Following an outstanding junior, college, and amateur golf career, Woods turned professional in 1996 at the age of 20. By the end of April 1997, he had won three PGA Tour events in addition to his first major, the 1997 Masters, which he won by 12 strokes in a record-breaking performance. He reached number one in the world rankings for the first time in June 1997, less than a year after turning pro. Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, Woods was the dominant force in golf. He was the top-ranked golfer in the world from August 1999 to September 2004 (264 weeks) and again from June 2005 to October 2010 (281 weeks). During this time, he won 13 of golf's major championships.

World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational: Benefactor of a big change in momentum on Firestone CC's famous 16th hole in winning for the 70th time in his career with the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational victory. Trailing by one stroke, hit an 8-iron from 178 yards to within tap-in range for a birdie on the long par-5 16th. Meanwhile, Padraig Harrington, the third-round leader, hit from the collar of a bunker over the 16th green, but his delicate flop shot from behind the green came out hot, went into the water and he made a triple bogey-8 to give up the lead. Closed with consecutive 5-under 65s to reach 12-under and win by four strokes over Harrington and Robert Allenby. Became the first player in TOUR history to win the same event seven times on the same golf course. Also picked up 550 FedExCup points and extended his lead to 946 points. Joined Sam Snead (82) and Jack Nicklaus (73) as the only players to win 70 career TOUR events, but did so nearly seven years younger than Snead or Nicklaus.
U.S. Open Championship: Earned his eighth major championship, with the sixth wire-to-wire victory in U.S. Open history. Win was his seventh in his last 11 major championship appearances. Finished 3-under and won by three strokes over runner-up Phil Mickelson, the only other player to finish at par or better for the championship. Tied Tom Watson for fifth all time, with eight professional major victories. Became the fifth player to win the first two majors of the season, joining Craig Wood (1941), Ben Hogan (1951 and 1953), Palmer (1960) and Nicklaus (1972). In receiving the $1-million paycheck, became the first player to surpass the $30-million mark in career earnings and the first to exceed $4 million in four consecutive seasons.
Woods grew up in Orange County, California. He was a child prodigy who was introduced to golf before the age of two by his athletic father, Earl Woods. Earl was a single-digit handicap amateur golfer who also was one of the earliest African-American college baseball players at Kansas State University.[25] Tiger's father was a member of the military and had playing privileges at the Navy golf course beside the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, which allowed Tiger to play there. Tiger also played at the par 3 Heartwell golf course in Long Beach, as well as some of the municipals in Long Beach.[26]
During the 2013 Masters, Woods faced disqualification after unwittingly admitting in a post-round interview with ESPN that he had taken an illegal drop on the par-5 15th hole when his third shot had bounced off the pin and into the water. After further review of television footage, Woods was assessed a two-stroke penalty for the drop but was not disqualified.[97] He finished tied for fourth in the event. Woods won The Players Championship in May 2013, his second career win at the event, notching his fourth win of the 2013 season. It was the quickest he had gotten to four wins in any season in his professional career.
World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational: Benefactor of a big change in momentum on Firestone CC's famous 16th hole in winning for the 70th time in his career with the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational victory. Trailing by one stroke, hit an 8-iron from 178 yards to within tap-in range for a birdie on the long par-5 16th. Meanwhile, Padraig Harrington, the third-round leader, hit from the collar of a bunker over the 16th green, but his delicate flop shot from behind the green came out hot, went into the water and he made a triple bogey-8 to give up the lead. Closed with consecutive 5-under 65s to reach 12-under and win by four strokes over Harrington and Robert Allenby. Became the first player in TOUR history to win the same event seven times on the same golf course. Also picked up 550 FedExCup points and extended his lead to 946 points. Joined Sam Snead (82) and Jack Nicklaus (73) as the only players to win 70 career TOUR events, but did so nearly seven years younger than Snead or Nicklaus.
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard: Sank a 24-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat Bart Bryant and win the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard by one stroke, extending his PGA TOUR winning streak to five tournament starts. The win was the 64th of his career, tying Ben Hogan at No. 3 on the PGA TOUR career victory list.
Surgery: Pulled out of next two PGA TOUR starts, the Genesis Open and The Honda Classic. Released statement: "My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down. This is not what I was hoping for or expecting. I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and The Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week." In April, announced on his website he had undergone further back surgery. The operation was performed by Dr. Richard Guyer of the Center for Disc Replacement at the Texas Back Institute.

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.

