In 1996, Tiger Woods first words as a professional golfer were, "Hello world."
On Wednesday morning, the world's No. 2 player tapped out his first personalized tweet: "What’s up everyone. Finally decided to try out twitter!"
The Twitter account @TigerWoods first posted messages on June 26, telling readers to check out his official Facebook page and Web site. Today's message appears to be the first message from Woods himself, although it's possible that Tiger has someone tweeting on his behalf.
While there's no doubt that Woods's Twitter account will receive more than a few messages from hecklers, numerous athletes and celebrities have found Twitter to be a great way to talk directly to fans and give people insight into their lives without the filter of the media. Twitter uses their words, and it's completely under their control—just the way the stars like it. Woods had a little more than 90,000 followers when he sent his first tweet at 11:08 a.m., according to the Associated Press. As of 1:30 p.m. Eastern, he was closing in on 120,000.
Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) shares vacation photos, details about his charity (@livestrong) and occasional music and political opinions with his 2.6 million followers. LeBron James (@KingJames) links to YouTube videos, highlights great performances by other NBA stars and shares motivational quotes with his million followers.
The reaction to Woods' message was swift:
Darren Rovell, CNBC's Sports Business reporter (@darrenrovell): "Spoke to Mark Steinberg, agent of @TigerWoods, said Tiger has taken it upon himself to use Twitter to stay connected w/fans."
Jason Sobel, ESPN golf writer (@JasonSobel): "Advice for @TigerWoods: Be yourself on here. Unless, of course, you have a ghost tweeter. Then be someone else. Preferably Tiger Woods."
Doug Ferguson, AP golf writer (@dougferguson405): "Added 2,000 followers in 20 minutes. Poulter looking over shoulder."
Paul Mahoney, a Golf Magazine contributor based in England (@paulmahoneygolf): "Hey, what's up yourself old chum?"
Woods has fiercely guarded his privacy his entire professional life, so we shouldn't expect him to update his Twitter account prolifically. But maybe, having endured a winless season, a tabloid sex scandal and a divorce, Tiger may start to give us a glimpse of who he is, what he likes and what he thinks about when he's not standing over a golf ball. Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook