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. Ford Championship at Doral: Took over as World No. 1 for the first time since the week of Aug. 30, 2004 by defeating Phil Mickelson by a stroke at the Ford Championship at Doral. Paired with Mickelson in the final round for just the third time in his career, began the day two strokes behind. Caught up to Mickelson at the turn and took a two-stroke lead after an eagle on the par-5 12th hole. Mickelson birdied the next two and both bogeyed the 16th to remain tied with two holes to play. Birdied the 17th hole and when Mickelson's chip on No. 18 lipped out, earned the 42nd victory of his career.
Early in Woods' career, a small number of golf industry analysts expressed concern about his impact on the competitiveness of the game and the public appeal of professional golf. Sportswriter Bill Lyon of Knight Ridder asked in a column, "Isn't Tiger Woods actually bad for golf?" (though Lyon ultimately concluded that he was not). At first, some pundits feared that Woods would drive the spirit of competition out of the game of golf by making existing courses obsolete and relegating opponents to simply competing for second place each week.
Despite his power advantage, Woods has always focused on developing an excellent all-around game. Although in recent years[when?] he has typically been near the bottom of the Tour rankings in driving accuracy, his iron play is generally accurate, his recovery and bunker play is very strong, and his putting (especially under pressure) is possibly his greatest asset. He is largely responsible for a shift to higher standards of athleticism amongst professional golfers, and is known for utilizing more hours of practice than most.
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Woods had back surgery on September 16, 2015. In late March 2016, he announced that he would miss the Masters while he recovered from the surgery; he had also missed the 2014 Masters due to a back problem. "I'm absolutely making progress, and I'm really happy with how far I've come," he explained in a statement. "But I still have no timetable to return to competitive golf." However, he did attend the Masters Champions Dinner on April 5, 2016. For the first time in his career, he missed all four majors in one year due to problems with his back. In October 2016, he told Charlie Rose on PBS that he still wanted to break Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major titles. Woods underwent back surgery in December 2016 and spent the next 15 months off the Tour. He made his return to competitive golf in the Hero World Challenge.
In 1978, Tiger putted against comedian Bob Hope in a television appearance on The Mike Douglas Show. At age three, he shot a 48 over nine holes at the Navy course. At age five, he appeared in Golf Digest and on ABC's That's Incredible! Before turning seven, Tiger won the Under Age 10 section of the Drive, Pitch, and Putt competition, held at the Navy Golf Course in Cypress, California. In 1984 at the age of eight, he won the 9–10 boys' event, the youngest age group available, at the Junior World Golf Championships. He first broke 80 at age eight. He went on to win the Junior World Championships six times, including four consecutive wins from 1988 to 1991.
AT&T National: Won his own tournament, the AT&T National hosted by Tiger Woods, with a late birdie at Congressional CC. Was tied for the lead with Anthony Kim entering the final round and was tied at 12-under with Hunter Mahan late in the back nine. Made a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th hole and fired a closing 67 to get past Mahan and capture the title by one stroke. Mahan tied the course record with a 62 earlier in the day. The win was the third of the season, the 68th of his PGA TOUR career and moved him to the top of the FedExCup standings for the first time in 2009.
U.S. Open Championship: Posted a 5-under 66 during the third round of the U.S. Open to enter the final round five strokes behind tournament leader Dustin Johnson. Went on to card a 4-under 75 Sunday to finish T4 (his eighth top-10 at the U.S. Open and 34th top 10 in a major championship). It was the second-highest, final-round score in a major championship as a professional (76 at the 2004 U.S. Open; 75s at the 2009 PGA Championship, 2003 Masters, 1999 Masters and 1997 PGA Championship).
The Open Championship: Earned 10th professional major title at The Open Championship at age 29 years, 6 months and 17 days in his 35th major as a professional. Posted rounds of 66-67-71-70–274 at St. Andrews to defeat nearest challenger Colin Montgomerie by five strokes. The youngest and quickest to win each of the four major championships twice. Jack Nicklaus was the first to accomplish the feat at 31 years, 1 month and 7 days when he won his second PGA in 1971 in his 37th major as a professional. Sixth player in The Open Championship history to win in wire-to-wire fashion–Ted Ray (1912), Bobby Jones (1927), Gene Sarazen (1932), Henry Cotton (1934) and Tom Weiskopf (1973).
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.