Golf: 'Tiger Slam', sex scandal, surgery, sweet success - a timeline of Woods' career

Tiger Woods was ranked No. 1 in the world for the first time in his career, in 1997.
Tiger Woods was ranked No. 1 in the world for the first time in his career, in 1997.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - The following timeline charts the professional career of American golfer Tiger Woods, who was involved in a serious car crash on Tuesday (Feb 23):

1997: Woods, 21, won the first of 15 Major titles with a 12-stroke victory over Tom Kite at the Masters, making him both the youngest golfer and the first black professional golfer to triumph at Augusta National. Two months later, he was ranked No. 1 in the world for the first time in his career.

2000: Completed a career Grand Slam by the age of 24 with wins at the US Open, British Open and PGA Championship, making him the youngest player ever to win all four Major golf titles and just the second to win three Majors in a year.

2001: Won the second of his four Masters titles, to become the first person to hold all four of professional golf's Major championships simultaneously - the so-called "Tiger Slam".

2008: Won his 14th Major at the US Open by beating Rocco Mediate on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff at Torrey Pines following an 18-hole playoff, despite playing with damaged knee cartilage and two stress fractures of the leg.

2009: Weeks after being involved in a bizarre car accident outside his home that ballooned into a sex scandal, Woods said in December that he was taking an indefinite break from professional golf after admitting that he had cheated on his wife.

2010: Made his return to professional golf with a fourth-place finish at the Masters in April. In October, after a run of 281 weeks, Woods was unseated from the world No. 1 ranking by Lee Westwood, ending the record for most consecutive weeks in that position.

2013: In March, he retook the world No. 1 spot from Rory Mcllroy.

2014: A week before the Masters in April, Woods announced that he required back surgery, forcing him to withdraw from that year's opening Major for the first time since 1994. He returned to competition in July but the following month again injured his back.

2014: After 60 consecutive weeks, Woods was dislodged from the world No. 1 ranking in May, marking the last time he occupied the top spot.

2015: After seemingly being injury-free for most of the year, Woods had a second microdiscectomy performed in September with a follow-up procedure six weeks later, forcing him to shut down his playing schedule indefinitely.

2016: He played his first competitive event in nearly 16 months and finished 15th in a 17-player field at the Hero World Challenge.


Tiger Woods on the 4th hole during the final round of the Masters, on Nov 15, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

2017: Missed the cut in his first event of the year and then pulled out of a European Tour event after an opening-round 77 due to back spasms. In April, he had the fourth back surgery of his career and in May was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He blamed the incident on a reaction to prescribed medication.

2019: In April, Woods completed one of sport's great comeback stories, ending an 11-year Majors drought by winning the Masters for a fifth time and bringing his Majors total to 15 - just three short of record holder Jack Nicklaus with 18. In October, Woods won the Zozo Championship in Chiba, Japan to match Sam Snead's record of 82 PGA Tour victories.

2020: Woods and son Charlie, who is now 12, teamed up to play at the PNC Championship, a joint PGA/LPGA Tour family tournament.


Tiger Woods and son Charlie fist bump on the 18th hole during the final round of the PNC Championship. PHOTO: AFP