the “K” was for “Kultida.”
2. Earl Woods Died in 2006
Earl Woods died at the age of 74. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998 and underwent radiation treatment, which caused him to go into remission.
However, in 2004, Earl Woods’ cancer returned. It had spread throughout his body, including his brain and spine. Given this information, the Woods family was forced to cope with the fact that Earl’s condition was terminal.
Two years later, Tiger Woods posted a message on his website, announcing his dad’s passing.
“My dad was my best friend and greatest role model, and I will miss him deeply. I’m overwhelmed when I think of all of the great things he accomplished in his life. He was an amazing dad, coach, mentor, soldier, husband and friend. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him, and I’m
honored to continue his legacy of sharing and caring,” Woods wrote.
3. Earl Woods Was Previously Married & Had 3 Children With His First Wife
Earl Woods was married to his first wife, Barbara Woods Gary, for 14 years. The two had three children together, Earl Jr., Kevin, and Royce.
Woods doesn’t have much of a relationship with his half-siblings, who have spoken to the media about being “abandoned” by the golfer. In a 2013 interview with ESPN’s Rick Reilly, Earl Jr. explained that his brother, Kevin, has multiple sclerosis. Earl said that he calls Tiger to give him updates on Kevin’s health, but he never hears back.
“I leave messages. I leave updates on Kevin, but for whatever reason I don’t get a response. Kevin loves Tiger. A call from Tiger would really pump Kevin up. When he doesn’t call, it just makes him feel worse,” Earl Jr. told ESPN.
He said that he hasn’t heard from his half-brother since their dad’s funeral over a decade ago.
4. Kutilda Woods Is a Grandmother of 2 & Was at Tiger’s Family Home the Night His Then-Wife Discovered His Infidelity
Kultida Woods is a proud grandmother of her son’s only two children, Sam, 10, and Charlie, 9.
On Thanksgiving Day 2009, just a few months after Charlie was born, Woods’ ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, famously chased him out of their home wielding a golf club. The world later learned that Nordegren found out that Woods had been cheating on her, causing her to react in such a way.
Woods had jumped in his SUV and started driving down the road when he crashed into a tree.
At the time, Woods’ mom was staying at their home in Florida. Nordegren’s mom, Barbro Holmberg, was also at the home, according to a neighbor.
“The cops came, the Windermere cops came first, then the security guards came. And then it appears Mr. Woods’ mom, and Tiger’s wife’s mom came out after the fact. I don’t know if they heard the commotion, I don’t if she, his wife, left and came back. But they walked across the grass and were outside as well,” next door neighbor (at the time) Kimberly Harris told the New York Daily News.
Despite what went on that night, Woods still had his mother’s love — and her forgiveness. A few weeks later, Woods appeared at the Sunset Room at the TPC Sawgrass to issue a public apology and to announce that he was leaving golf for a bit. His mom was on-hand to offer him a hug and a kiss after his statement.
From there, Woods checked himself into rehab to seek treatment for sex addiction.
5. Tiger Woods’ High School Girlfriend Claimed Tiger Had Learned His Father Cheated on His Mother
Not long after Woods’ secret life was exposed, a report surfaced that claimed Woods’ dad cheated on his mother. The report was published by E! News just two weeks after Woods crashed his SUV into a tree.
Woods’ “first love,” Dina Parr, told the outlet that the pro golfer used to open up to her about his dad being out with another woman — and she explained that the infidelity was something that really bothered him.
“He would just call crying and say, ‘My dad is with another woman,’ and that would be all he could say. He would be so upset, so I just tried to be there for him and listen to him. He loved his father. And I know that was the one thing about his dad that he could never get over. So yeah, it’s interesting that it’s turned out that he’s doing the same thing,” Parr told E! News at the time.
Unsurprisingly, this story caused plenty of “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” comments.
Woods has never publicly commented on his dad’s alleged infidelity.