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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]
PGA Championship: Won 12th major at the PGA Championship at Medinah CC, moving into solo second behind Jack Nicklaus (18) on the career majors list. First player to win two PGAs at the same course (1999 and 2006). Recorded four rounds in the 60s (69-68-65-68) for just the second time in a major (2000 Open Championship). Tied the tournament record which he set with Bob May in 2000 (18-under 270). Became the 29th player in major championship history to collect two major wins in the same year, this being his fourth time.

In 1997, Woods and fellow golfer Arnold Palmer initiated a civil case against Bruce Matthews (the owner of Gotta Have It Golf, Inc.) and others in the effort to stop the unauthorized sale of their images and alleged signatures in the memorabilia market. Matthews and associated parties counterclaimed that Woods and his company, ETW Corporation, committed several acts including breach of contract, breach of implied duty of good faith, and violations of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.[147] Palmer also was named in the counter-suit, accused of violating the same licensing agreement in conjunction with his company Arnold Palmer Enterprises.
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.
In November 2006, Woods announced his intention to begin designing golf courses around the world through a new company, Tiger Woods Design.[196] A month later, he announced that the company's first course would be in Dubai as part of a 25.3-million-square-foot development, The Tiger Woods Dubai.[197] The Al Ruwaya Golf Course was initially expected to finish construction in 2009.[197] As of February 2010, only seven holes had been completed; in April 2011, The New York Times reported that the project had been shelved permanently.[198][199] In 2013, the partnership between Tiger Woods Design and Dubai Holding was dissolved.[200]
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).

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).[162] 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.
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