Tiger Woods had just celebrated his 33rd birthday, the days going by slowly as he endured rehabilitation from major knee surgery and attempted to reassemble the pieces of a golf swing that had won him the U.S. Open a few months earlier.
The questions in early 2009 were about when he would return to competition, how his knee would respond and whether it would have any impact on his chase of Jack Nicklaus‘ record of 18 major championships. It was a long way removed from what would unfold later in the year, when Woods’ personal life unraveled due to an infidelity scandal that played out for months and months.
Although Woods rebounded from his personal woes to win again — it would take more than two years — he would need nearly 10 more years before he added that major title that seemed a formality back then.
Here is a rundown of the events leading up to Woods’ Thanksgiving 2009 car accident that altered his life and career path — and the key events that followed through the decade and his 82nd PGA Tour victory, which tied Sam Snead for the record.
Before the scandal
Feb. 25, 2009
Returns to the PGA Tour after eight months away due to surgery to replace the ACL in his left knee that occurred just days after winning the U.S. Open, his 14th major title, in a playoff over Rocco Mediate. Woods makes it to the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, where he is defeated by Tim Clark.
March 29, 2009
Stuns Sean O’Hair by coming from five strokes back at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, converting a birdie putt on the 18th hole at Bay Hill to capture his first tournament title since the 2008 U.S. Open in just his third start after returning from knee surgery.
July 17, 2009
Coming off his third victory of the year at the AT&T National and having posted eight top-10 finishes — including three wins — in nine starts, Woods surprisingly misses the cut at The Open after rounds of 71-74 at Turnberry. It is his first missed cut as a pro at The Open and just his third as a pro in major championships.
Aug. 16, 2009
Following consecutive victories at the Buick Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Woods goes for three in a row at the PGA Championship, where he has a four-shot lead through 36 holes and a two-shot advantage heading into the final round. But unheralded Y.E. Yang shoots a final-round 70 to Woods’ 75. It was the first time Woods failed to hold on to a 54-hole lead in a major championship.
Sept. 13, 2009
Cruises to an eight-shot victory with a final-round 68 at the BMW Championship, his sixth win of the year on the PGA Tour.
Sept. 27, 2009
Finishes second to Phil Mickelson by three strokes at the Tour Championship but wraps up his second FedEx Cup title in three years.
Nov. 15, 2009
Posts a seventh worldwide victory of the year by shooting a final-round 68 at Kingston Heath to capture the Australian Masters in Melbourne.
Nov. 25, 2009
A story published by the National Enquirer alleges Woods was having an affair with a New York woman named Rachel Uchitel, who had been with Woods while he competed in Australia. She later denied the report.
The scandal erupts
Nov. 27, 2009
Woods crashes his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant and a neighbor’s tree early Friday morning following Thanksgiving. The incident happened just yards from his Florida home. Woods’ wife, Elin, used a golf club to smash a back window as Tiger lay unconscious. Woods was briefly hospitalized.
Nov. 29, 2009
Woods releases a statement on his website taking blame for an “embarrassing” crash and saying that “This situation is my fault, and it’s obviously embarrassing to my family and me. I’m human and I’m not perfect. I will certainly make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Nov. 30, 2009
Citing the injuries suffered in the accident, Woods withdraws from the Chevron World Challenge, the annual tournament that benefits his foundation and is run by his staff. He says he will not compete again until next year.
Dec. 1, 2009
The Florida Highway Patrol announces that Woods faces a $164 fine for careless driving and four demerit points against his driver’s license. He will not face criminal charges. The same day, Us Weekly magazine says it has a cover story in which Jaimee Grubbs, a 31-year-old cocktail waitress, says she had an affair with Woods for more than two years and has text messages to prove it.
Dec. 2, 2009
Woods admits to unspecified “transgressions” that he regrets “with all my heart” in a statement on his website. “I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves,” he said. “I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.”
Dec. 9, 2009
Grubbs, on a syndicated entertainment show, apologizes to Woods’ family for her affair with the golfer.
Dec. 11, 2009
The Sun, a British tabloid, reports that Woods is ready to quit golf to save his marriage. Woods releases a statement the same day on his website saying he is taking an indefinite leave from golf to work on saving his marriage. “After much soul-searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf,” Woods said. “I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father and person.”
Dec. 12, 2009
Gillette, one of Woods’ sponsors, says it will phase him out of its advertisements while he takes time away from the game.
