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.[58][59] Woods was named Sports Illustrated's 1996 Sportsman of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.[60] 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.[61] Two months later, he set the record for the fastest ascent to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings.[62] 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.[63][64]
Woods continued to excel in 2007 and the first part of 2008. In April 2008, he underwent knee surgery and missed the next two months on the tour.[78] Woods returned for the 2008 U.S. Open, where he struggled the first day but ultimately claimed a dramatic sudden death victory over Rocco Mediate that followed an 18-hole playoff, after which Mediate said, "This guy does things that are just not normal by any stretch of the imagination," and Kenny Perry added, "He beat everybody on one leg."[79] Two days later, Woods announced that he would miss the remainder of the season due to additional knee surgery, and that his knee was more severely damaged than previously revealed, prompting even greater praise for his U.S. Open performance. Woods called it "my greatest ever championship."[80] In Woods' absence, TV ratings for the remainder of the season suffered a huge decline from 2007.[81]
Woods continued to excel in 2007 and the first part of 2008. In April 2008, he underwent knee surgery and missed the next two months on the tour.[78] Woods returned for the 2008 U.S. Open, where he struggled the first day but ultimately claimed a dramatic sudden death victory over Rocco Mediate that followed an 18-hole playoff, after which Mediate said, "This guy does things that are just not normal by any stretch of the imagination," and Kenny Perry added, "He beat everybody on one leg."[79] Two days later, Woods announced that he would miss the remainder of the season due to additional knee surgery, and that his knee was more severely damaged than previously revealed, prompting even greater praise for his U.S. Open performance. Woods called it "my greatest ever championship."[80] In Woods' absence, TV ratings for the remainder of the season suffered a huge decline from 2007.[81]

Since his record-breaking win at the 1997 Masters, Woods has been the biggest name in golf and his presence in tournaments has drawn a huge fan following. Some sources have credited him for dramatically increasing prize money in golf, generating interest in new PGA tournament audiences, and for drawing the largest TV ratings in golf history.[60][132]
Bay Hill Invitational presented by Cooper Tires: Earned his third consecutive victory at the Bay Hill Invitational, the first player to win three different TOUR events (the Memorial Tournament from 1999 to 2001) and the World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational (also 1999 to 2001) three consecutive times. Entered the final round with a one-shot lead over Len Mattiace and carded a 3-under 69 to win by four over runner-up Michael Campbell. With his 30th career PGA TOUR victory, he surpassed Nicklaus for most wins before age 30.

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At a hearing on October 27, 2017, Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving. He received a year of probation, was fined $250, and ordered to undergo 50 hours of community service along with regular drug tests. He was not allowed to drink alcohol during the probation, and if he violated the probation he would be sentenced to 90 days in jail with an additional $500 fine.[229]
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.
Ryder Cup: Made his sixth Ryder Cup appearance, but first as a Captain's Pick, where he was victorious in three of the four matches in which he was involved. With 16 World Golf Championships titles and 28 top-10 finishes in 32 starts, returned to Sheshan International GC in Shanghai to try and add the HSBC Champions title, the only World Golf Championships title he has yet to capture, to his resume. Twice a runner-up in three previous starts, made five birdies on his inward nine in the final round to shoot a 4-under 68, good for T6 honors.

