When Woods first joined the PGA Tour in 1996, his long drives had a large impact on the world of golf, but he did not upgrade his equipment in the following years. He insisted upon the use of True Temper Dynamic Gold steel-shafted clubs and smaller steel clubheads that promoted accuracy over distance. Many opponents caught up to him, and Phil Mickelson even made a joke in 2003 about Woods using "inferior equipment", which did not sit well with Nike, Titleist or Woods. During 2004, Woods finally upgraded his driver technology to a larger clubhead and graphite shaft, which, coupled with his clubhead speed, again made him one of the tour's longest players off the tee.
Genesis Open: As tournament host, finished 6-under and T15 in the Genesis Open, the only event on TOUR at which he has made double-digit starts and not earned a victory. Now has seven top-15s in 13 starts in this event. Made a 43-foot, 10-inch eagle putt at No. 1 in the second round, marking his longest putt made on TOUR since 2014 WGC-Mexico Championship. Played his first four holes of the third round 5-under (B-E-B-B) en route to a 6-under 65.
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.
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Masters Tournament: On Tuesday, April 15, two days after finishing second at the Masters, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in Park City, Utah, to repair cartilage damage. Expected to miss 4-6 weeks. It was the same knee operated on in 1994 for a benign tumor, followed by arthroscopic surgery in 2002. Began experiencing pain in mid-2007 when he injured his anterior cruciate ligament while running at home in Orlando following The Open Championship but opted not to have surgery at that time.
The foundation operates the Tiger Woods Learning Center, a $50-million, 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) facility in Anaheim, California, providing college-access programs for underserved youth. The TWLC opened in 2006 and features seven classrooms, extensive multi-media facilities and an outdoor golf teaching area. The center has since expanded to four additional campuses: two in Washington, D.C.; one in Philadelphia; and one in Stuart, Florida.
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PGA Championship: Despite not hitting a fairway until the 10th hole Sunday, made eight birdies and two bogeys to post a 6-under 64, tying the day's low round. Finished solo-second at 14-under 266, two strokes behind Brooks Koepka. The runner-up finished marked his 31st on the PGA TOUR and first time taking solo-second since the 2009 TOUR Championship. Was looking to tie Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen for most PGA Championship victories. A win would have marked his first major championship title since the 2008 U.S. Open, a span of 3,709 days.
After a slow start to 2014, Woods sustained an injury during the final round of the Honda Classic and was unable to finish the tournament. He withdrew after the 13th hole, citing back pain. He subsequently competed in the WGC-Cadillac Championship but was visibly in pain during much of the last round. He was forced to skip the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the end of March 2014, and after undergoing back surgery, he announced on April 1 that he would miss the Masters for the first time since 1994. Woods returned at the Quicken Loans National in June, however he stated that his expectations for the week were low. He would struggle with nearly every aspect of his game and miss the cut. He next played at The Open Championship, contested at Hoylake, where Woods had won eight years prior. Woods fired a brilliant 69 in the first round to put himself in contention, but shot 77 on Friday and would eventually finish 69th. Despite his back pain, he played at the 2014 PGA Championship where he failed to make the cut. On August 25, 2014, Woods and his swing coach Sean Foley parted ways. In the four years under Foley, he won eight times but no majors. He had previously won eight majors with Harmon and six with Haney. Woods said there is currently no timetable to find a replacement swing coach.
Ryder Cup: Was selected as a captain's pick for the United States in the Ryder Cup and made his eighth start in the biennial team event. Played in his first Ryder Cup since 2012 and failed to score any points for the U.S. in four matches played. Lost 2 and 1 to Jon Rahm in Singles as the Europeans regained the Ryder Cup with a 17.5-10.5 victory over the United States at Le Golf National in Paris, France.
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.
The year 2013 would bring a return of Woods' dominating play. In January, he won the Farmers Insurance Open by four shots for his 75th PGA Tour win. It was the seventh time he had won the event. In March, he won the WGC-Cadillac Championship, also for the seventh time, giving him his 17th WGC title and first since 2009. Two weeks later, he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, winning the event for a record-tying 8th time. The win moved him back to the top of the world rankings. To commemorate that achievement, Nike was quick to launch an ad with the tagline "winning takes care of everything".
Woods was 15 years old and a student at Western High School in Anaheim when he became the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur champion; this was a record that stood until it was broken by Jim Liu in 2010. He was named 1991's Southern California Amateur Player of the Year (for the second consecutive year) and Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player of the Year. In 1992, he defended his title at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, becoming the tournament's first two-time winner. He also competed in his first PGA Tour event, the Nissan Los Angeles Open (he missed the 36-hole cut), and was named Golf Digest Amateur Player of the Year, Golf World Player of the Year, and Golfweek National Amateur of the Year.