Dec. 13, 2009
Accenture Ltd. becomes the first major sponsor to completely cut ties with Woods, saying the golfer is “no longer the right representative” after the “circumstances of the last two weeks.” Woods had made his return at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February.
Dec. 15, 2009
The New York Times reports that Woods is linked to Canadian doctor Anthony Galea, who is under investigation for providing athletes with performance-enhancing drugs. The report says Galea visited Woods’ home four times as Woods was recovering from knee surgery to provide “blood spinning” — a legal procedure — to help speed recovery.
Dec. 16, 2009
Woods is voted Athlete of the Decade by The Associated Press. According to the AP, more than half of the ballots were returned after his Nov. 27 accident. Woods received 56 of 142 votes cast after November. Lance Armstrong had 33 votes and Roger Federer had 25.
Dec. 17, 2009
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem speaks for the first time and attempts to dispel the “doom-and-gloom” outlook for golf without Woods, while acknowledging that “no sport would be at the same level without its No. 1 player.” On the same day, Woods is voted Player of the Year for 2009 by the Golf Writers Association of America.
Dec. 18, 2009
Dr. Anthony Galea’s lawyer says Woods is in no way linked to the criminal charges brought against his client. The PGA Tour announces that Woods has won its Player of the Year honor, voted on by players.
Dec. 31, 2009
AT&T becomes the second sponsor to break ties with Woods. The company will continue to sponsor the AT&T National, which benefits Woods’ foundation, but Woods will not be the tournament host.
Jan. 16, 2010
Several reports indicate Woods has checked into a sexual addiction treatment facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Four days later, a celebrity website posts photos from the National Enquirer that show Woods at the facility.
Feb. 11, 2010
Woods leaves inpatient therapy after 45 days and returns to his Florida home.
Feb. 19, 2010
In a 13½-minute statement televised to a worldwide audience from PGA Tour headquarters in Florida, Woods makes his first public comments since the scandal began but takes no questions. “I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was not acceptable,” Woods says to a room full of family members, supporters and three journalists. “For all that I have done, I am so sorry. I have a lot to atone for, but there’s one issue I really want to discuss. Some people have speculated that Elin somehow hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving night. It hurts me that people would fabricate a story like that.” Woods gives no indication when he will return to competitive golf.
Feb. 20, 2010
Woods leaves home for family counseling in Arizona.
Feb. 25, 2010
Gatorade ends its contract with Woods after having three years earlier announced plans to develop a branded drink called Gatorade Tiger.
March 3, 2010
Woods’ longtime caddie, Steve Williams, tells a New Zealand television show that he knew nothing about the golfer’s extramarital affairs and was angry with him about his behavior. “Tiger is one of my closest friends and needs my support right now,” Williams says. “And I’d never think of walking away.”
March 16, 2010
Woods issues a statement announcing his return to competitive golf at the Masters. “After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta,” he says.
March 21, 2010
Woods conducts his first television interviews, five minutes each with the Golf Channel and ESPN, in which parameters are set for him to be standing during each. He tells Golf Channel that he tried to stop having extramarital affairs but couldn’t; he tells ESPN he is “a little nervous” about the reception he will receive from spectators at the Masters. Read the entire interview here.
April 5, 2010
Woods takes questions from reporters for the first time in a surprising news conference set up by Augusta National on the Monday of tournament week. “Going forward, I need to be a better man than I was before,” he says.
April 7, 2010
In a harsh rebuke, Masters chairman Billy Payne — without prompting during his annual pre-tournament news conference — says Woods did not live up to his role model expectations and had “disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids.”
Golf and injuries
April 8, 2010
In the first round of the Masters, his first competition in five months, Woods shoots 68 at Augusta National — the first time he has broken 70 on the opening day of the tournament.
April 11, 2010
Woods begins the final round with a chance at victory, but falls out of contention and shoots 69, tying for fourth.
April 30, 2010
With a second-round 79 at the Quail Hollow Championship, Woods misses the 36-hole cut for just the sixth time in his career, with his score of 153, 9 over, the highest of his career.
May 9, 2010
During the final round of the Players Championship, Woods withdraws on the seventh hole with a neck injury he fears is a bulging disk.
May 10, 2010
Noticeably absent during the Players Championship, Hank Haney, Woods’ coach since 2004, says he is no longer his swing coach.