On February 5, 2015, Woods withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open after another back injury.[102] Woods stated on his website that it was unrelated to his previous surgery and he would take a break from golf until his back healed.[103] He returned for the Masters, finishing in a tie for 17th. In the final round, Woods injured his wrist after his club hit a tree root. He later stated that a bone popped out of his wrist, but he adjusted it back into place and finished the round.[104] Woods then missed the cut at the 2015 U.S. Open and Open Championship, the first time Woods missed the cut at consecutive majors, finishing near the bottom of the leaderboard both times.[105] He finished tied for 18th at the Quicken Loans National on August 2.[106] In late August 2015, Woods played quite well at the Wyndham Championship finishing the tournament at 13-under, only four strokes behind the winner, and tied for 10th place.[107] Woods offered only a brief comment on the speculation that he was still recovering from back surgery, saying it was "just my hip" but offering no specifics.[108]
Woods was 15 years old and a student at Western High School in Anaheim when he became the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur champion; this was a record that stood until it was broken by Jim Liu in 2010.[40] He was named 1991's Southern California Amateur Player of the Year (for the second consecutive year) and Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player of the Year. In 1992, he defended his title at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, becoming the tournament's first two-time winner. He also competed in his first PGA Tour event, the Nissan Los Angeles Open (he missed the 36-hole cut), and was named Golf Digest Amateur Player of the Year, Golf World Player of the Year, and Golfweek National Amateur of the Year.[41][42]
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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PGA Championship: In head-to-head battle with fellow California junior star Bob May, won PGA in three-hole playoff. Became first player since Denny Shute in 1936-37 to defend PGA title. Both players played the final-round back nine in 31, and he birdied the final two holes to force the three-hole playoff with May. He went birdie-par-par to beat May. He finished 18-under, giving him a share of the PGA most under-par record with May.
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.[211] 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.[212] He was treated for minor facial lacerations and received a ticket for careless driving.[212][213] 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.[214] 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.[215]

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.


When Woods was 13 years old, he played in the 1989 Big I, which was his first major national junior tournament. In the final round, he was paired with pro John Daly, who was then relatively unknown. The event's format placed a professional with each group of juniors who had qualified. Daly birdied three of the last four holes to beat Woods by only one stroke.[38] As a young teenager, Woods first met Jack Nicklaus in Los Angeles at the Bel-Air Country Club, when Nicklaus was performing a clinic for the club's members. Woods was part of the show, and he impressed Nicklaus and the crowd with his skills and potential.[39] Earl Woods had researched in detail the career accomplishments of Nicklaus and had set his young son the goals of breaking those records.[37]

Earned his 80th PGA TOUR victory and first since 2013, winning the TOUR Championship for the third time in his career to move within two of Sam Snead's TOUR-best 82 victories. Finished the season No. 2 in the FedExCup, with runner-up finishes at the Valspar Championship and PGA Championship among his seven top-10s. Led the TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green (0.938) for the sixth consecutive season in which he played the minimum number of rounds. After originally being selected as a Captain's Assistant for the United States Ryder Cup team, was later selected as a captain's pick and played in the event for the eighth time.
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.[163]
MELBROUNE — With a few high-profile exceptions, team-play captaincies generally come and go without much fanfare. The process usually looks something like this: a past-his-prime major winner, no longer a significant factor on tour but not yet irrelevant, is tapped for the job. It’s typically a reward for a distinguished playing career. The selection spends […]

At age 19, Woods participated in his first PGA Tour major, the 1995 Masters, and tied for 41st as the only amateur to make the cut; two years later, he would win the tournament by 12 strokes. At age 20 in 1996, he became the first golfer to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles[54] and won the NCAA individual golf championship.[55] In winning the silver medal as leading amateur at The Open Championship, he tied the record for an amateur aggregate score of 281.[56] He left college after two years in order to turn professional in the golf industry. In 1996, Woods moved out of California, stating in 2013 that it was due to the state's high tax rate.[57]
Woods grew up in Orange County, California. He was a child prodigy who was introduced to golf before the age of two by his athletic father, Earl Woods. Earl was a single-digit handicap amateur golfer who also was one of the earliest African-American college baseball players at Kansas State University.[25] Tiger's father was a member of the military and had playing privileges at the Navy golf course beside the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, which allowed Tiger to play there. Tiger also played at the par 3 Heartwell golf course in Long Beach, as well as some of the municipals in Long Beach.[26]

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]
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am: Searching for his first PGA TOUR win since the 2009 BMW Championship, carded a final-round 3-over 75 and was unable to match playing partner Phil Mickelson's stellar, 8-under 64 that led to victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Paired with Phil Mickelson for the 30th time in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event. The T15 finish came in his seventh start at the event and first since finishing T12 in 2002.
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Woods has appeared on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes.[154][155] According to Golf Digest, Woods made $769,440,709 from 1996 to 2007,[156] and the magazine predicted that Woods would pass a billion dollars in earnings by 2010.[157] 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.[158] 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.[159] 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.[160] As of 2017, Woods was considered to be the highest-paid golfer in the world.[161]
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