MELBROUNE — With a few high-profile exceptions, team-play captaincies generally come and go without much fanfare. The process usually looks something like this: a past-his-prime major winner, no longer a significant factor on tour but not yet irrelevant, is tapped for the job. It’s typically a reward for a distinguished playing career. The selection spends […]
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Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard: In his first start in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard since his win in 2013, finished T5 after a final-round 69. Was five strokes back of leader Henrik Stenson after 54 holes, and got to within one of the lead with three holes to play, but posted back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17. Improved to 118-under par at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, 44 strokes better than the next best player (Vijay Singh, 74-under). Marked his 10th top-10 (eight wins) in 18 starts at the event.
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).
When Woods first joined the PGA Tour in 1996, his long drives had a large impact on the world of golf, but he did not upgrade his equipment in the following years. He insisted upon the use of True Temper Dynamic Gold steel-shafted clubs and smaller steel clubheads that promoted accuracy over distance. Many opponents caught up to him, and Phil Mickelson even made a joke in 2003 about Woods using "inferior equipment", which did not sit well with Nike, Titleist or Woods. During 2004, Woods finally upgraded his driver technology to a larger clubhead and graphite shaft, which, coupled with his clubhead speed, again made him one of the tour's longest players off the tee.
Ford Championship at Doral: Took over as World No. 1 for the first time since the week of Aug. 30, 2004 by defeating Phil Mickelson by a stroke at the Ford Championship at Doral. Paired with Mickelson in the final round for just the third time in his career, began the day two strokes behind. Caught up to Mickelson at the turn and took a two-stroke lead after an eagle on the par-5 12th hole. Mickelson birdied the next two and both bogeyed the 16th to remain tied with two holes to play. Birdied the 17th hole and when Mickelson's chip on No. 18 lipped out, earned the 42nd victory of his career.
In 1997, Woods and fellow golfer Arnold Palmer initiated a civil case against Bruce Matthews (the owner of Gotta Have It Golf, Inc.) and others in the effort to stop the unauthorized sale of their images and alleged signatures in the memorabilia market. Matthews and associated parties counterclaimed that Woods and his company, ETW Corporation, committed several acts including breach of contract, breach of implied duty of good faith, and violations of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Palmer also was named in the counter-suit, accused of violating the same licensing agreement in conjunction with his company Arnold Palmer Enterprises.
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-Bridgestone Invitational: Benefactor of a big change in momentum on Firestone CC's famous 16th hole in winning for the 70th time in his career with the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational victory. Trailing by one stroke, hit an 8-iron from 178 yards to within tap-in range for a birdie on the long par-5 16th. Meanwhile, Padraig Harrington, the third-round leader, hit from the collar of a bunker over the 16th green, but his delicate flop shot from behind the green came out hot, went into the water and he made a triple bogey-8 to give up the lead. Closed with consecutive 5-under 65s to reach 12-under and win by four strokes over Harrington and Robert Allenby. Became the first player in TOUR history to win the same event seven times on the same golf course. Also picked up 550 FedExCup points and extended his lead to 946 points. Joined Sam Snead (82) and Jack Nicklaus (73) as the only players to win 70 career TOUR events, but did so nearly seven years younger than Snead or Nicklaus.
On March 18, 2013, Woods announced that he and Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn were dating. They split up in May 2015. From November 2016 to August 2017, Woods was in a relationship with stylist Kristin Smith. 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.
On February 5, 2015, Woods withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open after another back injury. Woods stated on his website that it was unrelated to his previous surgery and he would take a break from golf until his back healed. He returned for the Masters, finishing in a tie for 17th. In the final round, Woods injured his wrist after his club hit a tree root. He later stated that a bone popped out of his wrist, but he adjusted it back into place and finished the round. Woods then missed the cut at the 2015 U.S. Open and Open Championship, the first time Woods missed the cut at consecutive majors, finishing near the bottom of the leaderboard both times. He finished tied for 18th at the Quicken Loans National on August 2. In late August 2015, Woods played quite well at the Wyndham Championship finishing the tournament at 13-under, only four strokes behind the winner, and tied for 10th place. Woods offered only a brief comment on the speculation that he was still recovering from back surgery, saying it was "just my hip" but offering no specifics.
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.