Early in Woods' career, a small number of golf industry analysts expressed concern about his impact on the competitiveness of the game and the public appeal of professional golf. Sportswriter Bill Lyon of Knight Ridder asked in a column, "Isn't Tiger Woods actually bad for golf?" (though Lyon ultimately concluded that he was not). At first, some pundits feared that Woods would drive the spirit of competition out of the game of golf by making existing courses obsolete and relegating opponents to simply competing for second place each week.
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U.S. Open Championship: Earned his eighth major championship, with the sixth wire-to-wire victory in U.S. Open history. Win was his seventh in his last 11 major championship appearances. Finished 3-under and won by three strokes over runner-up Phil Mickelson, the only other player to finish at par or better for the championship. Tied Tom Watson for fifth all time, with eight professional major victories. Became the fifth player to win the first two majors of the season, joining Craig Wood (1941), Ben Hogan (1951 and 1953), Palmer (1960) and Nicklaus (1972). In receiving the $1-million paycheck, became the first player to surpass the $30-million mark in career earnings and the first to exceed $4 million in four consecutive seasons.
Earned his 80th PGA TOUR victory and first since 2013, winning the TOUR Championship for the third time in his career to move within two of Sam Snead's TOUR-best 82 victories. Finished the season No. 2 in the FedExCup, with runner-up finishes at the Valspar Championship and PGA Championship among his seven top-10s. Led the TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green (0.938) for the sixth consecutive season in which he played the minimum number of rounds. After originally being selected as a Captain's Assistant for the United States Ryder Cup team, was later selected as a captain's pick and played in the event for the eighth time.