Woods began his 2012 season with two tournaments (the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) where he started off well but struggled on the final rounds. Following the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, where he was knocked out in the second round by missing a 5-foot putt, Woods revised his putting technique and tied for second at the Honda Classic, with the lowest final round score in his PGA Tour career. After a short time off due to another leg injury, Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his first win on the PGA Tour since the BMW Championship in September 2009. Following several dismal performances, Woods notched his 73rd PGA Tour win at the Memorial Tournament in June, tying Jack Nicklaus in second place for most PGA Tour victories; a month later, Woods surpassed Nicklaus with a win at the AT&T National, to trail only Sam Snead, who accumulated 82 PGA tour wins.
Ford Championship at Doral: Took over as World No. 1 for the first time since the week of Aug. 30, 2004 by defeating Phil Mickelson by a stroke at the Ford Championship at Doral. Paired with Mickelson in the final round for just the third time in his career, began the day two strokes behind. Caught up to Mickelson at the turn and took a two-stroke lead after an eagle on the par-5 12th hole. Mickelson birdied the next two and both bogeyed the 16th to remain tied with two holes to play. Birdied the 17th hole and when Mickelson's chip on No. 18 lipped out, earned the 42nd victory of his career.
Set or tied 27 TOUR records. Won three consecutive majors (U.S. and The Open Championships, PGA Championship) and career Grand Slam and totaled nine TOUR victories. Non-adjusted scoring average of 68.17 best in golf history, surpassing Byron Nelson's 68.33 unofficial mark of 1945. Finished the year with 47 consecutive rounds of par or better and completing all 20 events started under par. Won TOUR player of the year honors. Joined Ben Hogan (1953) as the only men to win three professional majors in one season. Was 53-under in four majors, next-best mark was 18-under by Ernie Els. Nine TOUR victories most in one season since Sam Snead won 11 in 1950. Season-opening victories at Mercedes Championship and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am gave him wins in six consecutive starts, most since Hogan in 1948. Beat Els in a playoff at Mercedes, then came from seven strokes back with seven holes to play at Pebble Beach, keyed by an eagle-birdie-par-birdie finish, for a 64 and a two-stroke win. Finished T2 at Buick Invitational.
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.
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.
World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship: Defeated Stewart Cink 8 and 7 in the 36-hole championship match to capture the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship for the third time. The victory was his fourth straight on the PGA TOUR and the 63rd of his career, passing Arnold Palmer for fourth all-time in career PGA TOUR wins, one behind Ben Hogan.
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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The foundation benefits from the annual Chevron World Challenge and AT&T National golf tournaments hosted by Woods. In October 2011, the foundation hosted the first Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach. Other annual fundraisers have included the concert events Block Party, last held in 2009 in Anaheim, and Tiger Jam, last held in 2011 in Las Vegas after a one-year hiatus.
After a slow start to 2014, Woods sustained an injury during the final round of the Honda Classic and was unable to finish the tournament. He withdrew after the 13th hole, citing back pain. He subsequently competed in the WGC-Cadillac Championship but was visibly in pain during much of the last round. He was forced to skip the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the end of March 2014, and after undergoing back surgery, he announced on April 1 that he would miss the Masters for the first time since 1994. Woods returned at the Quicken Loans National in June, however he stated that his expectations for the week were low. He would struggle with nearly every aspect of his game and miss the cut. He next played at The Open Championship, contested at Hoylake, where Woods had won eight years prior. Woods fired a brilliant 69 in the first round to put himself in contention, but shot 77 on Friday and would eventually finish 69th. Despite his back pain, he played at the 2014 PGA Championship where he failed to make the cut. On August 25, 2014, Woods and his swing coach Sean Foley parted ways. In the four years under Foley, he won eight times but no majors. He had previously won eight majors with Harmon and six with Haney. Woods said there is currently no timetable to find a replacement swing coach.
Woods collaborated closely with TAG Heuer to develop the world's first professional golf watch, which was released in April 2005. The lightweight, titanium-construction watch, designed to be worn while playing the game, incorporates numerous innovative design features to accommodate golf play. It is capable of absorbing up to 5,000 Gs of shock, far in excess of the forces generated by a normal golf swing. In 2006, the TAG Heuer Professional Golf Watch won the prestigious iF product design award in the Leisure/Lifestyle category.
Woods was heavily recruited by college golf powers. He chose Stanford University, the 1994 NCAA champions. He enrolled at Stanford in the fall of 1994 under a golf scholarship and won his first collegiate event, the 40th Annual William H. Tucker Invitational, that September. He selected a major in economics and was nicknamed "Urkel" by college teammate Notah Begay III. In 1995, he successfully defended his U.S. Amateur title at the Newport Country Club in Rhode Island and was voted Pac-10 Player of the Year, NCAA First Team All-American, and Stanford's Male Freshman of the Year (an award that encompasses all sports).
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.
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