In what solidified Tiger Woods meteoric rise to golf greats, July 23rd, 2000, was the day Woods beat Thomas Bjørn and Ernie Els to win his first Open title; at 24, Woods is the youngest player ever to win all 4 major titles.
Considered a phenom resulting from his junior, collegiate and amateur career, Woods turned professional at the age of 20. The following year (1997), Woods won three PGA Tour events, including the coveted Masters, which he won by a record-breaking 12 strokes.
Less than a year after turning professional, Tiger Woods became ranked No. 1 in the world, maintaining that status for a record 264 consecutive weeks.
In what led to the July 23rd, 2000, title performance, Woods won six consecutive events, the longest winning streak since Ben Hogan in 1948. The U.S. Open performance the same year is considered one of the all-time great statistical performances in golf history: Woods broke or tied nine tournament records. This win earned him an $800,000 check and the odds favorite for the British Open Men’s Golf Championship.
By the time he won it, Woods had won 9 of the 20 tournaments he entered and broke the record for the lowest scoring average in tour history.
Within five years of turning professional, Tiger Woods had cemented his legacy and created a dominant streak of winning later dubbed “The Tiger Slam.” By the end of 2000, Tiger Woods was already considered the 12th best golfer of all time, according to Golf Digest.