Farmers Insurance Open: In his first official PGA TOUR start in over a year, carded rounds of 72-71-70-72 to finish T23 at the Farmers Insurance Open, his 17th start in the event. Marked his first time playing the weekend at Torrey Pines since 2014, with a WD and missed cut in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Stats for the week included: 17 of 56 fairways, 42 of 72 greens in regulation and 110 putts.
Fluff Cowan served as Woods' caddie from the start of his professional career until Woods dismissed him in March 1999. He was replaced by Steve Williams, who became a close friend of Woods and is often credited with helping him with key shots and putts. In June 2011, Woods dismissed Williams after he caddied for Adam Scott in the U.S. Open and replaced him with friend Bryon Bell on an interim basis. Joe LaCava, a former caddie of both Fred Couples and Dustin Johnson, was hired by Woods shortly after and has remained Woods' caddie since then.
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Bay Hill Invitational presented by Cooper Tires: Earned his third consecutive victory at the Bay Hill Invitational, the first player to win three different TOUR events (the Memorial Tournament from 1999 to 2001) and the World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational (also 1999 to 2001) three consecutive times. Entered the final round with a one-shot lead over Len Mattiace and carded a 3-under 69 to win by four over runner-up Michael Campbell. With his 30th career PGA TOUR victory, he surpassed Nicklaus for most wins before age 30.
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard: In his first start in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard since his win in 2013, finished T5 after a final-round 69. Was five strokes back of leader Henrik Stenson after 54 holes, and got to within one of the lead with three holes to play, but posted back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17. Improved to 118-under par at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, 44 strokes better than the next best player (Vijay Singh, 74-under). Marked his 10th top-10 (eight wins) in 18 starts at the event.
On February 5, 2015, Woods withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open after another back injury. 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. 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. 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. He finished tied for 18th at the Quicken Loans National on August 2. 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. 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.
“I went to my first Olympic Games when it was in Los Angeles [in 1984]. So now to have the opportunity to be a part of the Olympics, because golf in my lifetime wasn’t a part of the Olympics, is an important aspect for us and the growth of the game. The game has become so global, and so reaching, that I think the Olympic Games is a great extension of that and I’d like to be a part of it.”
The next decade of Woods' career was marked by comebacks from personal problems and injuries. He took a self-imposed hiatus from professional golf from December 2009 to early April 2010 in an attempt to resolve marital issues with his then-wife, Elin. Extramarital affairs with Woods had been alleged by several women, and the couple eventually divorced. Woods fell to number 58 in the world rankings in November 2011 before ascending again to the No.1 ranking between March 2013 and May 2014. However, injuries led him to undergo four back surgeries between 2014 and 2017. Woods competed in only one tournament between August 2015 and January 2018, and he dropped off the list of the world's top 1,000 golfers. On his return to regular competition, Woods made steady progress to the top of the game, winning his first tournament in five years at the Tour Championship in September 2018 and his first major in 11 years at the 2019 Masters.
Masters Tournament: Won the Masters Tournament by one stroke to claim his fifth tournament title, 15th major championship crown and 81st PGA TOUR victory at age 43 years, 3 months, 15 days. Moved within one of Sam Snead’s record for PGA TOUR wins. Became the second-oldest winner of the Masters (Jack Nicklaus/1986/46 years, 2 months, 23 days) and seventh player in his 40s to win the event. Entered the final round trailing Francesco Molinari by two strokes and had never previously come from behind after 54 holes to win a major. 11 years removed from his win at the 2008 U.S. Open, his most recent major championship, became the first player since Ben Crenshaw (1984 Masters, 1995 Masters) to go 11 years or more between wins at majors. Recorded the victory 14 years after winning most recently at Augusta National Golf Club, the longest such streak through 83 editions of the event (previous: Gary Player/13). Made the Masters the seventh PGA TOUR event at which he has collected five or more victories.
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.