June 20, 2010
At Pebble Beach — where Woods won the U.S. Open by 15 strokes 10 years earlier, he is in the second-to-last group after a back-nine 31 on Saturday, but bogeys five of his first 10 holes on Sunday to fall out of contention and finish tied for fourth.
July 4, 2010
For the first time in 11 years, Woods fails to break par in any round of a PGA Tour event, tying for 46th at the AT&T National, where he had won the year prior.
July 18, 2010
After changing putters for the first time in 12 years, Woods is not a factor at St. Andrews, where he had won the previous two Opens. He ties for 23rd, 13 shots behind champion Louis Oosthuizen.
Aug. 8, 2010
At a place where he has won seven times, Woods beats just one player at Firestone during the Bridgestone Invitational, posting the highest 72-hole score of his career (298) to finish in a tie for 78th.
Aug. 10, 2010
At the PGA Championship, Woods asks instructor Sean Foley to videotape his swing during a practice round, leading to a formal working arrangement.
Aug. 15, 2010
Woods ties for 28th in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and fails to qualify for the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Aug. 23, 2010
Woods and Elin Nordegren are officially divorced.
Aug. 26, 2010
Woods opens with a 65 at The Barclays to share the 18-hole lead, the only time all year his name is atop a leaderboard.
Sept. 7, 2010
Woods is chosen by captain Corey Pavin as one of his four at-large picks for the Ryder Cup to be played in Wales.
Sept. 10, 2010
With a tie for 15th at the BMW Championship, Woods fails to qualify for the Tour Championship for the first time in his career.
Oct. 4, 2010
Woods has his best Ryder Cup, making seven birdies and an eagle in singles against Francesco Molinari, to go 3-1 overall. But the U.S. team loses 14½ to 13½.
Oct. 31, 2010
Woods’ record streak of 281 consecutive weeks atop the Official World Ranking comes to an end when Lee Westwood takes over the No. 1 spot.
Nov. 7, 2010
A final-round 68 means a tie for sixth at the HSBC Champions, officially ending Woods’ streak of 14 consecutive years with at least one PGA Tour victory.
Nov. 17, 2010
Woods tweets for the first time.
What’s up everyone. Finally decided to try out twitter!
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) November 17, 2010
He picks up more than 80,000 followers within the first 12 hours.
April 10, 2011
Woods is briefly tied for the lead during the final round of the Masters, where he shoots a final-round 67 to tie for fourth. But during the third round, he suffers an Achilles/knee injury while hitting a shot off pine straw, an injury that worsens and would eventually cause him to miss three months.
May 12, 2011
Woods returns at the Players Championship but, with his injury, shoots 42 for nine holes at TPC Sawgrass and withdraws. He doesn’t return until late in the summer.
July 20, 2011
Woods announces that he has parted ways with longtime caddie Steve Williams, who says he is “shocked” by the decision. The parting had actually come two weeks earlier, but the news was kept quiet until after The Open. Woods won 72 times, including 13 major championships, over 12 years with Williams as his caddie. Part of the alleged reason for the split was Williams’ decision to work for Adam Scott on an interim basis while Woods was out.
Aug. 4, 2011
After missing the U.S. Open and The Open, Woods returns to competitive golf at Firestone Country Club, where he has previously won seven times. But after an opening-round 68, he struggles, finishing in a tie for 37th, 18 strokes behind winner Adam Scott. Afterward, Steve Williams calls it “the greatest” of his caddie victories.
Aug. 11, 2011
Woods opens the PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club with a 77, assuring a missed cut and meaning Woods will not qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time.
Sept. 23, 2011
Following the final round of the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Woods announces that he is hiring veteran caddie Joe LaCava to work for him. LaCava, who had spent the majority of his caddie career with Fred Couples, had been working for Dustin Johnson.
Sept. 26, 2011
Despite having played just two tournaments since the Masters, Woods is selected by captain Fred Couples at one of his at-large selections for the Presidents Cup to be played in December. There was no drama, as Couples had said weeks earlier that Woods would be on the team.
Oct. 6, 2011
At Couples’ request, Woods makes a rare fall appearance, playing the Frys.com Open in California. After an opening-round 73, Woods is never a factor, but he does get better each day and ends up tied for 30th. Perhaps the biggest excitement of the week was when a spectator snuck under the ropes and threw a hot dog at Woods during the final round.
