Chevron World Challenge: Lost in a playoff to Graeme McDowell at the Chevron World Challenge. It was the first time as a professional that he lost after holding a three-shot-or-more lead entering the final round. McDowell drained a 20 foot putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff and then made a 25 foot putt on the first playoff hole (No. 18) to capture the win. The world's No. 2-ranked player missed a 14-foot putt that would have extended the playoff. He has finished in the top two at this event in eight of his 10 starts.
On December 2, following Us Weekly's previous day reporting of a purported mistress and subsequent release of a voicemail message allegedly left by Woods for the woman, Woods released a further statement. He admitted transgressions and apologized to "all of those who have supported [him] over the years", while reiterating his and his family's right to privacy. Over the next few days, more than a dozen women claimed in various media outlets to have had affairs with Woods. On December 11, he released a third statement admitting to infidelity and he apologized again. He also announced that he would be taking "an indefinite break from professional golf."
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Buick Invitational: In first start of PGA TOUR season at the Buick Invitational, came from two strokes back in the final round to post seventh consecutive TOUR victory, dating back to the 2006 Open Championship. Victory was fifth career Buick Invitational triumph, his third event with five-plus victories (CA Championship and Bridgestone Invitational, both six times), and the 55th of his PGA TOUR career.
In November 2003, Woods became engaged to Elin Nordegren, a Swedish former model and daughter of former minister of migration Barbro Holmberg and radio journalist Thomas Nordegren. They were introduced during The Open Championship in 2001 by Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik, who had employed her as an au pair. They married on October 5, 2004, at the Sandy Lane resort in Barbados, and lived at Isleworth, a community in Windermere, a suburb of Orlando, Florida. In 2006, they purchased a $39-million estate in Jupiter Island, Florida, and began constructing a 10,000-square-foot home; Woods moved there in 2010 following the couple's divorce.
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.
Deutsche Bank Championship: Paired with Vijay Singh in final round of Deutsche Bank Championship to determine who would be World No. 1 at the end of play on Labor Day. Entered Monday's final round needing to make up a three-stroke deficit to Singh but both players shot 2-under 69 and he ended up with his 14th career runner-up finish and the No. 2 spot in the World for the first time since August 1999.
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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.
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.
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.
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).
When Woods won the 2001 Masters, he became the only player to win four consecutive major professional golf titles, although not in the same calendar year. This achievement came to be known as the "Tiger Slam." Following a stellar 2001 and 2002 in which he continued to dominate the tour, Woods' career hit a slump. He did not win a major in 2003 or 2004. In September 2004, Vijay Singh overtook Woods in the Official World Golf Rankings, ending Woods' record streak of 264 weeks at No. 1.
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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.