Woods grew up in Orange County, California. He was a child prodigy who was introduced to golf before the age of two by his athletic father, Earl Woods. Earl was a single-digit handicap amateur golfer who also was one of the earliest African-American college baseball players at Kansas State University. Tiger's father was a member of the military and had playing privileges at the Navy golf course beside the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, which allowed Tiger to play there. Tiger also played at the par 3 Heartwell golf course in Long Beach, as well as some of the municipals in Long Beach.
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).
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On March 11, 2018, he finished one-shot back and tied for second at the Valspar Championship in Florida, his first top-five finish on the PGA Tour since 2013. He then tied for sixth with a score of five under par at the 2018 Open Championship. At the last major of the year Woods finished second at the 2018 PGA Championship, two shots behind the winner Brooks Koepka. It was his best result in a major since 2009 (second at the 2009 PGA Championship) and moved up to 26th in the world rankings. His final round of 64 was his best ever final round in a major.
The Open Championship: Finished T6 at the 147 Open Championship at Carnoustie, his first top-10 in a major since at T6 at the 2013 Open Championship. Week was highlighted by a third-round 66, his lowest round in a major since a 66 in the second round of the 2011 Masters. Was just his second made cut (2018 Masters Tournament/T32) in his last six major starts. Posted rounds of 71-71-66-71, the first time since the 2010 Masters Tournament (T4) he recorded four par-or-better rounds in a major. Paired with eventual-champion Francesco Molinari, entered the final round four shots off the lead. Took the solo-lead at 7-under after nine holes, one ahead of Molinari and Jordan Spieth, but his lead disappeared with a double bogey at No. 11. Bogeyed No. 12 and birdied No. 14 before closing with four pars to finish at 5-under. The finish moved him to No. 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, returning to the top 50 for the first time since January 2015. The ranking also earned him a spot in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
the Memorial Tournament: Birdied the last two holes to shoot a final-round 65 and win the Memorial Tournament for the fourth time, beating Jim Furyk by one stroke. Trailed by four strokes entering the final round. Hit all 14 fairways in the final round and recorded his 20th come-from-behind victory in his 67th career victory. Chipped in for eagle from behind the green on the par-5 11th hole and was tied with Furyk, Jonathan Byrd and Davis Love III at 10-under with two holes remaining before his final surge.
In October 2007, Gatorade announced that Woods would have his own brand of sports drink starting in March 2008. "Gatorade Tiger" was his first U.S. deal with a beverage company and his first licensing agreement. Although no figures were officially disclosed, Golfweek magazine reported that it was for five years and could pay him as much as $100 million. The company decided in early fall 2009 to discontinue the drink due to weak sales.
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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. Palmer also was named in the counter-suit, accused of violating the same licensing agreement in conjunction with his company Arnold Palmer Enterprises.
Woods was severely myopic; his eyesight had a rating of 11 diopters. In order to correct this problem, he underwent successful laser eye surgery in 1999, and he immediately resumed winning tour events. (He received money from TLC Laser Eye Centers to endorse them, In 2007, his vision again began to deteriorate, and he underwent laser eye surgery a second time.)
World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational: Benefactor of a big change in momentum on Firestone CC's famous 16th hole in winning for the 70th time in his career with the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational victory. Trailing by one stroke, hit an 8-iron from 178 yards to within tap-in range for a birdie on the long par-5 16th. Meanwhile, Padraig Harrington, the third-round leader, hit from the collar of a bunker over the 16th green, but his delicate flop shot from behind the green came out hot, went into the water and he made a triple bogey-8 to give up the lead. Closed with consecutive 5-under 65s to reach 12-under and win by four strokes over Harrington and Robert Allenby. Became the first player in TOUR history to win the same event seven times on the same golf course. Also picked up 550 FedExCup points and extended his lead to 946 points. Joined Sam Snead (82) and Jack Nicklaus (73) as the only players to win 70 career TOUR events, but did so nearly seven years younger than Snead or Nicklaus.
When Woods first joined the PGA Tour in 1996, his long drives had a large impact on the world of golf, but he did not upgrade his equipment in the following years. He insisted upon the use of True Temper Dynamic Gold steel-shafted clubs and smaller steel clubheads that promoted accuracy over distance. Many opponents caught up to him, and Phil Mickelson even made a joke in 2003 about Woods using "inferior equipment", which did not sit well with Nike, Titleist or Woods. During 2004, Woods finally upgraded his driver technology to a larger clubhead and graphite shaft, which, coupled with his clubhead speed, again made him one of the tour's longest players off the tee.
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World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship: At 19-under 269, finished two strokes clear of Steve Stricker to win the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and become the TOUR's first multiple winner of the season. His 76th career PGA TOUR win and 17th World Golf Championships victory came at age 37 years, 2 months, 10 days in his 297th (283rd professional) career TOUR start. After posting the most birdies of his career through 36 and 54 holes, finished with 27 for the week, just one shy of a career-high 28 at the 2007 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and 2006 Buick Open. Entered the final round with a four-stroke lead over Graeme McDowell, with his final-round, 1-under 71 leading to the victory (the 51st time in 55 attempts he has carried the third-round lead on to victory). Received putting tips from Stricker on Wednesday, with the two (Stricker finished No. 1) going on to finish as the top-two players in the field in Strokes Gained-Putting. Finished the week with a career-low 100 putts. The Cadillac Championship represents the fourth PGA TOUR event he has won seven times (World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational and Farmers Insurance Open). The Cadillac Championship win was his first World Golf Championships victory since the 2009 Bridgestone Invitational. From 1999-2009, he did not go an entire season without winning at least one World Golf Championships title.
