Woods had a much anticipated return to golf in 2009, when he performed well. His comeback included a spectacular performance at the 2009 Presidents Cup, but he failed to win a major, the first year since 2004 that he had not done so. After his marital infidelities came to light and received massive media coverage at the end of 2009 (see further details below), Woods announced in December that he would be taking an indefinite break from competitive golf. In February 2010, he delivered a televised apology for his behavior, saying "I was wrong and I was foolish." During this period, several companies ended their endorsement deals with Woods.
Woods had a poor showing at the 2013 U.S. Open as a result of an elbow injury that he sustained at The Players Championship. In finishing at 13-over-par, he recorded his worst score as a professional and finished 12 strokes behind winner Justin Rose. After a prolonged break because of the injury, during which he missed the Greenbrier Classic and his own AT&T National, he returned at the Open Championship at Muirfield. Despite being in contention all week and beginning the final round only two strokes behind Lee Westwood, he struggled with the speed of the greens and could only manage a 3-over-par 74 that left him tied for 6th place, five strokes behind eventual winner Phil Mickelson. Two weeks later, Woods returned to form at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, recording his 5th win of the season and 8th win at the event in its 15-year history. His second round 61 matched his record score on the PGA Tour and could easily have been a 59 were it not for some short missed birdie putts on the closing holes. This gave him a seven-stroke lead that he held onto for the rest of the tournament. Woods would never contend at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club and would come short of winning a major for the 5th full season, only contending in two of the four majors in 2013.
THE PLAYERS Championship: Withdrew on the seventh hole in the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship with a lingering neck injury that caused tingling in the fingers in his right hand. Shot 70-71-71 in first three rounds. It was the third time he has withdrawn from a TOUR event as a professional (2006 Northern Trust Open, 1998 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am). Also withdrew from the 1995 U.S. Open as an amateur.
On February 19, 2010, Woods gave a televised statement in which he said he had undertaken a 45-day therapy program that began at the end of December. He again apologized for his actions. "I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to," he said. "I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them. I was wrong. I was foolish." He said he did not know yet when he would be returning to golf. On March 16, he announced that he would play in the 2010 Masters.
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World Golf Championships-American Express Championship: Picked up his fourth World Golf Championships-American Express Championship victory by coming from two strokes back and defeating John Daly in a two-hole playoff at Harding Park GC in San Francisco. Won for the 10th time in 19 World Golf Championships starts and improved his career playoff record to 8-1. The win was his ninth in California.
In August 2016, Woods announced that he would be seeking a new golf equipment partner after the news of Nike's exit from the equipment industry. It was announced on January 25, 2017, that he would be signing a new club deal with TaylorMade. He added the 2016 M2 driver along with the 2017 M1 fairway woods, with irons to be custom made at a later date. He also added his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS, a club he used to win 13 of his 15 majors. Also, in late 2016, he would add Monster Energy as his primary bag sponsor, replacing MusclePharm.
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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.
The Open Championship: Earned 10th professional major title at The Open Championship at age 29 years, 6 months and 17 days in his 35th major as a professional. Posted rounds of 66-67-71-70–274 at St. Andrews to defeat nearest challenger Colin Montgomerie by five strokes. The youngest and quickest to win each of the four major championships twice. Jack Nicklaus was the first to accomplish the feat at 31 years, 1 month and 7 days when he won his second PGA in 1971 in his 37th major as a professional. Sixth player in The Open Championship history to win in wire-to-wire fashion–Ted Ray (1912), Bobby Jones (1927), Gene Sarazen (1932), Henry Cotton (1934) and Tom Weiskopf (1973).
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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".
I agree about the doubts on the channel. I see a lot of first putts rolling by the hole with some speed and then they cut to the next tee. Or a ball is sitting next to a hazard but a drop was never discussed. Sometimes I wonder if they take extra takes on putts or what not. Their good rounds are not unbelievable by any means and they can be shot. Some of the editing and what not is what raises doubts.
Buick Invitational: Won his first start of the season for the fourth time in 11 seasons on TOUR. Became the first player in Buick Invitational history to win the tournament four times (1999, 2003, 2005-06). Made an eight-foot birdie on 72nd hole to get into a three-man playoff with Jose Maria Olazabal and Nathan Green. Green was eliminated after first hole, Olazabal on the second.
The Open Championship: Finished T6 at the 147 Open Championship at Carnoustie, his first top-10 in a major since at T6 at the 2013 Open Championship. Week was highlighted by a third-round 66, his lowest round in a major since a 66 in the second round of the 2011 Masters. Was just his second made cut (2018 Masters Tournament/T32) in his last six major starts. Posted rounds of 71-71-66-71, the first time since the 2010 Masters Tournament (T4) he recorded four par-or-better rounds in a major. Paired with eventual-champion Francesco Molinari, entered the final round four shots off the lead. Took the solo-lead at 7-under after nine holes, one ahead of Molinari and Jordan Spieth, but his lead disappeared with a double bogey at No. 11. Bogeyed No. 12 and birdied No. 14 before closing with four pars to finish at 5-under. The finish moved him to No. 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, returning to the top 50 for the first time since January 2015. The ranking also earned him a spot in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
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.
Won seven times en route to capturing the inaugural FedExCup, cruising through the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup with two wins and a T2 in three starts. Captured 13th career major championship (second all-time to Jack Nicklaus' 18) and finished the year with 61 official PGA TOUR victories, fifth all-time. Adjusted scoring average was 67.79, matching own record set in 2000. With 60 official rounds, won his seventh career Vardon Trophy and also captured the Byron Nelson Award.