The next decade of Woods' career was marked by comebacks from personal problems and injuries. He took a self-imposed hiatus from professional golf from December 2009 to early April 2010 in an attempt to resolve marital issues with his then-wife, Elin. Extramarital affairs with Woods had been alleged by several women, and the couple eventually divorced. Woods fell to number 58 in the world rankings in November 2011 before ascending again to the No.1 ranking between March 2013 and May 2014. However, injuries led him to undergo four back surgeries between 2014 and 2017. Woods competed in only one tournament between August 2015 and January 2018, and he dropped off the list of the world's top 1,000 golfers. On his return to regular competition, Woods made steady progress to the top of the game, winning his first tournament in five years at the Tour Championship in September 2018 and his first major in 11 years at the 2019 Masters.
Masters Tournament: Won the Masters Tournament by one stroke to claim his fifth tournament title, 15th major championship crown and 81st PGA TOUR victory at age 43 years, 3 months, 15 days. Moved within one of Sam Snead’s record for PGA TOUR wins. Became the second-oldest winner of the Masters (Jack Nicklaus/1986/46 years, 2 months, 23 days) and seventh player in his 40s to win the event. Entered the final round trailing Francesco Molinari by two strokes and had never previously come from behind after 54 holes to win a major. 11 years removed from his win at the 2008 U.S. Open, his most recent major championship, became the first player since Ben Crenshaw (1984 Masters, 1995 Masters) to go 11 years or more between wins at majors. Recorded the victory 14 years after winning most recently at Augusta National Golf Club, the longest such streak through 83 editions of the event (previous: Gary Player/13). Made the Masters the seventh PGA TOUR event at which he has collected five or more victories.
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.
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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.