A related effect was measured by University of California economist Jennifer Brown, who found that other golfers scored higher when competing against Woods than when he was not in the tournament. The scores of highly skilled golfers are nearly one stroke better when playing against Woods. This effect was larger when he was on winning streaks and disappeared during his well-publicized slump in 2003–04. Brown explains the results by noting that competitors of similar skill can hope to win by increasing their level of effort, but that, when facing a "superstar" competitor, extra exertion does not significantly raise one's level of winning while increasing risk of injury or exhaustion, leading to reduced effort.
World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play: In his first start at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play since 2013, and first start in the state of Texas since 2005, advanced to the Quarterfinals to finish T5 in the event. Playing at Austin Country Club for the first time in his career, earned two points to advance out of his group after defeating Aaron Wise and Patrick Cantlay. Suffered a 2-and-1 loss to Brandt Snedeker. Went head-to-head with Rory McIlroy for the first time with their match up in the Round of 16. Defeated McIlroy, 2 and 1, before falling to Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard, 1-up.
Surgery: Announced on Wednesday, June 18, two days after winning the U.S. Open, that he would have reconstructive surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and miss the remainder of the 2008 season. Also announced that pain in his leg during the U.S. Open resulted from a double stress fracture to his left tibia, which he suffered while rehabilitating the knee. Surgery was performed on Tuesday, June 24 in Park City, Utah, by Dr. Thomas D. Rosenberg and Dr. Vernon J. Cooley, who did arthroscopic surgery on the same knee in April.
Masters Tournament: Claimed fourth Masters title at age 29 years, 3 months and 10 days with sudden-death playoff victory over Chris DiMarco. Tied Arnold Palmer for second-most Masters victories, with four, two behind Jack Nicklaus. Recovered from a first-round 2-over-par 74 and took the 54-hole lead by three over DiMarco with rounds of 66-65. During that stretch of the third round, posted seven straight birdies (Nos. 7-13), matching Steve Pate's 1999 record birdie streak at Augusta National. Final round included chip-in on par-3 16th hole from behind the green that extended lead to two strokes and bogeys on two closing holes for a 1-under-par 71, tied with DiMarco at 12-under-par 276 total. Rolled in 15-foot birdie putt on first playoff hole to earn green jacket and re-claim the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Ranking.
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