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]

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.


AT&T National: Surpassed Nicklaus on all-time PGA TOUR victories list, with his 74th, at the AT&T National, his second win at Congressional CC. Trails only Sam Snead's 82 PGA TOUR victories. Overcame a one-stroke deficit of 54-hole leader Brendon de Jonge, posting a final-round 69 to edge runner-up Bo Van Pelt by two strokes. Two-time FedExCup champion moved to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings for the first time in 100 weeks with his third victory of the campaign, the 12th time in his TOUR career he has compiled at least three wins in a season.
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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.
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.
A related effect was measured by University of California economist Jennifer Brown, who found that other golfers scored higher when competing against Woods than when he was not in the tournament. The scores of highly skilled golfers are nearly one stroke better when playing against Woods. This effect was larger when he was on winning streaks and disappeared during his well-publicized slump in 2003–04. Brown explains the results by noting that competitors of similar skill can hope to win by increasing their level of effort, but that, when facing a "superstar" competitor, extra exertion does not significantly raise one's level of winning while increasing risk of injury or exhaustion, leading to reduced effort.[163]

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Difficult season off the course, as he suffered the loss of father Earl after a long battle with cancer on May 3. Inside the ropes, World No. 1 dominated with eight victories, including two major titles (The Open Championship and PGA Championship). Entered the 2007 season with a TOUR streak of six consecutive victories. Led the TOUR in scoring average (68.11) but not eligible for seventh Vardon Trophy as he did not play 60 competitive rounds. Won Byron Nelson Award for low scoring average.


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.
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard: At the Arnold Palmer Invitational, earned his 72nd career PGA TOUR win, and his seventh Bay Hill tournament title, with a five-shot win over Graeme McDowell. After a second-round 65, he was tied with Charlie Wi for the 36-hole lead. Added a 1-under 71 Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over McDowell into the final round. After a bogey at the second hole Sunday, he reeled off birdies on Nos. 3, 4, 6 and 8 to take control. Had eight pars and a bogey on the back nine.
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]
When Woods was 13 years old, he played in the 1989 Big I, which was his first major national junior tournament. In the final round, he was paired with pro John Daly, who was then relatively unknown. The event's format placed a professional with each group of juniors who had qualified. Daly birdied three of the last four holes to beat Woods by only one stroke.[38] As a young teenager, Woods first met Jack Nicklaus in Los Angeles at the Bel-Air Country Club, when Nicklaus was performing a clinic for the club's members. Woods was part of the show, and he impressed Nicklaus and the crowd with his skills and potential.[39] Earl Woods had researched in detail the career accomplishments of Nicklaus and had set his young son the goals of breaking those records.[37]
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AT&T National: Won his own tournament, the AT&T National hosted by Tiger Woods, with a late birdie at Congressional CC. Was tied for the lead with Anthony Kim entering the final round and was tied at 12-under with Hunter Mahan late in the back nine. Made a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th hole and fired a closing 67 to get past Mahan and capture the title by one stroke. Mahan tied the course record with a 62 earlier in the day. The win was the third of the season, the 68th of his PGA TOUR career and moved him to the top of the FedExCup standings for the first time in 2009.
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