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Now, this piece of news certainly calls for attention. The electrifying Tiger Woods has a strong connection with Thailand and how! His mother Kultida Woods, who plays a major role in his life, is from Thailand.
Tiger Woods with his mother Kultida
Tiger pulled off one of the greatest comebacks we have seen in sports, and his mother has played a big part in his road to recovery. Some of Tiger’s wounds have been self-inflicted, but the golfer has also overcome multiple back surgeries to return to being one of the top golfers in the world.
Kultida Punsawad was born about 70 miles outside of Bangkok in the province of Kanchanaburi in Thailand. She had three siblings. Her parents divorced when she was young. Her ancestry is a mix of Thai, Chinese and Dutch. She was raised in the Buddhist faith and passed that faith on to her son. Another reminder of Tiger's ties to Thailand through his mother is his middle name of "Tont," a traditional Thai name that his mother gave him.
THROWBACK PIC: Tiger Woods with his parents
In 1966, Earl Woods Sr., a member of the United States Army, was stationed in Thailand. Kultida Punsawad and Earl first met at that time, when Kultida was working as a secretary in Bangkok in a United States Army Office. She first left Thailand for America in 1968, and Kultida and Earl got married in 1969 in Brooklyn, New York. She was 25 years old at the time of the wedding. During those early years in New York, Tida worked in a bank in Brooklyn.
As an interracial couple in America in the 1970s, they sometimes encountered resistance, racism or hostility. Once a rock was thrown through the window of a home they bought in a previously all-white neighbourhood in California. Kultida became a mom when she gave birth to Tiger Woods in December of 1975 (after the move to California). She was 31 years old at the time. Kultida's mother lived with the family for a couple years in Tiger's early life, and Tida took Tiger on trips to Thailand to help him learn about her native culture and meet her side of the family.
Kultida and Earl remained married until his death on May 3, 2006.
Unlike Earl, who never shied away from the spotlight and frequently gave interviews, Tiger Woods' mother has kept a much lower profile. For most of Woods' golf career, Kultida was frequently seen in attendance, quiet and focused behind a pair of sunglasses, following her son. (She rarely attends events today.) Kultida has rarely has given interviews or sought attention for herself.
But her influence on Tiger's golf was felt early on through Woods' mental toughness and focus, qualities his mother possessed in abundance, according to those who know her. Tida was the disciplinarian in the house. And it was Tida who, when Woods began playing junior golf, was the parent who drove Tiger to tournaments and followed his every move during them.