Charlotte, May 4 :

Earl Woods introduced his son to golf by swinging a club as the toddler watched from a high chair in their garage.

But the training of Tiger Woods went beyond a game. Woods, the architect and driving force behind his son’s phenomenal career on and off the golf course, died on Wednesday of cancer at home in Cypress, California. He was 74.

“My dad was my best friend and greatest role model, and I will miss him deeply,” Tiger Woods said on his Web site.

“I’m overwhelmed when I think of all of the great things he accomplished in his life. He was an amazing dad, coach, mentor, soldier, husband and friend. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him, and I’m honored to continue his legacy of sharing and caring.”

A habitual smoker who had heart bypass surgery in 1986, Woods was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998 and was treated with radiation. But the cancer returned in 2004 and

spread throughout his body.