Thursday, December 18 Gallery: Being Tiger in Younger Days

Tiger Woods in 2000.
TIGER WOODS TURNS 39 ON December 30. It seems like an old 39 to me, but I realize that 39 isn't that old. It's just that Tiger has been around forever, in a sense. He broke into the professional golf ranks at age 20, and it's not like we didn't know about him before that.

Tiger didn't play much golf in 2014, but that didn't stop the media mill from churning out copious material on the greatest golfer of this era. I've lost track of the comebacks from injuries, the swing coaches (four?), the controversies, the rumors, the uncomfortable press conferences and the "is what it is's."

But reminded me of the kid who picked up a golf club when he first started walking around in Cypress, California. Their photo gallery shows a Tiger that I can barely remember. He was young. He was skinny. And he had a big smile on his face much of the time.

Remember those days?

Since turning pro Tiger has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated 22 times. As the above SI cover said, he was "one cool cat."

Why kind of cat will he be at 39?

View the photo gallery of Tiger Woods in younger days.

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