Woods had a poor showing at the 2013 U.S. Open as a result of an elbow injury that he sustained at The Players Championship. In finishing at 13-over-par, he recorded his worst score as a professional and finished 12 strokes behind winner Justin Rose. After a prolonged break because of the injury, during which he missed the Greenbrier Classic and his own AT&T National, he returned at the Open Championship at Muirfield. Despite being in contention all week and beginning the final round only two strokes behind Lee Westwood, he struggled with the speed of the greens and could only manage a 3-over-par 74 that left him tied for 6th place, five strokes behind eventual winner Phil Mickelson. Two weeks later, Woods returned to form at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, recording his 5th win of the season and 8th win at the event in its 15-year history. His second round 61 matched his record score on the PGA Tour and could easily have been a 59 were it not for some short missed birdie putts on the closing holes. This gave him a seven-stroke lead that he held onto for the rest of the tournament. Woods would never contend at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club and would come short of winning a major for the 5th full season, only contending in two of the four majors in 2013.
Buick Open: Second-round, 9-under-par 63 led to a win at the Buick Open, his 33rd career title and 20th different tournament triumph. Led after both 36 and 54 holes. Has won 25 of 27 events when he was the 54-hole leader/co-leader. Entered the final round one stroke ahead of Esteban Toledo. Carded a 2-under 70 to secure a four-stroke victory over four players.
Masters Tournament: Closed with a 5-under 67 to finish T4 at the Masters Tournament, the best closing round of his career at Augusta National. It still left him four strokes behind Charl Schwartzel and in search of his first come-from-behind win in a major championship. Entered the final round seven strokes behind Rory McIlroy, but a front-nine, 5-under 31–highlighted by a birdie-birdie-eagle stretch, beginning on No. 6 had him tied for the lead as he made the turn at Augusta National. Closed with an even-par 36 on the back nine to finish T4, his 10th top-five finish at the Masters, moving him out of a tie for second with Mickelson, Ben Hogan, Tom Kite, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead and Tom Watson, and trailing only Jack Nicklaus' 15. Since winning his last green jacket, in 2005, he has finished T3, T2, second, T6, T4 and T4.
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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.
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.