Fluff Cowan served as Woods' caddie from the start of his professional career until Woods dismissed him in March 1999.[179] He was replaced by Steve Williams, who became a close friend of Woods and is often credited with helping him with key shots and putts.[180] In June 2011, Woods dismissed Williams after he caddied for Adam Scott in the U.S. Open[181] and replaced him with friend Bryon Bell on an interim basis. Joe LaCava, a former caddie of both Fred Couples and Dustin Johnson, was hired by Woods shortly after[182] and has remained Woods' caddie since then.
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Fluff Cowan served as Woods' caddie from the start of his professional career until Woods dismissed him in March 1999.[179] He was replaced by Steve Williams, who became a close friend of Woods and is often credited with helping him with key shots and putts.[180] In June 2011, Woods dismissed Williams after he caddied for Adam Scott in the U.S. Open[181] and replaced him with friend Bryon Bell on an interim basis. Joe LaCava, a former caddie of both Fred Couples and Dustin Johnson, was hired by Woods shortly after[182] and has remained Woods' caddie since then.
Many courses in the PGA Tour rotation (including major championship sites like Augusta National) have added yardage to their tees in an effort to reduce the advantage of long hitters like Woods; this is a strategy that became known as "Tiger-Proofing". Woods said he welcomed the change, in that adding yardage to courses did not affect his ability to win.[164]
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard: Carded a final-round, 2-under 70 on a Monday finish to defeat Justin Rose by two strokes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, winning the event for a PGA TOUR record-tying eighth time (Sam Snead at the Greater Greensboro Open). His 77th career PGA TOUR win moved him within five wins of all-time leader Snead's 82 victories. With wins at the Cadillac Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational, he won in back-to-back starts for the first time since the 2009 Buick Open and World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. Supplanted Rory McIlroy for the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Ranking. The last time he held the top spot was on October 30, 2010. Surpassed Ernie Els for most weeks in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking, at 789. Had a record run of 736 consecutive weeks in the top 10 from April 13, 1997, to May 15, 2011. Returned to the top 10 on March 25, 2012, where he has since remained. Of his eight Arnold Palmer Invitational wins, has entered the final round with at least a share of the 54-hole lead seven times. Made his 17th start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, with his lone missed cut coming as an amateur in his first start, in 1994. He has played in every event at Bay Hill since, with the exception of 2010.
Find the keys to improving each aspect of your golf game—from long shots to dancing around the green and everything in between—with help from Piers Ward and Andy Proudman. Each episode locks in on specific skills, drills and practices that you can apply to your golf game, all designed to help you build a solid foundation for consistent results whenever and wherever you play.
The foundation benefits from the annual Chevron World Challenge and AT&T National golf tournaments hosted by Woods.[191] In October 2011, the foundation hosted the first Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach.[194] Other annual fundraisers have included the concert events Block Party, last held in 2009 in Anaheim, and Tiger Jam, last held in 2011 in Las Vegas after a one-year hiatus.[191][195]
Chevron World Challenge: Lost in a playoff to Graeme McDowell at the Chevron World Challenge. It was the first time as a professional that he lost after holding a three-shot-or-more lead entering the final round. McDowell drained a 20 foot putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff and then made a 25 foot putt on the first playoff hole (No. 18) to capture the win. The world's No. 2-ranked player missed a 14-foot putt that would have extended the playoff. He has finished in the top two at this event in eight of his 10 starts.
Surgery: Pulled out of next two PGA TOUR starts, the Genesis Open and The Honda Classic. Released statement: "My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down. This is not what I was hoping for or expecting. I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and The Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week." In April, announced on his website he had undergone further back surgery. The operation was performed by Dr. Richard Guyer of the Center for Disc Replacement at the Texas Back Institute.
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