When the teenager reflected on the 46-year-old athlete’s February 2021 collision during the Wednesday, March 9, event, she called it “one of the scariest moments” of her life.
“About a year ago, you were stuck in your hospital bed at one of your ultimate lows,” Sam said in her speech. “We didn’t know if you’d come home with two legs or not. Now, not only are you being inducted in the Hall of Fame, but you’re standing here, on your own two feet.”
The teen called the professional golfer a “fighter,” gushing, “This is why you deserve this. … You’ve defied the odds every time. Being the first Black and Asian golfer to win a Major, being able to win your fifth Masters after multiple back surgeries, and being able to walk just a few months after your crash.”
The California native shares his daughter with ex-wife Elin Nordegren, as well as son Charlie, 13. Woods’ youngest child attended the ceremony, along with the How I Play Golf author’s girlfriend, Erica Herman, and his mother, Kutilda Woods.
Herman, 38, was a huge support to her partner during his car crash recovery, Woods told Golf Digest in November 2021.
“There was a point in time when, I wouldn’t say it was 50/50, but it was damn near there, if I was going to walk out of that hospital with one leg,” he explained to the outlet at the time “Once [I knew I was keeping it], I wanted to test and see if I still had my hands. So even in the hospital, I would have Erica and [my friend] Rob [McNamara] throw me something. Throw me anything.”
The 1997 Masters: My Story author, who was driving nearly 90 miles per hour when he hit a tree, went on to say that he was “lucky to be alive but also still have [his] limb.”
Woods explained, “Those are two crucial things. I’m very grateful that someone upstairs was taking care of me, that I’m able to not only be here, but also walk without a prosthesis.”
While he returned to golf in December 2021, Woods revealed during a press conference eight months prior that he doubts he’ll ever return to a full-time career.
“Will I come back? Yes. Will I come back and play a full schedule? No,” he explained in April 2021. “That will never happen again. I can play certain events here and there, but on a full-time level, no, that will never happen again.”