U.S. Open Championship: In his first start two months after surgery, parred the first sudden-death hole to beat Rocco Mediate and win the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines GC. Prevailed after he birdied the par-5 18th hole on Monday afternoon to complete an even-par 71 in an 18-hole playoff and tie Mediate to force sudden death, beginning on the par-4 seventh hole. Hit the green in regulation and two-putted on the dogleg right while Mediate, who was aiming to become the oldest U.S. Open champion at age 45, drove into a fairway bunker and then missed a 20-foot par putt. Sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force the 18-hole playoff with Mediate at 1-under-par 283. The victory was his third in the U.S. Open, his 14th major championship and the 65th of his TOUR career, third alone behind Sam Snead (82) and Jack Nicklaus (73). Improved to 14-for-14 in majors when holding the third-round lead. The win was also his seventh at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif. (six Buick Invitationals and one U.S. Open), the most in TOUR history on one course.
World Golf Championships-CA Championship: Logged 56th career TOUR victory and 13th official World Golf Championships title in 24th start at the CA Championship at Doral Golf Resort & Spa. Held the 36- and 54-hole leads before closing out a two-stroke win over Brett Wetterich, marking the 39th time winning (in 42 events) when holding at least a share of the third-round lead.
Woods began dominantly in 2006, winning his first two PGA tournaments but failing to capture his fifth Masters championship in April. Following the death of his father in May, Woods took some time off from the tour and appeared rusty upon his return at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, where he missed the cut. However, he quickly returned to form and ended the year by winning six consecutive tour events. At the season's close, Woods had 54 total wins that included 12 majors; he had broken the tour records for both total wins and total majors wins over eleven seasons.
Buick Invitational: Won his first start of the season for the fourth time in 11 seasons on TOUR. Became the first player in Buick Invitational history to win the tournament four times (1999, 2003, 2005-06). Made an eight-foot birdie on 72nd hole to get into a three-man playoff with Jose Maria Olazabal and Nathan Green. Green was eliminated after first hole, Olazabal on the second.
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.