Nov. 13, 2011
Woods’ closest brush with victory since 2009 comes at the Australian Open, where rounds of 68-67 give him the 36-hole lead. A third-round 75 dooms his chances, but Woods rebounds with a final-round 67 to finish 2 strokes behind winner Greg Chalmers in third place.
Nov. 20, 2011
Woods earns the clinching point in the United States’ 19-15 Presidents Cup victory at Royal Melbourne as he wins his singles match, 4 and 3, over Aaron Baddeley. Woods goes 2-3 overall in the competition.
Dec. 4, 2011
At the Chevron World Challenge, Woods’ annual event to benefit his foundation, he shoots a final-round 69 to edge Zach Johnson by a stroke, winning for the first time since 2009. Although the victory is unofficial, it does come with world ranking points and boosts him to 21st in the world after he had been 50th following the Australian Open.
Jan. 18, 2012
Woods calls it “unprofessional” that his former coach, Hank Haney, is writing a book about their relationship, to be released prior to the Masters. “I think it’s unprofessional and very disappointing,” Woods says. “Especially because it’s someone I worked with and trusted as a friend.”
Jan 29, 2012
Skipping his traditional start at Torrey Pines, Woods heads to the Middle East for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, where a third-round 66 puts him on the brink of victory before he finishes in a tie for third, 2 strokes behind winner Robert Rock.
Feb. 12, 2012
For the first time in 10 years, Woods plays the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo as his amateur partner. And after rounds of 68-68-67, Woods finds himself grouped with Phil Mickelson for the final round, 3 strokes back of leader Charlie Wi. But it is all Phil on Sunday, as Lefty shoots 64 to win while Woods slumps to a final-round 75 to tie for 15th.
March 4, 2012
Woods puts a scare into Rory McIlroy as he rallies with a final-day 62 that includes an eagle on the 18th hole at the Honda Classic. He ends up 2 shots behind McIlroy but a week later withdraws during the final round at Doral due to an Achilles issue.
March 25, 2012
A final-round 70 is good enough for a 5-stroke victory over Graeme McDowell at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his first official win since December 2009 and first on the PGA Tour since September 2009.
June 3, 2012
With the help of a holed pitch shot from behind the 16th green, Woods shoots a final-round 67 to rally for a 2-shot victory at the Memorial, his second win of the year and fifth overall at Jack Nicklaus’ tournament. It is the 73rd PGA Tour victory of his career, tying him with the Golden Bear for second most behind Sam Snead.
July 1, 2012
A third victory of the year comes at the AT&T National, the tournament at Congressional that benefits Woods’ foundation. It comes the day after a severe storm meant playing before no spectators.
Aug. 12, 2012
After holding a share of the 36-hole lead in a major for the second time this year, Woods again has a poor third round, shooting 74 to fall off the pace at the PGA Championship at Kiawah, where Rory McIlroy notches his second major title. Woods ties for 11th.
Dec. 2, 2012
Woods ends his competitive golf year with a tied-for-fourth finish at the World Challenge, his foundation event in California, 8 strokes behind winner Graeme McDowell. Woods ends 2012 ranked third in the world.
Jan. 18, 2013
Woods begins the season with a trip to the Middle East, where he misses the cut by 1 stroke after a rules violation during the second round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Woods mistakenly took a drop from a ball embedded in sand, and the 2-shot penalty has him leaving early. It is the first and so far only time Woods has missed the cut in a non-PGA Tour event.
Jan. 27, 2013
Back on familiar turf at Torrey Pines, Woods races out to a big lead before the tournament plods to a Monday finish due to multiple fog delays. Woods eventually prevails by 4 shots at the Farmers Insurance Open, his seventh win at the San Diego venue and eighth overall as a pro.
March 10, 2013
With the help of a putting tip from Steve Stricker, Woods needs only a final-round 71 to defeat, of all people, Stricker by 2 shots in the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral.
March 20, 2013
Woods announces he is dating Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn.
March 24, 2013
Needing a Monday finish, Woods prevails over Justin Rose at Bay Hill to capture his eighth Arnold Palmer Invitational. The victory moves Woods back to No. 1 in the world for the first time since late 2010.
April 14, 2013
Woods ties for fourth at the Masters after a high-profile rules snafu during the second round in which he was deemed to have taken an improper drop after hitting his approach to the par-5 15th hole off the flagstick and into the water. At the time, a close birdie chance would have tied Woods for the lead. Instead, with the penalty strokes eventually handed down the next morning, Woods made an 8 on the hole and never recovered.
