Tiger Woods Timeline: History of injuries, success and championships


Tiger Woods withdrew from the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational Monday due to a previously undisclosed “neck strain.”

Woods, 43, said he would pare back his schedule in 2019 after playing 18 PGA Tour events last year, plus the Ryder Cup, Hero World Challenge and his infamous “Match” with Phil Mickelson.

Woods has played three times in 2019. He competed at the Farmers Insurance Open, Genesis Open and WGC-Mexico Championship, where he finished T10 two weeks ago. Woods did not talk with reporters after the event in Mexico City and has not publicly disclosed any new injuries this year.

His current pre-Masters announced schedule included only the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship next week at TPC Sawgrass. He has won at Bay Hill a record eight times.

Woods underwent spinal fusion surgery in April 2017 and began his current comeback the following December. Since the 2017 Hero World Challenge, Woods has not missed any pro event (or the Ryder Cup) in which he was scheduled to play.

Here’s a look at some key moments in his life and career:

Tiger Woods – Quick Facts

Born: December 30, 1975
Birthplace: Cypress, California
Birth name: Eldrick Tont Woods
Parents: Earl Woods, Kultilda (Punsawad) Woods
Marriage: Elin Nordegren (October 5, 2004-August 23, 2010, divorced)
Children: Charlie Axel and Sam Alexis
Education: Stanford University, 1994-1996
Turned Pro: 1996
PGA Tour victories: 80
Major victories: 14
Career earnings: $115,846,945

Tiger Woods Timeline – The Early Years

1978: At the age of 2 on the “Mike Douglas Show,” Woods wins a putting contest with Bob Hope.
1980: Appears on “That’s Incredible.”
1991: Wins U.S. Junior Amateur golf championship. Woods is the youngest winner ever.
1992: Wins his second U.S. Junior Amateur golf championship.
February 27, 1992: Competes in his first PGA tournament at the age of 16 on a sponsor’s exemption.
1993: Wins his third US Junior Amateur golf championship.

Tiger Woods won the 1997 Masters and shocked the world.  (Sam Greenwood/PGA Tour)

Tiger Woods Timeline – Going Pro

1994-1996 – Wins three straight US Amateur golf championships.
August 27, 1996 – Turns professional.
1996 – Signs a five-year, $40 million deal with Nike.
1996 – Woods earns $790,594 as a rookie on the PGA Tour and adds a reported $43 million worth of endorsement deals.
January 21, 1997 – Announces the formation of the Tiger Woods Foundation.
April 13, 1997 – Wins Masters by greatest margin in history.
May 19, 1997 – Inks deal with American Express worth between $13 and $30 million.
June 1997 –  At 21 years, 24 weeks, he becomes the youngest player ever to hold the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Rankings.

PEBBLE BEACH, UNITED STATES: Tiger Woods kisses his trophy after winning the US Open at Pebble Beach, California 18 June 2000. Woods won with a score of 12-under-par. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/GEORGE FREY (Photo credit should read GEORGE FREY/AFP/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods won the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by 15 shots.  (George Frey)

Tiger Woods Timeline – Major steps

August 15, 1999 – Wins PGA championship.
June 18, 2000 –
Wins U.S. Open by 15 shots (right), the largest margin in US Open history.
July 23, 2000 – Wins Open Championship.
September 14, 2000 – His five-year endorsement contract with Nike is worth an estimated $85 million, making it the richest endorsement contract in sports history.
June 16, 2002 – Wins his second U.S. Open.
December 8, 2003 – Named PGA Player of the Year for the fifth straight year.
2004 – Woods earns $86.3 million, $80 million of which comes from endorsement deals.
May 13, 2005 – Misses cut at Byron Nelson Championship. It is the first time since 1998 that Woods fails to make the weekend.
November 23, 2005 – Wins PGA Grand Slam of Golf for a record-breaking sixth time.
May 3, 2006 – Earl Woods dies of prostate cancer.
July 23, 2006 – Wins third British Open.
August 20, 2006 – Wins third PGA Championship.
August 12, 2007 – Wins fourth PGA Championship.
April 15, 2008 – Has arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He had two prior surgeries on the same knee.

Tiger Woods Timeline – Fall from grace

Tiger Woods and his family in 2009. (Tiger Woods)

June 18, 2008 – Woods announces that he will undergo reconstructive anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery on his left knee and will miss the remainder of the PGA tour season.
February 26, 2009 – After an eight-month hiatus from golf due to knee surgery, Woods plays the second round of the World Golf Championships Match Play and loses to Tim Clark.
November 15, 2009 – Wins Australian Masters.
November 27, 2009 –  Goes hospital after being injured in a car accident in front of his home in Florida early in the morning. He is released later the same day. Woods is issued a citation for hitting a fire hydrant by the Florida Highway Patrol in Windermere, Fla. The resulting fallout and scandal leaves a lasting scar on his personal life and career.
December 2009 –  Named Athlete of the Decade by the Associated Press.
February 19, 2010 – Makes a televised statement apologizing for being unfaithful to his wife and letting down both fans and family.
March 16, 2010 – Announces he will begin his 2010 season at the Masters Tournament in April.
October 31, 2010 – After 281 straight weeks, the longest in Official World Golf Ranking history, Woods loses his No. 1 ranking to Lee Westwood.
2010 – Loses $20 million from estimated endorsements after sponsors including Gatorade and AT&T cut ties. Nike, Upper Deck and EA Sports opt to remain with Woods.
June 7, 2011 – Announces he will miss the U.S. Open due to knee and Achilles tendon injuries.
July 19, 2011 – Woods announces an end to his a 12-year relationship with caddie Steve Williams.

