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).[162] 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.
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).
When Woods first joined the PGA Tour in 1996, his long drives had a large impact on the world of golf,[170] 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.[171] 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.[172] 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.
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Woods played in his first 2020 PGA Tour event at the Zozo Championship in October 2019, which was the first-ever PGA Tour event played in Japan. Woods, who played a highly publicized skins game earlier in the week at the same course as the Championship, held at least a share of the lead after every round of the rain-delayed tournament, giving him a three stroke victory over Hideki Matsuyama.[126] The win was Woods's 82nd on Tour, tying him with Sam Snead for the most victories all time on the PGA Tour.[127][128]
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