In November 2009, the National Enquirer published a story claiming that Woods had had an extramarital affair with New York City nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel, who denied the claim.[211] Two days later, around 2:30 a.m. on November 27, Woods was driving from his Florida mansion in his Cadillac Escalade SUV when he collided with a fire hydrant, a tree, and several hedges near his home.[212] He was treated for minor facial lacerations and received a ticket for careless driving.[212][213] Following intense media speculation about the cause of the accident, Woods released a statement on his website and took sole responsibility for the accident, calling it a "private matter" and crediting his wife for helping him from the car.[214] On November 30, Woods announced that he would not be appearing at his own charity golf tournament (the Chevron World Challenge) or any other tournaments in 2009 due to his injuries.[215]

Woods had a much anticipated return to golf in 2009, when he performed well. His comeback included a spectacular performance at the 2009 Presidents Cup, but he failed to win a major, the first year since 2004 that he had not done so.[82] After his marital infidelities came to light and received massive media coverage at the end of 2009 (see further details below), Woods announced in December that he would be taking an indefinite break from competitive golf.[6] In February 2010, he delivered a televised apology for his behavior, saying "I was wrong and I was foolish."[83] During this period, several companies ended their endorsement deals with Woods.[84]


In the days and months following Woods' admission of multiple infidelities, several companies re-evaluated their relationships with him. Accenture, AT&T, Gatorade and General Motors completely ended their sponsorship deals, while Gillette suspended advertising featuring Woods.[84][218] TAG Heuer dropped Woods from advertising in December 2009 and officially ended their deal when his contract expired in August 2011.[84] Golf Digest suspended Woods's monthly column beginning with the February 2010 issue.[219] In contrast, Nike continued to support Woods, as did Electronic Arts, which was working with Woods on the game Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online.[220] A December 2009 study estimated the shareholder loss caused by Woods's affairs to be between $5 billion and $12 billion.[221]

THE PLAYERS Championship: In his next start, claimed on Mother's Day his second PLAYERS Championship victory after opening with a pair of 5-under 67s. He had previously not had back-to-back rounds in the 60s at THE PLAYERS since the second and third rounds in 2004 (T16). The only other time he accomplished the feat was in 2001 (second, third and fourth rounds), when he won. With his win, joined Jack Nicklaus, Steve Elkington, Hal Sutton, Fred Couples and Davis Love III as multiple winners of the event. The victory at TPC Sawgrass became his fourth of the campaign, the earliest he has achieved the feat in a season. The win was also his 16th in Florida, the most of any state. Converted the 54-hole lead for the 53rd time (in 57 attempts).
In October 2007, Gatorade announced that Woods would have his own brand of sports drink starting in March 2008. "Gatorade Tiger" was his first U.S. deal with a beverage company and his first licensing agreement. Although no figures were officially disclosed, Golfweek magazine reported that it was for five years and could pay him as much as $100 million.[144] The company decided in early fall 2009 to discontinue the drink due to weak sales.[145]
THE PLAYERS Championship: Kept streak alive of 12 career made cuts in as many attempts at THE PLAYERS, with eighth-place finish, snapping a string of six consecutive appearances at the event without a top-10 finish (dating back to his win in 2001). The six consecutive events without notching a top-10 finish represents his longest streak at any single event in his career.
The Open Championship: Jumped to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, with a T3 finish at The Open Championship, his best performance in a major championship since finishing runner-up at the 2009 PGA Championship. Final-round 73 included a triple bogey on the par-4 sixth hole, his first triple in a major championship since the first hole at the 2003 Open Championship (Royal St. George's).

