Flashback! See a 5-year-old Tiger Woods show off his golf skills on TODAY

Take a look back as Bryant Gumbel interviews 5-year-old golf prodigy Tiger Woods on TODAY in 1981.
by Scott Stump / / Source: TODAY

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter

The little boy stood just 4 feet tall and weighed 48 pounds when he first showed TODAY the skills that would one day make him a golf legend.

Long before he became a PGA Tour great, Tiger Woods was a shy, 5-year-old prodigy from California giving a glimpse of his impressive swing to Bryant Gumbel on TODAY in this flashback clip from 1981.

The precocious ability was evident to his first golf coach, Rudy Duran, who saw future greatness when Tiger Woods was still a young cub.

"I think he's one of the best players I've ever played with,'' Duran told Gumbel. "He's the equivalent of a touring pro, he's just too small. It would be like taking a touring pro and shrinking him down to 4 feet tall."

Fourteen major championships later, 42-year-old Woods has cemented himself as one of the greatest golfers in history. He is in search of No. 15 this weekend at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, the site of his first major win, raring for a comeback after being hampered for years by back surgeries.

He might be 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds now, but one thing hasn't changed since his mother, Kultida, spoke about him to Gumbel 37 years ago.

"He loves to compete,'' she said.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
MORE FROM today