May 12, 2013
At a place that has traditionally given him fits, Woods prevails at TPC Sawgrass for his second Players Championship title. But he doesn’t escape controversy, as there is a mid-tournament spat with Sergio Garcia, as well as an issue with a penalty drop Woods took during the final round. It is his fourth victory of the year.
July 21, 2013
In contention at Muirfield heading into the final round, Woods shoots 74 while Phil Mickelson rallies with a 66 to capture the Claret Jug and The Open. When he fails to win the PGA Championship, Woods has gone more than five years and 18 major championships played without winning one of the Grand Slam events.
Aug. 4, 2013
Aided by a career-low-matching 61 in the second round, Woods cruises to a 7-shot victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, his seventh victory at Firestone Country Club. It would be his last win for more than five years.
Aug. 25, 2013
The first signs of back trouble appear for Woods, who drops to the ground in pain after hitting a shot during the final round of the Barclays at Liberty National. Woods ends up finishing second to Adam Scott.
Dec. 8, 2013
Woods ends his year by suffering a playoff defeat to Zach Johnson at the World Challenge.
March 2, 2014
After starting the year with poor performances at Torrey Pines (T80) and in Dubai (T41), Woods withdraws during the final round of the Honda Classic — after shooting a third-round 65 — with back issues.
March 9, 2014
His back sore, Woods plays the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral without a practice round and shoots a third-round 66 to get into contention. Then he swings awkwardly out of a bunker during the final round, shoots 78 without a bogey, and is in obvious distress.
April 1, 2014
Woods announces he will miss the Masters for the first time in 20 years, his lingering back problems making it impossible for him to play. He ends up having the first of four microdiscectomy surgeries to alleviate nerve pressure in his lower back.
— Rickie Fowler (@RickieFowler) March 4, 2012
June 26, 2014
Just more than two months following surgery, Woods returns to his tournament, the Quicken Loans National, at Congressional, where he misses the cut.
Aug. 3, 2014
Following a lackluster performance at The Open, Woods returns to defend his title at Firestone, but is again sidetracked, withdrawing in pain after just nine holes and putting the following week’s PGA Championship in doubt.
Aug. 8, 2014
Woods manages to tee it up at the PGA, but misses the cut, ending his season because he will not qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Aug. 25, 2014
Woods announces on his website that he has parted ways with instructor Sean Foley, who had worked with him dating to the 2010 PGA Championship.
Nov. 22, 2014
Woods announces that he has hired instructor Chris Como as a “swing consultant.”
Dec. 7, 2014
After an opening-round 77 at his former home course, Isleworth, Woods finishes tied for last in the 18-man Hero World Challenge, ending his year having played in just nine worldwide events and ranked 25th in the world.
Jan. 30, 2015
The new year begins ominously at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where Woods clearly has issues with his short game that some describe as “the yips.” A second-round 82 is just the second time in his pro career that he has failed to break 80.
Feb. 5, 2015
Woods plays just 11 holes at Torrey Pines before deciding to withdraw with lower-back stiffness. He would later announce he is taking an indefinite break from the game to work through various issues.
April 12, 2015
After considerable conjecture about his return, Woods makes his first start in nine weeks at the Masters, where his chipping woes seem to be gone and where a final-round 73 relegates him to a tie for 17th. It would be the only major championship of the year in which he made the cut.
May 3, 2015
Woods and Lindsey Vonn, in separate social media posts, announce that they have ended their relationship after nearly three years together.
June 6, 2015
A third-round 85 at the Memorial is the highest score of Woods’ professional career. It relegates him to a Sunday morning tee time, first off and alone. Thousands of spectators show up early at Muirfield Village to see him play by himself and shoot 74, finishing 71st, last among those who made the 36-hole cut.
June 18, 2015
An opening-round 80 at Chambers Bay is Woods’ third score in the 80s of the year and leads to a missed cut at the U.S. Open — just the second time in his career that he failed to qualify for the final 36 holes at the tournament.
July 16, 2015
Back at the Old Course, site of two of his major victories, Woods badly mishits his second shot on the opening hole and into the burn that fronts the green, opens with successive bogeys on his way to a 76, and misses the cut for just the second time at The Open.
Aug. 15, 2015
Another major, another missed cut for Woods, who can’t get it going at Whistling Straits, missing his fourth cut of the year.