Farmers Insurance Open: In his season debut on the PGA TOUR, became the first player in TOUR history to win on the same course eight times with his Farmers Insurance Open victory at Torrey Pines GC. The win marked the sixth time on TOUR he has won in his season debut. His seventh Farmers Insurance Open win came five years after his U.S. Open win at Torrey Pines. At 14-under 274, won by four strokes over defending champion Brandt Snedeker and Josh Teater. He converted the 54-hole lead into victory for the 50th (of 54) time. With the win, the Farmers Insurance Open became the third event in which he has won seven times, the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and Arnold Palmer Invitational being the others. In the previous six years he has won this event, he has gone on to win at least four times in each of those years. His 75th TOUR victory is just seven shy of the all-time record of 82, held by Sam Snead.
Masters Tournament: On Tuesday, April 15, two days after finishing second at the Masters, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in Park City, Utah, to repair cartilage damage. Expected to miss 4-6 weeks. It was the same knee operated on in 1994 for a benign tumor, followed by arthroscopic surgery in 2002. Began experiencing pain in mid-2007 when he injured his anterior cruciate ligament while running at home in Orlando following The Open Championship but opted not to have surgery at that time.

U.S. Open Championship: Posted a 5-under 66 during the third round of the U.S. Open to enter the final round five strokes behind tournament leader Dustin Johnson. Went on to card a 4-under 75 Sunday to finish T4 (his eighth top-10 at the U.S. Open and 34th top 10 in a major championship). It was the second-highest, final-round score in a major championship as a professional (76 at the 2004 U.S. Open; 75s at the 2009 PGA Championship, 2003 Masters, 1999 Masters and 1997 PGA Championship).
Woods has appeared on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes.[154][155] According to Golf Digest, Woods made $769,440,709 from 1996 to 2007,[156] and the magazine predicted that Woods would pass a billion dollars in earnings by 2010.[157] In 2009, Forbes confirmed that Woods was indeed the world's first professional athlete to earn over a billion dollars in his career, after accounting for the $10 million bonus Woods received for the FedEx Cup title.[158] The same year, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $600 million, making him the second richest person of color in the United States, behind only Oprah Winfrey.[159] In 2015, Woods ranked ninth in Forbes' list of world's highest-paid athletes, being the top among Asian Americans or the fourth among African Americans.[160] As of 2017, Woods was considered to be the highest-paid golfer in the world.[161]
On March 18, 2013, Woods announced that he and Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn were dating.[237] They split up in May 2015.[238] From November 2016 to August 2017, Woods was in a relationship with stylist Kristin Smith.[citation needed] Woods announced in November 2017 that he was in a relationship with restaurant manager Erica Herman, following speculation about their relationship that began the month prior.[citation needed]