At a hearing on October 27, 2017, Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving. He received a year of probation, was fined $250, and ordered to undergo 50 hours of community service along with regular drug tests. He was not allowed to drink alcohol during the probation, and if he violated the probation he would be sentenced to 90 days in jail with an additional $500 fine.
The Barclays: Finished T2 at The Barclays in the first event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. Missed a seven-foot birdie try on the final green that would have tied for the lead. Finished at 8-under par with Steve Stricker, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington, one stroke behind winner Heath Slocum, who sank a 21-foot par putt on the final hole to win the title. The start was his 250th on the PGA TOUR, and for the first time in his professional career in a stroke-play event, he played with the same player (Zach Johnson) all four rounds.
“I went to my first Olympic Games when it was in Los Angeles [in 1984]. So now to have the opportunity to be a part of the Olympics, because golf in my lifetime wasn’t a part of the Olympics, is an important aspect for us and the growth of the game. The game has become so global, and so reaching, that I think the Olympic Games is a great extension of that and I’d like to be a part of it.”
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.
THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola: Entered the TOUR Championship No. 1 in the FedExCup standings and romped for his seventh victory of the season by eight over Mark Calcavecchia and Zach Johnson with rounds of 64-63-64-66–257 and captured the first FedExCup. Season earnings were a career-best $10,867,052. First player to win the TOUR Championship multiple times.
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.
Woods' back problems continued to hinder him in 2017. He missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in January and pulled out of a European Tour event in Dubai on February 3. On March 31, Woods announced on his website that he would not be playing in the 2017 Masters Tournament despite being cleared to play by his doctors. Woods said that although he was happy with his rehabilitation, he did not feel "tournament ready." Woods subsequently told friends, “I’m done”. On April 20, Woods announced that he had undergone his fourth back surgery since 2014 to alleviate back and leg pain. Recovery time required up to six months, meaning that Woods would spend the rest of the year without playing any professional golf. Woods returned to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. He shot rounds of 69-68-75-68 and finished tied for 9th place. His world ranking went from 1,199th to 668th, which was the biggest jump in the world rankings in his career.
World Golf Championships-American Express Championship: Picked up his fourth World Golf Championships-American Express Championship victory by coming from two strokes back and defeating John Daly in a two-hole playoff at Harding Park GC in San Francisco. Won for the 10th time in 19 World Golf Championships starts and improved his career playoff record to 8-1. The win was his ninth in California.
During the 2013 Masters, Woods faced disqualification after unwittingly admitting in a post-round interview with ESPN that he had taken an illegal drop on the par-5 15th hole when his third shot had bounced off the pin and into the water. After further review of television footage, Woods was assessed a two-stroke penalty for the drop but was not disqualified. He finished tied for fourth in the event. Woods won The Players Championship in May 2013, his second career win at the event, notching his fourth win of the 2013 season. It was the quickest he had gotten to four wins in any season in his professional career.
Buick Open: Shot a final-round 69 and coasted to a three-shot victory with a 20-under 268 at the Buick Open for the 69th PGA TOUR title of his career. Improved to 36-1 when he had the outright lead after 54 holes. The win was his fourth of the season in just 11 starts since returning from knee surgery and the 69th of his career. He also claimed 500 FedExCup points and moved to the top of the standings. Reached victory No. 69 at the age of 33 years and seven months–almost seven years faster than Jack Nicklaus and eight years sooner than Sam Snead. Shot a 71 in the first round and came back with the best five-hole start of his career–beginning 6-under in the second round–en route to a 9-under 63 for his best score in relation to par in four years. Shot a 65 in the third round and held a one-shot lead going into Sunday.
U.S. Open Championship: Earned his eighth major championship, with the sixth wire-to-wire victory in U.S. Open history. Win was his seventh in his last 11 major championship appearances. Finished 3-under and won by three strokes over runner-up Phil Mickelson, the only other player to finish at par or better for the championship. Tied Tom Watson for fifth all time, with eight professional major victories. Became the fifth player to win the first two majors of the season, joining Craig Wood (1941), Ben Hogan (1951 and 1953), Palmer (1960) and Nicklaus (1972). In receiving the $1-million paycheck, became the first player to surpass the $30-million mark in career earnings and the first to exceed $4 million in four consecutive seasons.
Woods played in his first 2020 PGA Tour event at the Zozo Championship in October 2019, which was the first-ever PGA Tour event played in Japan. Woods, who played a highly publicized skins game earlier in the week at the same course as the Championship, held at least a share of the lead after every round of the rain-delayed tournament, giving him a three stroke victory over Hideki Matsuyama. The win was Woods's 82nd on Tour, tying him with Sam Snead for the most victories all time on the PGA Tour.