Woods continued to excel in 2007 and the first part of 2008. In April 2008, he underwent knee surgery and missed the next two months on the tour.[78] Woods returned for the 2008 U.S. Open, where he struggled the first day but ultimately claimed a dramatic sudden death victory over Rocco Mediate that followed an 18-hole playoff, after which Mediate said, "This guy does things that are just not normal by any stretch of the imagination," and Kenny Perry added, "He beat everybody on one leg."[79] Two days later, Woods announced that he would miss the remainder of the season due to additional knee surgery, and that his knee was more severely damaged than previously revealed, prompting even greater praise for his U.S. Open performance. Woods called it "my greatest ever championship."[80] In Woods' absence, TV ratings for the remainder of the season suffered a huge decline from 2007.[81]

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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.[50] He selected a major in economics and was nicknamed "Urkel" by college teammate Notah Begay III.[51] In 1995, he successfully defended his U.S. Amateur title at the Newport Country Club in Rhode Island[44] 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).[52][53]
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.
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On February 5, 2015, Woods withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open after another back injury.[102] Woods stated on his website that it was unrelated to his previous surgery and he would take a break from golf until his back healed.[103] He returned for the Masters, finishing in a tie for 17th. In the final round, Woods injured his wrist after his club hit a tree root. He later stated that a bone popped out of his wrist, but he adjusted it back into place and finished the round.[104] Woods then missed the cut at the 2015 U.S. Open and Open Championship, the first time Woods missed the cut at consecutive majors, finishing near the bottom of the leaderboard both times.[105] He finished tied for 18th at the Quicken Loans National on August 2.[106] In late August 2015, Woods played quite well at the Wyndham Championship finishing the tournament at 13-under, only four strokes behind the winner, and tied for 10th place.[107] Woods offered only a brief comment on the speculation that he was still recovering from back surgery, saying it was "just my hip" but offering no specifics.[108]
Woods had back surgery on September 16, 2015. In late March 2016, he announced that he would miss the Masters while he recovered from the surgery;[109] he had also missed the 2014 Masters due to a back problem.[110] "I'm absolutely making progress, and I'm really happy with how far I've come," he explained in a statement. "But I still have no timetable to return to competitive golf."[111] However, he did attend the Masters Champions Dinner on April 5, 2016.[112] For the first time in his career, he missed all four majors in one year due to problems with his back. In October 2016, he told Charlie Rose on PBS that he still wanted to break Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major titles.[113] Woods underwent back surgery in December 2016 and spent the next 15 months off the Tour. He made his return to competitive golf in the Hero World Challenge.[114]

World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational: Collected his sixth title at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron. Won by eight strokes after a closing 5-under 65 at Firestone CC. Joined Jack Nicklaus (Masters/Augusta National), Sam Snead (Miami Open/Miami Springs G&CC) and Alex Ross (North & South Open/Pinehurst No. 2) as the only players to win six TOUR events on the same course.
the Memorial Tournament: Birdied the last two holes to shoot a final-round 65 and win the Memorial Tournament for the fourth time, beating Jim Furyk by one stroke. Trailed by four strokes entering the final round. Hit all 14 fairways in the final round and recorded his 20th come-from-behind victory in his 67th career victory. Chipped in for eagle from behind the green on the par-5 11th hole and was tied with Furyk, Jonathan Byrd and Davis Love III at 10-under with two holes remaining before his final surge.
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.
On May 29, 2017, Woods was arrested near his Jupiter Island, Florida, home by the Jupiter Police Department at about 3:00 am. EDT for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was asleep in his car, which was stationary in a traffic lane with its engine running. He later stated that he had taken prescription drugs and did not realize how they might interact together.[225] On July 3, 2017, Woods tweeted that he had completed an out-of-state intensive program to tackle an unspecified issue.[226] At his August 9, 2017 arraignment, Woods had his attorney Douglas Duncan submit a not guilty plea for him and agreed to take part in a first-time DUI offender program and attend another arraignment on October 25.[227][228]
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.
THE PLAYERS Championship: Kept streak alive of 12 career made cuts in as many attempts at THE PLAYERS, with eighth-place finish, snapping a string of six consecutive appearances at the event without a top-10 finish (dating back to his win in 2001). The six consecutive events without notching a top-10 finish represents his longest streak at any single event in his career.

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.
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