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.
Since 1996, the Tiger Woods Foundation has reached more than 10 million young people by delivering unique experiences and innovative educational opportunities for youth worldwide. For scholars grades 5-12, the Tiger Woods Learning Centers provide hands-on experiences in science, technology, engineering and math, coupled with college-preparation workshops to create an environment focused on college and careers. Since opening its flagship Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif., the Foundation has established campuses in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and Florida. Once kids are ready for college, the Foundation offers the Earl Woods Scholarship Program, a network providing college scholarships, mentors, internships and workshops.
Since his record-breaking win at the 1997 Masters, Woods has been the biggest name in golf and his presence in tournaments has drawn a huge fan following. Some sources have credited him for dramatically increasing prize money in golf, generating interest in new PGA tournament audiences, and for drawing the largest TV ratings in golf history.
Woods was 15 years old and a student at Western High School in Anaheim when he became the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur champion; this was a record that stood until it was broken by Jim Liu in 2010. He was named 1991's Southern California Amateur Player of the Year (for the second consecutive year) and Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player of the Year. In 1992, he defended his title at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, becoming the tournament's first two-time winner. He also competed in his first PGA Tour event, the Nissan Los Angeles Open (he missed the 36-hole cut), and was named Golf Digest Amateur Player of the Year, Golf World Player of the Year, and Golfweek National Amateur of the Year.
• Segments include Woods sharing how he preps for majors and how his off-week routines keep his game sharp and energy high. You’ll learn the four driver swings he has developed and his unique process for picking shots and clubs into the greens—get ready to be amazed! And then there’s winning at Augusta, the special lessons from his parents and how he now shares golf with his kids. All told with introspection and candor.
The next decade of Woods' career was marked by comebacks from personal problems and injuries. He took a self-imposed hiatus from professional golf from December 2009 to early April 2010 in an attempt to resolve marital issues with his then-wife, Elin. Extramarital affairs with Woods had been alleged by several women, and the couple eventually divorced. Woods fell to number 58 in the world rankings in November 2011 before ascending again to the No.1 ranking between March 2013 and May 2014. However, injuries led him to undergo four back surgeries between 2014 and 2017. Woods competed in only one tournament between August 2015 and January 2018, and he dropped off the list of the world's top 1,000 golfers. On his return to regular competition, Woods made steady progress to the top of the game, winning his first tournament in five years at the Tour Championship in September 2018 and his first major in 11 years at the 2019 Masters.
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.
THE PLAYERS Championship: In his next start, claimed on Mother's Day his second PLAYERS Championship victory after opening with a pair of 5-under 67s. He had previously not had back-to-back rounds in the 60s at THE PLAYERS since the second and third rounds in 2004 (T16). The only other time he accomplished the feat was in 2001 (second, third and fourth rounds), when he won. With his win, joined Jack Nicklaus, Steve Elkington, Hal Sutton, Fred Couples and Davis Love III as multiple winners of the event. The victory at TPC Sawgrass became his fourth of the campaign, the earliest he has achieved the feat in a season. The win was also his 16th in Florida, the most of any state. Converted the 54-hole lead for the 53rd time (in 57 attempts).
Omega Dubai Desert Classic: After shooting an opening-round 77, withdrew from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic citing back spasms. "Tiger Woods went into a spasm in his lower back fairly late last night, got treatment done early this morning for three and a half hours, but can't get it out," his manager Mark Steinberg said. "He says it's not the nerve, but back spasm, and he can't get the spasms to calm down. He can move around, but he can't make a full rotation in his swing."
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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.
Surpassed Greg Norman for most weeks at No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking following PGA Championship with his 332nd combined week at the top. Consecutive weeks reign at No. 1 ended at 264, as Vijay Singh took over world No. 1 on Sept. 6, the week following the Deutsche Bank Championship. Entered 2005 season with streak of 133 consecutive made cuts intact.
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TOUR Championship: Claimed his 80th PGA TOUR title (second most behind Sam Snead's 82) with a two-stroke victory over Billy Horschel for his third-career TOUR Championship title (1999, 2007, 2018). Prior to his win at East Lake, it had been 1,876 days since he last won on the PGA TOUR (2013 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational). Moved from No. 20 to No. 2 in the FedExCup standings, finishing 41 points behind Justin Rose (T4) to become the fourth winner of the TOUR Championship who did not claim the FedExCup. Shared the first-round lead with Rickie Fowler (5-under 65) and the second-round lead with Rose (7-under 133) before moving to a three-stroke lead over Rory McIlroy following a third-round 5-under 65. Following a closing 1-over 71, improved to 54/58 when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead on the PGA TOUR, including a 43/45 mark with the outright lead. Bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16 made things interesting coming down the stretch, but clutch pars on the final two holes sealed the victory. His 80th TOUR win came in his 346th start at the age of 42 years, 8 months and 24 days. By comparison, Snead was 47 when he won his 80th title. The victory was his fourth FedExCup Playoffs tournament title (2007 BMW Championship, 2007 TOUR Championship, 2009 BMW Championship, 2018 TOUR Championship. Ranked No. 2 in Strokes Gained: Putting for the week, making over 100 feet of putts each of the first three rounds and totaling 386'5" for the week (112'7"/R1, 101'5"/R2, 112'8"/R3, 59'9"/R4). Last posted his first three rounds in the 60s in a PGA TOUR event at the 2015 Wyndham Championship, but final-round 71 kept him from posting all four rounds in the 60s for the first time since THE NORTHERN TRUST 2013. Marked his 15th appearance in the TOUR Championship (first since 2013), with nine top-10 showings at the event, including three wins and four runner-up finishes.
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AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am: Searching for his first PGA TOUR win since the 2009 BMW Championship, carded a final-round 3-over 75 and was unable to match playing partner Phil Mickelson's stellar, 8-under 64 that led to victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Paired with Phil Mickelson for the 30th time in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event. The T15 finish came in his seventh start at the event and first since finishing T12 in 2002.