Despite his power advantage, Woods has always focused on developing an excellent all-around game. Although in recent years[when?] he has typically been near the bottom of the Tour rankings in driving accuracy, his iron play is generally accurate, his recovery and bunker play is very strong, and his putting (especially under pressure) is possibly his greatest asset. He is largely responsible for a shift to higher standards of athleticism amongst professional golfers, and is known for utilizing more hours of practice than most.
Woods turned pro at age 20 in August 1996 and immediately signed advertising deals with Nike, Inc. and Titleist that ranked as the most lucrative endorsement contracts in golf history at that time. Woods was named Sports Illustrated's 1996 Sportsman of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. On April 13, 1997, he won his first major, the Masters, in record-breaking fashion and became the tournament's youngest winner at age 21. Two months later, he set the record for the fastest ascent to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings. After a lackluster 1998, Woods finished the 1999 season with eight wins, including the PGA Championship, a feat not achieved since Johnny Miller did it in 1974.
World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship: At 19-under 269, finished two strokes clear of Steve Stricker to win the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and become the TOUR's first multiple winner of the season. His 76th career PGA TOUR win and 17th World Golf Championships victory came at age 37 years, 2 months, 10 days in his 297th (283rd professional) career TOUR start. After posting the most birdies of his career through 36 and 54 holes, finished with 27 for the week, just one shy of a career-high 28 at the 2007 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and 2006 Buick Open. Entered the final round with a four-stroke lead over Graeme McDowell, with his final-round, 1-under 71 leading to the victory (the 51st time in 55 attempts he has carried the third-round lead on to victory). Received putting tips from Stricker on Wednesday, with the two (Stricker finished No. 1) going on to finish as the top-two players in the field in Strokes Gained-Putting. Finished the week with a career-low 100 putts. The Cadillac Championship represents the fourth PGA TOUR event he has won seven times (World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational and Farmers Insurance Open). The Cadillac Championship win was his first World Golf Championships victory since the 2009 Bridgestone Invitational. From 1999-2009, he did not go an entire season without winning at least one World Golf Championships title.
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.
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am: Searching for his first PGA TOUR win since the 2009 BMW Championship, carded a final-round 3-over 75 and was unable to match playing partner Phil Mickelson's stellar, 8-under 64 that led to victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Paired with Phil Mickelson for the 30th time in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event. The T15 finish came in his seventh start at the event and first since finishing T12 in 2002.
Wells Fargo Championship: With his best score of the week a 3-under 68 in the third round, finished T55 in his first start at the Wells Fargo Championship since 2012. Failed to record a birdie in the final round (3-over 74). It was the 11th time in his career as a professional where he failed to post a birdie in a round, and the first time since the final round of the 2014 World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship (at Doral).
THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola: Entered the TOUR Championship No. 1 in the FedExCup standings and romped for his seventh victory of the season by eight over Mark Calcavecchia and Zach Johnson with rounds of 64-63-64-66–257 and captured the first FedExCup. Season earnings were a career-best $10,867,052. First player to win the TOUR Championship multiple times.
Progress! My handicap has come down from 11 (11.0) to 9 (9.2) in August 2017 across a run of three competition rounds out of four. Back in December 20... 16 I used the fault fixer to help improve ball-striking of my irons. MeAndMyGolf provided me with some videos to help with lag. And in August this started to feed through. MeAndMyGolf works for me better than one-on-one tuition with a teaching pro. I think this is because with the latter my swing is like a house of cards; all parts of the swing become up for grabs and I end up with no swing for at least a year. With MeAndMyGolf, I keep my swing private and only I know how to piece it all together; I can fix one thing at a time and integrate the change into my whole swing. So, on to the next fault to fix for 2018... Read More
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.
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