ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — We associate Tiger Woods with the world’s greatest golf courses…Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews…but one day in 2001 Tiger spent a few hours at Ingersoll golf course here in Rockford.
He was here with his Tiger Woods Foundation. I take you back to that day in my latest ‘Stateline Sports Memories.’ To view this story click on the media player or continue reading.
[STORY FROM JULY 1, 2001]
“And let’s welcome mister Tiger Woods!”
There he was, not only the hottest golfer, but the hottest athlete on the planet at the time. Tiger Woods was less than three months removed from winning his second Masters championship and his sixth major tournament. Temporary stands were set up at Ingersoll to accomodate a crowd of four thousand people. It was an event two years in the making.
Ten lucky youth golfers actually received one-on-one instruction from Tiger during a clinic.
“I’m excited just to say that I saw him, to have a story to tell my kids,” said one of those golfers.
“He’s a great guy. He’s doing a lot for kids and junior golfers,” said another youth golfer.
“I think he’s a great role model for kids,” said another.
Wood’s Foundation helps promote youth golf and provide funds for youth programs for inner city youth. Woods learned at a young age from his father Earl the importance of giving back.
“It’s called social responsibility,” said Earl, “And it is learned at a very early age. Shall we say royalty learn it very quickly.”
“You can’t do it (succeed) alone,” said Tiger during a news conference. “As much as we as human beings have egos, and we think we can do a lot of things on our own, we can’t do everything on our own. I always think back to those people that have influenced my life and I want to be able to do the same thing.”
“I think it’s (the event) great for the kids. It’s just great all the way around I think for golf,” said one spectator.
“I think it’s fantastic!” said another spectator. “We have a group here from Harlem Community Center, and we were privileged to bring our kids here.”
Rockford was one of only four cities in the country in 2001 chosen to host a Tiger Woods Foundation Clinic.
“There is a competitiveness with cities around the country and Rockford was at the top,” said Woods, “And that’s one of the reasons why we’re here is because of the support that all of you have shown for the development of junior golf within your community.”
The event raised more than $200,000 for the Woods Foundation with the majority of that money going directly to youth golf programs in Rockford and in Beloit.