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.
In November 2009, the National Enquirer published a story claiming that Woods had had an extramarital affair with New York City nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel, who denied the claim. Two days later, around 2:30 a.m. on November 27, Woods was driving from his Florida mansion in his Cadillac Escalade SUV when he collided with a fire hydrant, a tree, and several hedges near his home. He was treated for minor facial lacerations and received a ticket for careless driving. Following intense media speculation about the cause of the accident, Woods released a statement on his website and took sole responsibility for the accident, calling it a "private matter" and crediting his wife for helping him from the car. On November 30, Woods announced that he would not be appearing at his own charity golf tournament (the Chevron World Challenge) or any other tournaments in 2009 due to his injuries.
In November 2003, Woods became engaged to Elin Nordegren, a Swedish former model and daughter of former minister of migration Barbro Holmberg and radio journalist Thomas Nordegren. They were introduced during The Open Championship in 2001 by Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who had employed her as an au pair. They married on October 5, 2004, at the Sandy Lane resort in Barbados, and lived at Isleworth, a community in Windermere, a suburb of Orlando, Florida. In 2006, they purchased a $39-million estate in Jupiter Island, Florida, and began constructing a 10,000-square-foot home; Woods moved there in 2010 following the couple's divorce.
Deutsche Bank Championship: Shot a final-round 63 to equal lowest final round of his TOUR career at Deutsche Bank Championship. Course-record equaling front-nine 30 included a holed 9-iron at the par-4 6th hole for eagle. The T11 finish represented the third time in 2009 he finished outside the top-10 (T17 at Accenture Match Play and missed cut at The Open Championship).
Hero World Challenge: Hero World Challenge host finished T9 and 10 strokes behind champion Rickie Fowler. Marked his first appearance in competition since withdrawing from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on February 2, 2017. Week included playing in the first and final round with reigning FedExCup champion and PGA TOUR Player of the Year Justin Thomas, with both players posting scores of 69-68 in those rounds.
World Golf Championships-American Express Championship: Picked up his fourth World Golf Championships-American Express Championship victory by coming from two strokes back and defeating John Daly in a two-hole playoff at Harding Park GC in San Francisco. Won for the 10th time in 19 World Golf Championships starts and improved his career playoff record to 8-1. The win was his ninth in California.
PGA Championship: Despite not hitting a fairway until the 10th hole Sunday, made eight birdies and two bogeys to post a 6-under 64, tying the day's low round. Finished solo-second at 14-under 266, two strokes behind Brooks Koepka. The runner-up finished marked his 31st on the PGA TOUR and first time taking solo-second since the 2009 TOUR Championship. Was looking to tie Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen for most PGA Championship victories. A win would have marked his first major championship title since the 2008 U.S. Open, a span of 3,709 days.
the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance: Moved into a tie with Jack Nicklaus for second on the all-time PGA TOUR victories list, with 73, after his two-shot victory at the Memorial Tournament. Trails only Sam Snead's 82 wins after a two-shot victory over Andres Romero and Rory Sabbatini at Muirfield Village GC. Posted his 73rd career victory at age 36 years, 5 months, 4 days, nearly 10 years younger than Nicklaus when he won his 73rd tournament (46 years, 2 months, 23 days) and almost seven years younger than Snead when he posted his 73rd victory (43 years, 9 days). Collected his fifth career victory at the Memorial Tournament and won in come-from-behind fashion for the 21st time in his career after entering the final round four shots off the 54-hole pace. Trailed Sabbatini by two shots standing on the 15th tee but played his final four holes in 3-under, making birdie on Nos. 15, 16 and 18. Holed a flop shot from 49 feet, 10 inches from behind the green at the par-3 16th to tie Sabbatini for the lead at 8-under. Won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial Tournament in the same year for the fourth time (2000-01, 2009 and 2012). Posted the 12th victory of his career in Ohio and won multiple tournaments in a season for the 13th time in his career.
Woods has appeared on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes. According to Golf Digest, Woods made $769,440,709 from 1996 to 2007, and the magazine predicted that Woods would pass a billion dollars in earnings by 2010. In 2009, Forbes confirmed that Woods was indeed the world's first professional athlete to earn over a billion dollars in his career, after accounting for the $10 million bonus Woods received for the FedEx Cup title. The same year, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $600 million, making him the second richest person of color in the United States, behind only Oprah Winfrey. In 2015, Woods ranked ninth in Forbes' list of world's highest-paid athletes, being the top among Asian Americans or the fourth among African Americans. As of 2017, Woods was considered to be the highest-paid golfer in the world.
Set or tied 27 TOUR records. Won three consecutive majors (U.S. and The Open Championships, PGA Championship) and career Grand Slam and totaled nine TOUR victories. Non-adjusted scoring average of 68.17 best in golf history, surpassing Byron Nelson's 68.33 unofficial mark of 1945. Finished the year with 47 consecutive rounds of par or better and completing all 20 events started under par. Won TOUR player of the year honors. Joined Ben Hogan (1953) as the only men to win three professional majors in one season. Was 53-under in four majors, next-best mark was 18-under by Ernie Els. Nine TOUR victories most in one season since Sam Snead won 11 in 1950. Season-opening victories at Mercedes Championship and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am gave him wins in six consecutive starts, most since Hogan in 1948. Beat Els in a playoff at Mercedes, then came from seven strokes back with seven holes to play at Pebble Beach, keyed by an eagle-birdie-par-birdie finish, for a 64 and a two-stroke win. Finished T2 at Buick Invitational.
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.
World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship: Posted a final-round, 6-under 66 to finish T10 at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, his first top-10 of the season and best showing since a T4 at the 2010 U.S. Open. It marked the 11th time in as many starts that he has finished with a top-10 at the event and the eighth time in as many starts inside the top 10 at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral. The showing represented his best round on TOUR since a second-round, 6-under 65 at the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship. Played the first three rounds with Phil Mickelson, the first time the two have been paired together for three rounds in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event. The two have had 28 official pairings on TOUR and 29 counting the 2009 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard: Birdied the 72nd hole to beat Sean O'Hair by one stroke and claim his sixth Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. Sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the final green, duplicating his last-putt heroics from two previous years (2001, 15-foot birdie putt to beat Phil Mickelson; 2008, 24-foot birdie putt to beat Bart Bryant). Matched his largest comeback after 54 holes (five strokes) with his victory. He also came back from five strokes behind after 54 holes to win the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (Mark Brooks and Matt Gogel). Out of 66 career wins, it was his 19th coming from behind. Became the first player to win six Arnold Palmer Invitational titles. The only other players with multiple victories at the event are Tom Kite (1982 and 1989) and Loren Roberts (1994-95).
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.
Woods has spent the most consecutive and cumulative weeks atop the world rankings. He is one of five players (along with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus) to have won all four major championships in his career, known as the Career Grand Slam, and was the youngest to do so. Woods is the only player to have won all four major championships in a row, accomplishing the feat in the 2000–2001 seasons.