Tiger Woods won the 2012 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods Timeline – Comeback No. 1

August 4, 2011 – After a nearly three-month break, Woods returns to pro golf at the Bridgestone Invitational.
August 11, 2011 – Plays his worst first round of golf in a major championship and misses the cut at the PGA Championship.
October 3, 2011 – For the first time in 15 years, Woods fails to make the top 50 in the OWGR list.
October 5, 2011 – Signs a new endorsement deal with Swiss watch-maker Rolex.
December 4, 2011 – Wins the Chevron World Challenge, though not a PGA Tour event, his first win since November 2009.
March 4, 2012 – Shoots a 62 at the Honda Classic at PGA National, his lowest final round as a professional, but ties for second in the tournament.
March 25, 2012 – Earns his first PGA Tour win, in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, since September 2009.
June 3, 2012 – Ties Jack Nicklaus on 73 PGA Tour victories at the Memorial Tournament.
July 2, 2012 – Beats Nicklaus’ PGA Tour record with the AT&T National win. Woods’ 74th PGA Tour win ranks him in second place for the all-time list behind Sam Snead with 82 wins.
September 3, 2012 – Becomes the first PGA Tour golfer to earn $100 million.
January 28, 2013 – Wins 75th PGA tour title.
March 25, 2013 – Wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the eighth time, and regains the OWGR’s No. 1 spot.
May 12, 2013 – Wins his 78th PGA tour title at the Players Championship.
August 4, 2013 – Wins 79th PGA Tour title at the Bridgestone Invitational.

Tiger Woods DUI
Tiger Woods was arrested for DUI on Memorial Day 2017.

Tiger Woods Timeline – Pain and peril

March 31, 2014 – Woods undergoes back surgery for a pinched nerve.
August 23, 2015 – Woods posts a top-10 finish at his debut at the Wyndham Championships but ends his season as the 257th ranked player in the world. It was his third consecutive missed cut in a major.
December 1, 2015 – Woods announces a third microdiscectomy surgery — a procedure to remove bone around a pinched nerve to allow space for it to heal — and admits he has no idea when he will be back on the course.
July 20, 2016 – It is announced that Woods will miss the PGA Championship due to his continued recovery from back surgery. It’s the first time in his pro career that he has missed all four major championships.
December 4, 2016 – Woods finishes 14 shots behind the winner in the Hero World Challenge, his first competitive event in more than a year.
May 29, 2017 – Woods is arrested on suspicion of DUI in Jupiter, Fla. He says in a statement that he had “an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications” and that alcohol was not involved.
June 19, 2017 – Woods announces that he is receiving professional help to manage medication for back pain and a sleep disorder.
July 3, 2017 – Woods announces that he has completed an intensive program for managing his medications.
October 27, 2017 – Woods pleads guilty to reckless driving. His 12-month probation is contingent on completing any recommended treatment including DUI school, 50 hours of community services and random drug and alcohol testing. The probation is lifted less than 11 months later.

Aug 12, 2018; Saint Louis, MO, USA; Tiger Woods waves to the crowd on the 9th green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Tiger was roaring at Bellerive this past August, (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

Tiger Woods – Comeback No. 2

December 3, 2017 – Making his long-awaited return from a fourth back surgery — his first tournament for 301 days since pulling out of the Dubai Desert Classic in February — Woods finishes in a tie for ninth place in his  Hero World Challenge tournament in the Bahamas.
March 2018 – Comes close to winning at the Valspar Invitational and Arnold Palmer Invitational, finishing in the top five of each event.
April 2018 – Struggles in his return to the Masters and settles for T-32.
June 5, 2018 – Forbes’ list of the world’s highest paid athletes ranks Woods at No. 16.
June 2018 – Woods begins the U.S. Open with a triple-bogey on the first hole and never recovers. He misses the cut.
July 2018 – A strong run at Carnoustie excites the golf world, but Woods cannot overcome Francesco Molinari. He finishes T-6.
August 2018 – The comeback continues with another close call at the PGA Championship. Woods was solid at -14, but lost to Brooks Koepka by two shots.
September 2018 – Woods is named to the U.S. Ryder Cup team as a player and reaches the Tour Championship ranked No. 20 in the FedEx Cup Standings. He nearly wins the FedEx Cup with his victory at the Tour Championship, his first PGA Tour triumph in 1,876 days and the 80th of his career.
Nov. 23, 2018 – Finishes one shot behind Phil Mickelson on the 22nd hole in their winner-take-all, $9 million match in Las Vegas. Despite a major snafu with the pay-per-view delivery, the event is considered a success and will likely resume in some form in 2019.
Dec. 2, 2018 – Completes the Hero World Challenge in 17th place out of 18 golfers in the Bahamas.
Jan. 27, 2019 – Closes with a 5-under 67 in the final round of the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. He ends the event at 10-under and tied for 20th.
Feb. 17, 2019 – After his tournament at Riviera Country Club near Los Angeles is given “Invitational” status starting next year, Woods completes a long and grueling stretch in the Genesis Open, playing the final two rounds at 65 and 72. He finished T15 in the event hosted by and held to benefit his foundation.
Feb. 24, 2019 – In his first competitive event ever in Mexico, Woods battles throughout the weekend and shows a bit of his old self before settling for a T10 finish. It was his first top-10 finish of 2019 and left him No. 12 in the world.
March 4, 2019 – Woods announces that he will not be playing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament in Orlando because of a previously undisclosed neck strain.

(Sources: CNN, Associated Press, PGA Tour, Golfweek files)

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