Aug. 23, 2015
A surprise entrant at the Wyndham Championship, Woods shares the 36-hole lead in the regular-season-ending tournament before a final-round 70 relegates him to a tie for 10th — 4 strokes behind winner Davis Love III. It is Woods’ best finish in 11 tournaments, but he fails to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Sept. 16, 2015
Woods has microdiscectomy surgery for a second time to alleviate an impingement in a disk in his lower back. It is the same surgery Woods had performed on March 31, 2014, after which he didn’t play competitive golf for three months. He later says he expects a “long and tedious process” before he can return to competitive golf.
Tiger Woods shows his rust as he splashed down into the water on the 10th hole during an exhibition at Congressional Country Club
Oct. 28, 2015
Woods has another microdiscectomy surgery, adding more doubts about a hoped-for comeback in 2016.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) December 3, 2015
Dec. 1, 2015
Woods is downcast during a news conference at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas in advance of the Hero World Challenge, saying he doesn’t see “light at the end of the tunnel” and speaking about any other success in his career going forward being “gravy.” He offers no timetable on his return.
Dec. 30, 2015
Woods celebrates his 40th birthday.
Feb. 24, 2016
After reports circulate that Woods is in tremendous discomfort, he posts a video to Twitter of him using a simulator to hit a golf shot.
Progressing nicely. pic.twitter.com/HKnnluR1OW
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) February 24, 2016
March 31, 2016
Despite his not having played competitive golf since August at the Wyndham Championship and undergoing two back procedures, there is considerable conjecture that Woods will play the Masters. However, he announces on his website that he will miss the year’s first major championship for the second time in three years.
April 25, 2016
In what he says are the first holes he has played since the Wyndham Championship, Woods plays five holes alongside fellow major champion Mark O’Meara at the opening of Woods’ golf course design near Houston called Bluejack National.
May 16, 2016
In an appearance at Congressional to promote the Quicken Loans National, Woods hits three balls in a ceremony at an upfront tee on the par-3 10th hole. All three, with a wedge, find the water.
Tiger Woods shows his rust as he splashed down into the water on the 10th hole during an exhibition at Congressional Country Club
June 22, 2016
At a news conference on the day prior to the Quicken Loans National, Woods sounds more confident about a comeback, but commits to no future tournaments after having just missed the U.S. Open — now having missed eight major championships going back to his 2008 knee surgery. He would go on to miss The Open and the PGA Championship as well, missing all of the majors in 2016.
Sept. 7, 2016
Woods announces that he will return in a month at the Safeway Open, and also says he will play a tournament in Turkey as well as his Hero World Challenge.
Oct. 10, 2016
Having officially committed just three days earlier, Woods withdraws from the Safeway Open on the Monday of tournament week, saying his “game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be.” He also pulls out of the Turkish Airlines Open.
Michael Eaves and Bob Harig break down the odd timing of Tiger Woods’ decision to not return at the Safeway Open and why he isn’t expected to get back to competitive golf until December.
Nov. 27, 2016
On the Sunday prior to the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, Woods is on the driving range, testing clubs and looking good. “I’m not dead yet,” he quips as he is about to compete for the first time in 15 months.
Dec. 4, 2016
A final-hole double-bogey and a final-round 76 at Albany Golf Club do not change the mood in what has been a promising week. Woods finishes 15th out of 17 players and ends the week ranked 650th in the world.
Jan. 26, 2017
With guarded optimism after a seemingly cautious approach to his latest return, Woods opens the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines with a 76 and then shoots 72 in the second round to miss the cut.
Feb. 2, 2017
After a 15-hour trip to the Middle East, Woods looks to be in considerable distress as he plays the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, shooting a 77 with no birdies. A day later, he withdraws prior to the second round, citing back spasms. His future is in doubt again.
April 5, 2017
Woods attends the Champions Dinner at Augusta National on the eve of the Masters, where he will miss his fifth consecutive major championship. He later reveals he needed a nerve block just to attend, and leaves that night for London, where he is to meet with consultants about how to treat his back.
April 19, 2017
Woods undergoes spinal fusion surgery, the fourth operation on his back and the most serious, performed by Dr. Richard Guyer at the Texas Back Institute. He is told he cannot swing a golf club for six months.
May 29, 2017
Woods is arrested miles from his Florida home after police officers discover him asleep at the wheel of his car. Toxicology reports later reveal he had five drugs in his system — including painkillers. Video of the arrest goes viral and Woods later enters a plea and a diversion program and undergoes counseling.
