Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard: Sank a 24-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat Bart Bryant and win the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard by one stroke, extending his PGA TOUR winning streak to five tournament starts. The win was the 64th of his career, tying Ben Hogan at No. 3 on the PGA TOUR career victory list.
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Woods turned pro at age 20 in August 1996 and immediately signed advertising deals with Nike, Inc. and Titleist that ranked as the most lucrative endorsement contracts in golf history at that time. Woods was named Sports Illustrated's 1996 Sportsman of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. On April 13, 1997, he won his first major, the Masters, in record-breaking fashion and became the tournament's youngest winner at age 21. Two months later, he set the record for the fastest ascent to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings. After a lackluster 1998, Woods finished the 1999 season with eight wins, including the PGA Championship, a feat not achieved since Johnny Miller did it in 1974.
During the first decade of his professional career, Woods was the world's most marketable athlete. Shortly after his 21st birthday in 1996, he signed endorsement deals with numerous companies, including General Motors, Titleist, General Mills, American Express, Accenture, and Nike, Inc. In 2000, he signed a 5-year, $105 million contract extension with Nike, which was the largest endorsement package signed by a professional athlete at that time. Woods' endorsement has been credited with playing a significant role in taking the Nike Golf brand from a "start-up" golf company earlier in the previous decade to becoming the leading golf apparel company in the world and a major player in the equipment and golf ball market. Nike Golf is one of the fastest growing brands in the sport, with an estimated $600 million in sales. Woods has been described as the "ultimate endorser" for Nike Golf, frequently seen wearing Nike gear during tournaments, and even in advertisements for other products. Woods receives a percentage from the sales of Nike Golf apparel, footwear, golf equipment, golf balls, and has a building named after him at Nike's headquarters campus in Beaverton, Oregon.
Woods' back problems continued to hinder him in 2017. He missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in January and pulled out of a European Tour event in Dubai on February 3. On March 31, Woods announced on his website that he would not be playing in the 2017 Masters Tournament despite being cleared to play by his doctors. Woods said that although he was happy with his rehabilitation, he did not feel "tournament ready." Woods subsequently told friends, “I’m done”. On April 20, Woods announced that he had undergone his fourth back surgery since 2014 to alleviate back and leg pain. Recovery time required up to six months, meaning that Woods would spend the rest of the year without playing any professional golf. Woods returned to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. He shot rounds of 69-68-75-68 and finished tied for 9th place. His world ranking went from 1,199th to 668th, which was the biggest jump in the world rankings in his career.
TOUR Championship: Claimed his 80th PGA TOUR title (second most behind Sam Snead's 82) with a two-stroke victory over Billy Horschel for his third-career TOUR Championship title (1999, 2007, 2018). Prior to his win at East Lake, it had been 1,876 days since he last won on the PGA TOUR (2013 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational). Moved from No. 20 to No. 2 in the FedExCup standings, finishing 41 points behind Justin Rose (T4) to become the fourth winner of the TOUR Championship who did not claim the FedExCup. Shared the first-round lead with Rickie Fowler (5-under 65) and the second-round lead with Rose (7-under 133) before moving to a three-stroke lead over Rory McIlroy following a third-round 5-under 65. Following a closing 1-over 71, improved to 54/58 when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead on the PGA TOUR, including a 43/45 mark with the outright lead. Bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16 made things interesting coming down the stretch, but clutch pars on the final two holes sealed the victory. His 80th TOUR win came in his 346th start at the age of 42 years, 8 months and 24 days. By comparison, Snead was 47 when he won his 80th title. The victory was his fourth FedExCup Playoffs tournament title (2007 BMW Championship, 2007 TOUR Championship, 2009 BMW Championship, 2018 TOUR Championship. Ranked No. 2 in Strokes Gained: Putting for the week, making over 100 feet of putts each of the first three rounds and totaling 386'5" for the week (112'7"/R1, 101'5"/R2, 112'8"/R3, 59'9"/R4). Last posted his first three rounds in the 60s in a PGA TOUR event at the 2015 Wyndham Championship, but final-round 71 kept him from posting all four rounds in the 60s for the first time since THE NORTHERN TRUST 2013. Marked his 15th appearance in the TOUR Championship (first since 2013), with nine top-10 showings at the event, including three wins and four runner-up finishes.
Earned his 81st PGA TOUR victory and 15th major championship title at the Masters Tournament and qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs for the eighth time, advancing to the BMW Championship for the eighth time and finishing the season No. 42 in the FedExCup standings. In the Playoffs, withdrew from THE NORTHERN TRUST and finished T37 at the BMW Championship, failing to advance to the TOUR Championship to defend his title. Collected four top-10s and made nine cuts in 12 starts.
On April 14, 2019, Woods won the Masters, which was his first major championship win in eleven years and his 15th major overall. He finished 13 under par to win by one stroke over Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka. At age 43, he became the second oldest golfer ever to win the Masters, after Jack Nicklaus who was 46 when he triumphed in 1986. In August 2019, Woods announced via social media that he underwent a knee surgery to repair minor cartilage damage and that he had an arthroscopic procedure during the Tour Championship. In his statement, Woods also confirmed that he was walking and intends on traveling and playing in Japan in October.
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.
BMW Championship: Captured his sixth title of the season and took the lead in the FedExCup standings with an eight-stroke victory over Jim Furyk and Marc Leishman at the BMW Championship. Shot a third-round, course-record 62 at Cog Hill to take a seven-stroke lead entering the final round and finished at 19-under 265 to win for the fifth time at Cog Hill. It was his 10th career PGA TOUR victory by at least eight shots. It was also his 71st career victory, two short of Jack Nicklaus for second on the PGA TOUR's career list. Also tied Sam Snead with his sixth season of at least six victories.
THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola: Entered the TOUR Championship No. 1 in the FedExCup standings and romped for his seventh victory of the season by eight over Mark Calcavecchia and Zach Johnson with rounds of 64-63-64-66–257 and captured the first FedExCup. Season earnings were a career-best $10,867,052. First player to win the TOUR Championship multiple times.
Won seven times en route to capturing the inaugural FedExCup, cruising through the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup with two wins and a T2 in three starts. Captured 13th career major championship (second all-time to Jack Nicklaus' 18) and finished the year with 61 official PGA TOUR victories, fifth all-time. Adjusted scoring average was 67.79, matching own record set in 2000. With 60 official rounds, won his seventh career Vardon Trophy and also captured the Byron Nelson Award.