Farmers Insurance Open: At the beginning of the year, committed to the Farmers Insurance Open, The Honda Classic and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour. Making his first start in an official PGA TOUR event for the first time since the 2015 Wyndham Championship (T10), opened the Farmers Insurance Open with a 4-over 76 on the South course, his highest score ever to start a year as a professional. Missed the 36-hole cut after a second-round 72 for a 4-over total.
Woods is registered as an independent voter. In January 2009, Woods delivered a speech commemorating the military at the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. In April 2009, Woods visited the White House while promoting the golf tournament he hosts, the AT&T National. In December 2016 and again in November 2017, Woods played golf with President Donald Trump at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.
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THE PLAYERS Championship: Withdrew on the seventh hole in the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship with a lingering neck injury that caused tingling in the fingers in his right hand. Shot 70-71-71 in first three rounds. It was the third time he has withdrawn from a TOUR event as a professional (2006 Northern Trust Open, 1998 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am). Also withdrew from the 1995 U.S. Open as an amateur.
The Open Championship: Jumped to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, with a T3 finish at The Open Championship, his best performance in a major championship since finishing runner-up at the 2009 PGA Championship. Final-round 73 included a triple bogey on the par-4 sixth hole, his first triple in a major championship since the first hole at the 2003 Open Championship (Royal St. George's).
THE PLAYERS Championship: Kept streak alive of 12 career made cuts in as many attempts at THE PLAYERS, with eighth-place finish, snapping a string of six consecutive appearances at the event without a top-10 finish (dating back to his win in 2001). The six consecutive events without notching a top-10 finish represents his longest streak at any single event in his career.
Surgery: Pulled out of next two PGA TOUR starts, the Genesis Open and The Honda Classic. Released statement: "My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down. This is not what I was hoping for or expecting. I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and The Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week." In April, announced on his website he had undergone further back surgery. The operation was performed by Dr. Richard Guyer of the Center for Disc Replacement at the Texas Back Institute.