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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Masters Tournament: Finished T4 in his first start of the season, at the Masters Tournament. Recorded his first career eagle on the par-4 seventh hole in the final round at Augusta National and had a tournament-high four eagles. Collected the ninth top-five finish of his Masters career, joining Phil Mickelson, Ben Hogan, Tom Kite, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead and Tom Watson. The only other person with more top-fives at the Masters is Jack Nicklaus, with 15.
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. 
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