Tiger Woods timeline: A record-setting career often sidetracked by injuries

Looking back at the golf icon’s successful but challenging career
Tiger Woods tees off at the British Open in 2015. (David J. Phillip/AP)

Injuries and pain have plagued Tiger Woods throughout his record-setting career, at times keeping him out of competition for long stretches. Two months after his fifth back surgery, the legendary golfer, now 45, suffered multiple leg injuries in a single-car crash Tuesday, prompting more uncertainty about his playing future. Here is a look back at his decorated career and his long injury history.

1994

December: Woods, at 18, has surgery to remove two benign tumors and scar tissue from his left knee.

Woods get a look at the trophy after winning the 1996 U.S. Amateur. (J.D. Cuban/Allsport)

1996

August: He wins his third consecutive U.S. Amateur Championship and turns professional the following week. He wins the Las Vegas Invitational for his first PGA Tour victory that October.

2001

April: He wins the Masters to become the only player to hold all four professional majors at the same time.

2002

December: Woods undergoes surgery to remove a benign cyst and fluid around a ligament in his left knee.

Woods won the 2006 World Golf Championships-American Express in Watford, England, despite injuring a muscle in his left shoulder blade. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

2004

October: Woods marries Elin Nordegren.

2006

September: Woods posts eight PGA Tour wins in 2006 but injures a muscle in his left shoulder blade. He plays through the injury and wins the World Golf Championships-American Express.

2007

June: A day after Woods finishes runner-up in the U.S. Open, Nordegren gives birth to their first child, Samantha.

July: Woods ruptures the ACL in his left knee. He decides against surgery and wins five of the last six tournaments he plays that season.

2008

April: Just two days after finishing second at the Masters, Woods has arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair cartilage damage.

June: A week after winning the U.S. Open for his 14th major title — four short of the record held by Jack Nicklaus — Woods has surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee and two stress fractures in his left tibia.

December: Woods tears his right Achilles’ tendon, he reveals at the 2010 Masters.

Kim Montes, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper sergeant, speaks to the media in December 2009 in Orlando following an incident in which Woods was hospitalized after losing control of his SUV. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

2009

February: Nordegren gives birth to their son, Charlie.

November: Woods is hospitalized with a sore neck and a cut lip that requires five stitches after he loses control of his SUV, which hits a fire hydrant and a tree in his neighbor’s yard. His personal life unravels with reports of multiple extramarital affairs, and he loses major endorsements. He spends 45 days in a clinic and does not return to golf until the 2010 Masters.

2010

May: He withdraws from the final round of the Players Championship, and an MRI exam later reveals he has an inflamed facet joint in his neck.

August: His divorce from Nordegren is finalized.

Woods suffered a medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee and a strain of his left Achilles’ tendon on the 17th hole at the 2011 Masters in Augusta, Ga. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

2011

April: Woods suffers a medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee and a strain of his left Achilles’ tendon on the 17th hole at the Masters, where he goes on to finish fourth.

May: He withdraws from the Players Championship, citing problems with his knee, Achilles’ and calf.

2012

March: He wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his first PGA Tour victory since the scandal in his personal life became public.

2013

August: Woods falls to his knees on the 13th hole of the Barclays because of back spasms.

2014

March: Woods withdraws from the Honda Classic because of back issues.

April: He misses the Masters after undergoing surgery for a pinched nerve in his back.

2015

September: He has his second back surgery. He misses the cut in his third straight major at the PGA Championship a month before.

October: He has a third procedure on his back.

Woods was arrested in May 2017 in Palm Beach County, Fla., on suspicion of DUI. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and agreed to enter a diversion program as prosecutors dropped the DUI charge. (Jupiter Police Department/AP) (Jupiter Police Department/Associated Press)

2017

April: At 42, Woods undergoes his fourth back surgery.

May: He is arrested in Florida on suspicion of DUI. Police find him asleep behind the wheel of his car in the early morning with the engine running. He attributes it to a bad combination of pain medication. Later in the year, he pleads guilty to reckless driving and agrees to enter a diversion program as prosecutors drop the DUI charge.

2018

September: He earns his 80th career victory on the PGA Tour, winning the Tour Championship. It leaves him two shy of the record held by Sam Snead.

The 2019 Masters brought a long-awaited moment of triumph. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

2019

April: He wins the Masters for the fifth time, securing his first major title in 11 years. It is Woods’s 15th overall, moving him within three victories of Nicklaus’s record for major titles.

August: Woods announces on Twitter that he had surgery to repair minor ligament damage in his left knee.

2020

December: He has a fifth back surgery, a microdiscectomy, to remove “a pressurized disc fragment” that was pinching his nerve and causing “discomfort.”

Woods suffered leg injuries Tuesday when his car flipped in Los Angeles County. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

2021

Feb. 23: Woods is involved in a single-car crash in a residential area south of Los Angeles. He is taken to a hospital with multiple leg injuries and undergoes surgery.

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