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. 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." 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." In Woods' absence, TV ratings for the remainder of the season suffered a huge decline from 2007.
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard: In his first start in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard since his win in 2013, finished T5 after a final-round 69. Was five strokes back of leader Henrik Stenson after 54 holes, and got to within one of the lead with three holes to play, but posted back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17. Improved to 118-under par at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, 44 strokes better than the next best player (Vijay Singh, 74-under). Marked his 10th top-10 (eight wins) in 18 starts at the event.
The Open Championship: Captured his 11th major championship at The Open Championship, tying Walter Hagen for second on the all-time major professional championships list. Defeated Chris DiMarco by two strokes after holding both the second- and third-round leads. First back-to-back Open Championship winner since Tom Watson in 1982-83. Became 19th player to win The Open Championship three times. Posted his career-best opening 36-hole total in a major with his 12-under 132. Using a driver just once during the week due to hard and fast conditions, led the field in Driving Accuracy (85.7 percent) and was second in Greens in Regulation (80.6 percent).
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.
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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.
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. Woods was named Sports Illustrated's 1996 Sportsman of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. 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. Two months later, he set the record for the fastest ascent to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings. 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.
World Golf Championships-American Express Championship: With victory at the World Golf Championships-American Express Championship, became the first player in TOUR history to win five times in five consecutive seasons. Captured his record fifth consecutive Byron Nelson Award and the PGA of America's Vardon Trophy, based on each player's adjusted scoring average. Finished the season with an adjusted scoring average of 68.41, the second-lowest in TOUR history.
On February 19, 2010, Woods gave a televised statement in which he said he had undertaken a 45-day therapy program that began at the end of December. He again apologized for his actions. "I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to," he said. "I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them. I was wrong. I was foolish." He said he did not know yet when he would be returning to golf. On March 16, he announced that he would play in the 2010 Masters.
Woods had a much anticipated return to golf in 2009, when he performed well. His comeback included a spectacular performance at the 2009 Presidents Cup, but he failed to win a major, the first year since 2004 that he had not done so. After his marital infidelities came to light and received massive media coverage at the end of 2009 (see further details below), Woods announced in December that he would be taking an indefinite break from competitive golf. In February 2010, he delivered a televised apology for his behavior, saying "I was wrong and I was foolish." During this period, several companies ended their endorsement deals with Woods.
Chevron World Challenge: Lost in a playoff to Graeme McDowell at the Chevron World Challenge. It was the first time as a professional that he lost after holding a three-shot-or-more lead entering the final round. McDowell drained a 20 foot putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff and then made a 25 foot putt on the first playoff hole (No. 18) to capture the win. The world's No. 2-ranked player missed a 14-foot putt that would have extended the playoff. He has finished in the top two at this event in eight of his 10 starts.
AT&T National: Surpassed Nicklaus on all-time PGA TOUR victories list, with his 74th, at the AT&T National, his second win at Congressional CC. Trails only Sam Snead's 82 PGA TOUR victories. Overcame a one-stroke deficit of 54-hole leader Brendon de Jonge, posting a final-round 69 to edge runner-up Bo Van Pelt by two strokes. Two-time FedExCup champion moved to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings for the first time in 100 weeks with his third victory of the campaign, the 12th time in his TOUR career he has compiled at least three wins in a season.
The Barclays: Finished T38 in his seventh start at The Barclays, with a 76 in the final round of The Barclays tying his second-highest score when entering the final round T10 or better (he was T10 after 54 holes this week). In 2007 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, was T10 after 54 holes and shot 76 to finish T22. At the 1998 Arnold Palmer Invitational, was T2 after 54 holes and shot 77 to finish T13.
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Masters Tournament: On Tuesday, April 15, two days after finishing second at the Masters, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in Park City, Utah, to repair cartilage damage. Expected to miss 4-6 weeks. It was the same knee operated on in 1994 for a benign tumor, followed by arthroscopic surgery in 2002. Began experiencing pain in mid-2007 when he injured his anterior cruciate ligament while running at home in Orlando following The Open Championship but opted not to have surgery at that 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.
U.S. Open Championship: In his first start two months after surgery, parred the first sudden-death hole to beat Rocco Mediate and win the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines GC. Prevailed after he birdied the par-5 18th hole on Monday afternoon to complete an even-par 71 in an 18-hole playoff and tie Mediate to force sudden death, beginning on the par-4 seventh hole. Hit the green in regulation and two-putted on the dogleg right while Mediate, who was aiming to become the oldest U.S. Open champion at age 45, drove into a fairway bunker and then missed a 20-foot par putt. Sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force the 18-hole playoff with Mediate at 1-under-par 283. The victory was his third in the U.S. Open, his 14th major championship and the 65th of his TOUR career, third alone behind Sam Snead (82) and Jack Nicklaus (73). Improved to 14-for-14 in majors when holding the third-round lead. The win was also his seventh at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif. (six Buick Invitationals and one U.S. Open), the most in TOUR history on one course.
During the first decade of his professional career, Woods was the world's most marketable athlete. Shortly after his 21st birthday in 1996, he signed endorsement deals with numerous companies, including General Motors, Titleist, General Mills, American Express, Accenture, and Nike, Inc. In 2000, he signed a 5-year, $105 million contract extension with Nike, which was the largest endorsement package signed by a professional athlete at that time. Woods' endorsement has been credited with playing a significant role in taking the Nike Golf brand from a "start-up" golf company earlier in the previous decade to becoming the leading golf apparel company in the world and a major player in the equipment and golf ball market. Nike Golf is one of the fastest growing brands in the sport, with an estimated $600 million in sales. Woods has been described as the "ultimate endorser" for Nike Golf, frequently seen wearing Nike gear during tournaments, and even in advertisements for other products. Woods receives a percentage from the sales of Nike Golf apparel, footwear, golf equipment, golf balls, and has a building named after him at Nike's headquarters campus in Beaverton, Oregon.
Tiger Woods returned to Las Vegas this past weekend to host Tiger Jam at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. Among the highlights of the weekend for participants in attendance at the 21st annual charity event, was a chance to experience Janet Jackson’s critically acclaimed Las Vegas Residency, “Metamorphosis.” The two-day charity event held Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25 brought a jam-packed weekend of activities to Las Vegas to raise funds for TGR Foundation.
Masters Tournament: Earned third Masters title, joining Nicklaus (1965-66) and Nick Faldo (1989-90) as the only consecutive winners at Augusta National. Only Nicklaus (six wins) and Arnold Palmer (four wins) have more Masters titles. Jimmy Demaret, Faldo, Gary Players and Sam Snead also won three Masters Tournaments. Was tied with Retief Goosen at 11-under entering the final round, birdied two of the first three holes en route to a three-stroke victory over Goosen. Win was his 31st on TOUR.