THE PLAYERS Championship: Withdrew on the seventh hole in the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship with a lingering neck injury that caused tingling in the fingers in his right hand. Shot 70-71-71 in first three rounds. It was the third time he has withdrawn from a TOUR event as a professional (2006 Northern Trust Open, 1998 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am). Also withdrew from the 1995 U.S. Open as an amateur.
Masters Tournament: Closed with a 5-under 67 to finish T4 at the Masters Tournament, the best closing round of his career at Augusta National. It still left him four strokes behind Charl Schwartzel and in search of his first come-from-behind win in a major championship. Entered the final round seven strokes behind Rory McIlroy, but a front-nine, 5-under 31–highlighted by a birdie-birdie-eagle stretch, beginning on No. 6 had him tied for the lead as he made the turn at Augusta National. Closed with an even-par 36 on the back nine to finish T4, his 10th top-five finish at the Masters, moving him out of a tie for second with Mickelson, Ben Hogan, Tom Kite, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead and Tom Watson, and trailing only Jack Nicklaus' 15. Since winning his last green jacket, in 2005, he has finished T3, T2, second, T6, T4 and T4.
Kultida (née Punsawad) is originally from Thailand, where Earl had met her when he was on a tour of duty there in 1968. She is of mixed Thai, Chinese, and Dutch ancestry. Earl was a retired lieutenant colonel and Vietnam War veteran who reported African American, Chinese, and Native American descent. Earl's mother Maude Carter was light skinned. Tiger describes his ethnic make-up as "Cablinasian" (a syllabic abbreviation he coined from Caucasian, Black, American Indian, and Asian).
In 2011, Woods' performance continued to suffer; this took its toll on his ranking. After falling to No. 7 in March, he rebounded to No. 5 with a strong showing at the 2011 Masters, where he tied for fourth place. Due to leg injuries incurred at the Masters, he missed several summer stops on the PGA Tour. In July, he fired his longtime caddy Steve Williams (who was shocked by the dismissal), and replaced him on an interim basis with friend Bryon Bell until he hired Joe LaCava. After returning to tournament play in August, Woods continued to falter, and his ranking gradually fell to a low of #58. He rose to No. 50 in mid-November after a third-place finish at the Emirates Australian Open, and broke his winless streak with a victory at December's Chevron World Challenge.
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.
Earned his 80th PGA TOUR victory and first since 2013, winning the TOUR Championship for the third time in his career to move within two of Sam Snead's TOUR-best 82 victories. Finished the season No. 2 in the FedExCup, with runner-up finishes at the Valspar Championship and PGA Championship among his seven top-10s. Led the TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green (0.938) for the sixth consecutive season in which he played the minimum number of rounds. After originally being selected as a Captain's Assistant for the United States Ryder Cup team, was later selected as a captain's pick and played in the event for the eighth time.
PGA Championship: Despite not hitting a fairway until the 10th hole Sunday, made eight birdies and two bogeys to post a 6-under 64, tying the day's low round. Finished solo-second at 14-under 266, two strokes behind Brooks Koepka. The runner-up finished marked his 31st on the PGA TOUR and first time taking solo-second since the 2009 TOUR Championship. Was looking to tie Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen for most PGA Championship victories. A win would have marked his first major championship title since the 2008 U.S. Open, a span of 3,709 days.
Buick Open: Second-round, 9-under-par 63 led to a win at the Buick Open, his 33rd career title and 20th different tournament triumph. Led after both 36 and 54 holes. Has won 25 of 27 events when he was the 54-hole leader/co-leader. Entered the final round one stroke ahead of Esteban Toledo. Carded a 2-under 70 to secure a four-stroke victory over four players.
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.