Possible next steps for Tiger”s recovery (2:28)Stephania Bell discusses Tiger Woods” injuries and what the possible next steps could be in his recovery. (2:28)
Close Senior golf writer for mister-map.com Covered golf for more than 20 years Earned Evans Scholarship to attend Indiana University
This story was originally published on Nov. 27, 2019. It was updated on Feb. 24, 2021.
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Injuries are nothing new to Tiger Woods, but he has never faced ones as serious as his multiple leg fractures suffered in a car crash on Tuesday in Southern California. Still, he has dealt with numerous health issues throughout his career, long before his first Masters win in 1997.
In 1994, Woods had surgery on his left knee to remove two benign tumors and scar tissue. There was a surgery on Dec. 13, 2002, that saw fluid removed from inside and outside the ACL. He also had benign cysts removed from his left knee, missing the 2003 season opener.
In 2007, though, things really changed, setting the next stage of his life and a career filled with ups and downs:
The injuries start to mount
August 2007Sometime after The Open played at Carnoustie that year, Woods said he ruptured his ACL while running. But he was able to keep playing and won the PGA Championship.
April 15, 2008Two days after a runner-up finish at the Masters, Woods had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee — his third knee surgery — to repair cartilage damage. Several weeks later, he was informed that he had two stress fractures in his left tibia and was advised to take time off and use crutches.
June 24, 2008Eight days after winning the U.S. Open, he had surgery on his left knee — his fourth procedure — to reconstruct his ACL, using a tendon from his right thigh. He also had cartilage repaired and did not play the rest of the year.
Feb. 25, 2009Returns 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, 2009Stuns 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, 2009Coming 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, 2009Following 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, 2009Cruises 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, 2009Finishes second to Phil Mickelson by three strokes at the Tour Championship but wraps up his second FedEx Cup title in three years.
Nov. 15, 2009Posts 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, 2009A 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
The damage to Tiger Woods” car after he hit a fire hydrant and his then-wife, Elin, had to break the back window to get him out.AP PhotoNov. 27, 2009Woods 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, 2009Woods 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, 2009Citing 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, 2009The 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, 2009Woods 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. 11, 2009The 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, 2009Gillette, one of Woods” sponsors, says it will phase him out of its advertisements while he takes time away from the game.
Dec. 13, 2009Accenture 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. 31, 2009AT&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, 2010Several 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, 2010Woods leaves inpatient therapy after 45 days and returns to his Florida home.
Tiger Woods reads a statement in which he apologizes for his actions.Scot Tucker/AP Images; Florida Highway Patrol/Getty Images; Eric Gay/AP ImagesFeb. 19, 2010In 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. 25, 2010Gatorade ends its contract with Woods after having three years earlier announced plans to develop a branded drink called Gatorade Tiger.
March 16, 2010Woods 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, 2010Woods conducts his first television interviews, five minutes each with the Golf Channel and mister-map.com, 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 mister-map.com he is “a little nervous” about the reception he will receive from spectators at the Masters. Read the entire interview here.
Golf and pain
April 8, 2010In 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, 2010Woods begins the final round with a chance at victory, but falls out of contention and shoots 69, tying for fourth.
May 9, 2010During 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, 2010Noticeably absent during the Players Championship, Hank Haney, Woods” coach since 2004, says he is no longer his swing coach.
July 4, 2010For 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.
Aug. 8, 2010At 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, 2010At the PGA Championship, Woods asks instructor Sean Foley to videotape his swing during a practice round, leading to a formal working arrangement.
Aug. 23, 2010Woods and Elin Nordegren are officially divorced.
Aug. 26, 2010Woods 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, 2010Woods 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, 2010With 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, 2010Woods 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, 2010Woods” 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, 2010A 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.