Originally created 12/31/06

Woods, wife expecting first child



ANAHEIM, Calif. - Tiger Woods celebrated his 31st birthday Saturday by sharing some of his biggest news of the year - his wife is expecting their first child this summer.

"Obviously, we couldn't be happier and our families are thrilled," Woods said on his Web site. "I have always wanted to be a dad. I just wish my father could be around to share the experience."

Woods and Elin Nordegren of Sweden married in October 2004, and Woods has said that he wanted children sooner instead of later. He did not say when in the summer the baby is due, although it likely would be between the U.S. Open and British Open.

The world's No. 1 player is skipping the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship next week.

"I'm going to stick close to home for the next few weeks," he said. Woods will start his '07 season in the Buick Invitational at the end of January, "which will allow Elin and I to spend more time with our families during this very special time in our lives."

A FULL YEAR

Saturday's news caps a big year for the world's No. 1 golfer. A look at some highs and lows, on and off the golf course:


Jan. 29: In his first PGA Tour start of the season, Tiger Woods outlasts Nathan Green and Jose Maria Olazabal in a playoff for his 47th Tour victory.


March 1: Woods skips the final practice round for The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., to go to California to be with his ailing father, Earl. He returns for the tournament and finishes 15 strokes back.


April 9: The 2005 Masters Tournament champion, Woods relinquishes the green jacket to rival Phil Mickelson after shooting 72-71-71-70-284 and tying for third place.


May 3: Earl Woods dies after a long battle with cancer at age 75. "My dad was my best friend and greatest role model, and I will miss him deeply," Woods said on his Web site.


June 16: After a nine-week layoff, Woods shoots consecutive 76s and misses the cut in a major for the first time as a professional.


July 23: Woods wins the British Open, beginning what would be a six-tournament winning streak on the PGA Tour.


Aug. 20: Woods wins the PGA Championship by five strokes, his 12th major victory.


Saturday: On his 31st birthday, Woods announces he will become a father.