Tiger Woods timeline: The highs and lows of a compelling career

Tiger Woods has already established himself as one of the greatest golfers of all time. But his life has also taken some stunning twists and turns ever since he captured the world’s attention at age 21 with his dominant victory at the 1997 Masters. He became one of the richest and most famous athletes of all time in the years that followed, but various injuries and personal issues have led to a shocking fall from grace in more recent years. It all culminated in his DUI arrest near his home in Jupiter, Florida on Monday followed the release of a troubling mug shot of a disheveled-looking Woods.

Here’s a full timeline of the wild ride that has been Tiger Woods’ professional and personal life.

1997 Masters win

Tiger Woods announced himself to the world with a record-breaking 12-shot win at the Masters, becoming the youngest player to win the tournament at age 21.

En route to the Tiger Slam

In 2000, Woods put together what many consider to be the greatest single season in golf history, winning the final three majors and nine total events. That same year, he also signed a 5-year, $105 million endorsement contract with Nike. He would win the Masters in 2001 to hold all four major titles at the same time.

Sportsman of the Year

Woods was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year for the second time in his career in 2000. That season, he began a stretch of more than five straight years as the world No. 1 ranked golfer.

Changing the game

By the mid-2000s, the Woods phenomenon had taken full effect. His success drew unprecedented galleries to events and brought a new audience to the sport that was both younger and more racially diverse.

Tiger ties the knot

Woods married Swedish model Elin Nordegren in 2004 during the peak of his career.

Death of his father

Woods was hit hard by the death of his father, Earl Woods, in 2006. He took significant time off from golf and initially struggled on the course.

Return to form

An emotional Tiger Woods won the 2006 British Open just months after his father died.

Tiger’s first child

Woods and his wife had their first child, daughter Sam Alexis Woods, in 2007. Their son Charlie was born two years later.

The last major

When Woods won the 2008 U.S. Open on an injured knee, he collected his 14th major victory. At the time, he was 32 and seemingly at the top of his game. Little did the world know what was going on behind the scenes.

Scandal and infidelity

Woods’ personal life began to unravel Thanksgiving weekend 2009, when he was in a car accident that was later revealed to be related to his wife learning of his extramarital affairs.

Post-scandal struggles

Wood eventually admitted to cheating on his wife, which led to their divorce in 2010. In the years that followed, his game struggled and leg injuries caused him to miss time and lose ground in the world rankings.


Though he never reached the heights of his early career, Woods did get back to winning, claiming five tournament victories and regaining his world No. 1 status en route to PGA Player of the Year honors in 2013.

Injuries mounting

Woods underwent the first of four back surgeries in 2014. He missed significant time from golf and didn’t play well when he was in action.

Latest comeback attempt

Woods tried to get back on the golf course earlier in 2017 when he entered the Farmers Insurance Open in January, but that wound up being the last event he’d complete before requiring another surgery.

DUI arrest

Years of injury-shortened seasons and poor play was punctuated with what could be a rock bottom moment for Woods when he was arrested on suspicion of DUI on May 29, 2017. Woods cited prescription pain medications as the reason for his arrest.

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