Woods continued to excel in 2007 and the first part of 2008. In April 2008, he underwent knee surgery and missed the next two months on the tour.[78] Woods returned for the 2008 U.S. Open, where he struggled the first day but ultimately claimed a dramatic sudden death victory over Rocco Mediate that followed an 18-hole playoff, after which Mediate said, "This guy does things that are just not normal by any stretch of the imagination," and Kenny Perry added, "He beat everybody on one leg."[79] Two days later, Woods announced that he would miss the remainder of the season due to additional knee surgery, and that his knee was more severely damaged than previously revealed, prompting even greater praise for his U.S. Open performance. Woods called it "my greatest ever championship."[80] In Woods' absence, TV ratings for the remainder of the season suffered a huge decline from 2007.[81]

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.
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard: Birdied the 72nd hole to beat Sean O'Hair by one stroke and claim his sixth Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. Sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the final green, duplicating his last-putt heroics from two previous years (2001, 15-foot birdie putt to beat Phil Mickelson; 2008, 24-foot birdie putt to beat Bart Bryant). Matched his largest comeback after 54 holes (five strokes) with his victory. He also came back from five strokes behind after 54 holes to win the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (Mark Brooks and Matt Gogel). Out of 66 career wins, it was his 19th coming from behind. Became the first player to win six Arnold Palmer Invitational titles. The only other players with multiple victories at the event are Tom Kite (1982 and 1989) and Loren Roberts (1994-95).
The following year, Woods won his third consecutive U.S. Junior Amateur Championship; he remains the event's only three-time winner.[43] In 1994, at the TPC at Sawgrass in Florida, he became the youngest winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship, a record he held until 2008 when it was broken by Danny Lee.[44] He was a member of the American team at the 1994 Eisenhower Trophy World Amateur Golf Team Championships (winning), and the 1995 Walker Cup (losing).[45][46]

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.
Surpassed Greg Norman for most weeks at No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking following PGA Championship with his 332nd combined week at the top. Consecutive weeks reign at No. 1 ended at 264, as Vijay Singh took over world No. 1 on Sept. 6, the week following the Deutsche Bank Championship. Entered 2005 season with streak of 133 consecutive made cuts intact.

Tiger Woods Design has taken on two other courses, neither of which has materialized. In August 2007, Woods announced The Cliffs at High Carolina, a private course in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina.[201] After a groundbreaking in November 2008, the project suffered cash flow problems and suspended construction.[199] A third course, in Punta Brava, Mexico, was announced in October 2008, but incurred delays due to issues with permits and an environmental impact study.[199][202] Construction on the Punta Brava course has not yet begun.[199]
World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational: Finished T8 at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, which, coupled with his T3 at The Open Championship, gave him back-to-back top-10s in a season for first time since winning the 2009 BMW Championship and finishing runner-up at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. It also snapped a career-long streak of three starts in World Golf Championships events without a top-10. His 11 top-10s at the Bridgestone Invitational, seven of which are wins, is a tournament-high.
In August 2016, Woods announced that he would be seeking a new golf equipment partner[149] after the news of Nike's exit from the equipment industry.[150] It was announced on January 25, 2017, that he would be signing a new club deal with TaylorMade.[151] 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.[152] Also, in late 2016, he would add Monster Energy as his primary bag sponsor, replacing MusclePharm.[153]
Buick Invitational: In first start of PGA TOUR season at the Buick Invitational, came from two strokes back in the final round to post seventh consecutive TOUR victory, dating back to the 2006 Open Championship. Victory was fifth career Buick Invitational triumph, his third event with five-plus victories (CA Championship and Bridgestone Invitational, both six times), and the 55th of his PGA TOUR career.
the Memorial Tournament: Birdied the last two holes to shoot a final-round 65 and win the Memorial Tournament for the fourth time, beating Jim Furyk by one stroke. Trailed by four strokes entering the final round. Hit all 14 fairways in the final round and recorded his 20th come-from-behind victory in his 67th career victory. Chipped in for eagle from behind the green on the par-5 11th hole and was tied with Furyk, Jonathan Byrd and Davis Love III at 10-under with two holes remaining before his final surge.

In 1997, Woods and fellow golfer Arnold Palmer initiated a civil case against Bruce Matthews (the owner of Gotta Have It Golf, Inc.) and others in the effort to stop the unauthorized sale of their images and alleged signatures in the memorabilia market. Matthews and associated parties counterclaimed that Woods and his company, ETW Corporation, committed several acts including breach of contract, breach of implied duty of good faith, and violations of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.[147] Palmer also was named in the counter-suit, accused of violating the same licensing agreement in conjunction with his company Arnold Palmer Enterprises.
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Woods is registered as an independent voter.[233] In January 2009, Woods delivered a speech commemorating the military at the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.[234] In April 2009, Woods visited the White House while promoting the golf tournament he hosts, the AT&T National.[235] In December 2016 and again in November 2017, Woods played golf with President Donald Trump at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.[236]

In October 2007, Gatorade announced that Woods would have his own brand of sports drink starting in March 2008. "Gatorade Tiger" was his first U.S. deal with a beverage company and his first licensing agreement. Although no figures were officially disclosed, Golfweek magazine reported that it was for five years and could pay him as much as $100 million.[144] The company decided in early fall 2009 to discontinue the drink due to weak sales.[145] 

Woods collaborated closely with TAG Heuer to develop the world's first professional golf watch, which was released in April 2005.[139] The lightweight, titanium-construction watch, designed to be worn while playing the game, incorporates numerous innovative design features to accommodate golf play. It is capable of absorbing up to 5,000 Gs of shock, far in excess of the forces generated by a normal golf swing.[139] In 2006, the TAG Heuer Professional Golf Watch won the prestigious iF product design award in the Leisure/Lifestyle category.[140]
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