World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play: In his first start at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play since 2013, and first start in the state of Texas since 2005, advanced to the Quarterfinals to finish T5 in the event. Playing at Austin Country Club for the first time in his career, earned two points to advance out of his group after defeating Aaron Wise and Patrick Cantlay. Suffered a 2-and-1 loss to Brandt Snedeker. Went head-to-head with Rory McIlroy for the first time with their match up in the Round of 16. Defeated McIlroy, 2 and 1, before falling to Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard, 1-up.
The foundation operates the Tiger Woods Learning Center, a $50-million, 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) facility in Anaheim, California, providing college-access programs for underserved youth.[189][191][193] The TWLC opened in 2006 and features seven classrooms, extensive multi-media facilities and an outdoor golf teaching area.[189] The center has since expanded to four additional campuses: two in Washington, D.C.; one in Philadelphia; and one in Stuart, Florida.[193]
Bay Hill Invitational presented by Cooper Tires: Earned his third consecutive victory at the Bay Hill Invitational, the first player to win three different TOUR events (the Memorial Tournament from 1999 to 2001) and the World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational (also 1999 to 2001) three consecutive times. Entered the final round with a one-shot lead over Len Mattiace and carded a 3-under 69 to win by four over runner-up Michael Campbell. With his 30th career PGA TOUR victory, he surpassed Nicklaus for most wins before age 30.
Woods has appeared on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes.[154][155] According to Golf Digest, Woods made $769,440,709 from 1996 to 2007,[156] and the magazine predicted that Woods would pass a billion dollars in earnings by 2010.[157] In 2009, Forbes confirmed that Woods was indeed the world's first professional athlete to earn over a billion dollars in his career, after accounting for the $10 million bonus Woods received for the FedEx Cup title.[158] The same year, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $600 million, making him the second richest person of color in the United States, behind only Oprah Winfrey.[159] In 2015, Woods ranked ninth in Forbes' list of world's highest-paid athletes, being the top among Asian Americans or the fourth among African Americans.[160] As of 2017, Woods was considered to be the highest-paid golfer in the world.[161]
the Memorial Tournament: Birdied the last two holes to shoot a final-round 65 and win the Memorial Tournament for the fourth time, beating Jim Furyk by one stroke. Trailed by four strokes entering the final round. Hit all 14 fairways in the final round and recorded his 20th come-from-behind victory in his 67th career victory. Chipped in for eagle from behind the green on the par-5 11th hole and was tied with Furyk, Jonathan Byrd and Davis Love III at 10-under with two holes remaining before his final surge.
BMW Championship: Matched the low final round of his career with an 8-under 63 to win the BMW Championship by two strokes for 60th career TOUR victory. Took the lead for good with a 12-foot birdie on the 13th hole and kept his distance from third-round co-leaders Aaron Baddeley and Steve Stricker. Finished at 22-under 262, breaking by five shots the record he set four years prior at Cog Hill.
When Woods won the 2001 Masters, he became the only player to win four consecutive major professional golf titles, although not in the same calendar year. This achievement came to be known as the "Tiger Slam."[71] Following a stellar 2001 and 2002 in which he continued to dominate the tour, Woods' career hit a slump.[63][72] He did not win a major in 2003 or 2004. In September 2004, Vijay Singh overtook Woods in the Official World Golf Rankings, ending Woods' record streak of 264 weeks at No. 1.[73]
The TGR Foundation was established in 1996 by Woods and his father Earl as the Tiger Woods Foundation, with the primary goal of promoting golf among inner-city children.[188] The foundation has conducted junior golf clinics across the country, and sponsors the Tiger Woods Foundation National Junior Golf Team in the Junior World Golf Championships.[189][190] As of December 2010, TWF employed approximately 55 people.[191][192]
In November 2003, Woods became engaged to Elin Nordegren, a Swedish former model and daughter of former minister of migration Barbro Holmberg and radio journalist Thomas Nordegren.[206] They were introduced during The Open Championship in 2001 by Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who had employed her as an au pair. They married on October 5, 2004, at the Sandy Lane resort in Barbados, and lived at Isleworth, a community in Windermere, a suburb of Orlando, Florida.[207][208] In 2006, they purchased a $39-million estate in Jupiter Island, Florida, and began constructing a 10,000-square-foot home; Woods moved there in 2010 following the couple's divorce.[154][208]
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Farmers Insurance Open: In his first official PGA TOUR start in over a year, carded rounds of 72-71-70-72 to finish T23 at the Farmers Insurance Open, his 17th start in the event. Marked his first time playing the weekend at Torrey Pines since 2014, with a WD and missed cut in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Stats for the week included: 17 of 56 fairways, 42 of 72 greens in regulation and 110 putts.


World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship: Posted a final-round, 6-under 66 to finish T10 at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, his first top-10 of the season and best showing since a T4 at the 2010 U.S. Open. It marked the 11th time in as many starts that he has finished with a top-10 at the event and the eighth time in as many starts inside the top 10 at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral. The showing represented his best round on TOUR since a second-round, 6-under 65 at the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship. Played the first three rounds with Phil Mickelson, the first time the two have been paired together for three rounds in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event. The two have had 28 official pairings on TOUR and 29 counting the 2009 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
PGA Championship: Despite not hitting a fairway until the 10th hole Sunday, made eight birdies and two bogeys to post a 6-under 64, tying the day's low round. Finished solo-second at 14-under 266, two strokes behind Brooks Koepka. The runner-up finished marked his 31st on the PGA TOUR and first time taking solo-second since the 2009 TOUR Championship. Was looking to tie Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen for most PGA Championship victories. A win would have marked his first major championship title since the 2008 U.S. Open, a span of 3,709 days.
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