Sept. 26, 2017
During a news conference at Liberty National where he is a Presidents Cup assistant captain, Woods expresses optimism about a return to competitive golf yet cautions that “I don’t know what my future holds for me.” He has only recently begun hitting chip shots.
Tiger Woods admits he’s not sure what his future holds for him.
Dec. 3, 2017
Starting the tournament ranked 1,199th in the world and playing for the first time since February, Woods shoots a final-round 68 at the Hero World Challenge to finish ninth in the 18-player field, the first start in his comeback from spinal fusion surgery.
The return to glory
Jan. 28, 2018
Making his first official PGA Tour start in a year, Woods ties for 28th at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
March 11, 2018
In just his fourth start, Woods contends at the Valspar Championship before coming up 1 shot short of Paul Casey. It is his best finish in any worldwide tournament since he lost in a playoff at the 2013 World Challenge.
Sunday club twirl.
Yes, please. 🔂 pic.twitter.com/oFLwXV3EFk
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 11, 2018
March 13, 2018
Woods is named by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan as 2019 U.S. Presidents Cup captain.
March 18, 2018
Woods again makes a move to get into contention before pumping a tee shot out of bounds on the 16th hole of the final round, eventually tying for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
July 22, 2018
After not being a factor at the Masters (tied for 32nd) and U.S. Open (missed cut), Woods makes a serious run at the Claret Jug, tying for the lead on the back nine at Carnoustie before tying for sixth at The Open. The finish barely moves him into the top 50 in the world, giving him a spot at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, to be played at Firestone — where he has won eight times — for the final time.
Aug. 12, 2018
With a final-round 64 — his best score on the final day of a major championship — Woods finishes second at Bellerive to Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship.
Sept. 23, 2018
In his 18th start of the year, and just 17 months after spinal fusion surgery, Woods wins for the first time in five years, capturing the Tour Championship at East Lake as a huge celebratory crowd rushes behind him to the 18th green. It is his 80th career PGA Tour victory and moves him to 13th in the world.
Experience Tiger’s 2018 Tour Championship Win Again
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Sept. 30, 2018
Woods is clearly spent in France, a week after his big triumph in Atlanta, losing his singles match at the Ryder Cup to Jon Rahm and going 0-4 in another U.S. losing effort. Woods has played in eight Ryder Cups, and played on just one winning team, in 1999.
Jan. 27, 2019
With a final-round 67 at Torrey Pines, Woods opens his 2019 season with a tie for 20th at the Farmers Insurance Open.
March 4, 2019
After steady improvement in his first three events of the year, Woods withdraws from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, citing a neck strain. He returns the following week at the Players Championship.
March 30, 2019
In his final tune-up prior the Masters, Woods defeats Rory McIlroy in a Saturday-morning quarterfinal match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship prior to losing that afternoon to Lucas Bjerregaard. Woods is credited with a tie for fifth.
Twenty-two years after hugging his father to celebrate his first Masters win, Tiger Woods embraces his children after winning his fifth title at Augusta.
April 14, 2019
Nearly two years to the day of his spinal fusion surgery, Woods shoots a final-round 70 and for the first time comes from behind to win a major championship, taking the Masters by 1 stroke over Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele. It is Woods’ 15th major title, first in 11 years and first Masters since 2005. It is his 81st PGA Tour title.
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Aug. 18, 2019
Woods completes a disappointing summer with a tie for 37th at the BMW Championship, failing to qualify for the Tour Championship and final FedEx Cup playoff event. In the six events he played following the Masters, Woods’ best finish is a tie for ninth at the Memorial; he missed the cut in two major championships.
Aug. 20, 2019
Woods has an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee — the fifth time that knee has been operated on — and later says the knee hindered him throughout the summer and that he had put the procedure off. He says he will be ready in time for the Zozo Championship in Japan.
Oct. 28, 2019
Making his first fall start as part of the wraparound schedule, Woods overcomes bogeys on the first three holes of the tournament to shoot 19 under par — with 27 birdies — and win the first PGA Tour event in Japan, the Zozo Championship. It is his 82nd PGA Tour victory, tying the record of Sam Snead, and moves him to No. 6 in the world.
Nov. 7, 2019
Woods picks himself to play on the U.S. Presidents Cup team at Royal Melbourne Dec. 12-15, where he will be the first playing captain since Hale Irwin in the inaugural event in 1994.