Quick 9: A history of Tiger Woods' comebacks

The Scoop

There was a doubt whether Tiger would play again but his career gets going on November 30. We chart how he's fared after coming back from his various injuries

After all the years of seeing the number 1 next to his name we have now become used to seeing that replaced by W/D as a variety of injuries have scuppered his hopes of threatening Jack Nicklaus’ record.

We look back on his various returns from some lengthy spells on the sidelines.

1) June 2008, US Open

We all remember Tiger winning his last major on one leg at Torrey Pines but he hadn’t played a competitive round since the Masters two months before.

Having finished second to Trevor Immelman he then has arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage damage to his left knee. It later transpired that he also had two stress fractures in his left tibia which explains the level of pain, various grimaces and general agony that he went through for much of the 91 holes in California.

2) March 2009, WGC-Match Play

Tiger is next seen at the Match Play at Dove Mountain. In the interim there has been surgery on the ACL and work on the cartilage. In December he also injured his Achilles when out running.

In the Match Play he beat Brendan Jones 3&2 before being ousted by Tim Clark.

Tiger Woods

3) April 2010, Masters

You know the one, the one after the fire hydrant and all that? The second half of the previous season had largely been a bundle of wins but we then had to wait until Augusta where chairman Billy Payne could get the week underway by distancing the club from the four-time champion.

On the course Tiger was understandably out of sorts, skying drivers and missing tiny putts, but still shot four rounds under par to finish fourth which was miraculous in the circumstances. He played all four rounds with KJ Choi.

4) June 2010, Memorial     

For the first of two successive years Tiger has to withdraw from Sawgrass, making his excuses after seven holes. The problem was neck pain which had occurred before the Masters and it was causing tingling down his right side.

“I’ve been playing through it, I can’t play through it anymore.”

He then had physio for half an hour and then left the property. Woods returned at the Memorial a month later and posted a top 20. Justin Rose won by three from Rickie Fowler.

Tiger Woods

5) August 2011, Bridgestone

His Players Championship effort lasted just nine holes in 2011, the reason being more knee and Achilles problems.

Nearly three months later Woods is back at Firestone, somewhere he had already won seven times and would go on to add another in 2013. He finishes one over, ties for 37th and the following week misses the cut at the PGA for the first time.

He ends the year by winning his own tournament by a shot from Zach Johnson, his first victory since the fire hydrant.

Tiger Woods

6) March 2012, Arnold Palmer

After three rounds Tiger was in with an outside shout at Doral but then had another walk-off, this time after seven holes of his final round and more Achilles concerns.

Two weeks later he is back with a bang at Bay Hill where he wins by five, the first of three successes that year.

7) June 2014, Quicken Loans

The year 2013 might well go down in history as that of Tiger’s last win and he had five them that year.

Then 2014 was a different story. Again he pulled out on Sunday with back pain at the Honda in March, he played the following week at Doral though struggled and then had back surgery to miss the Masters, the first time since 1994, and US Open.

At the end of June he came back at the Quicken Loans, never got going and missed the cut. He only managed four more starts that year and there were two more procedures on his back.

Tiger Woods

8) April 2015, Masters

At Scottsdale his chipping had all bar gone as he shot an 82, his worst score as a pro. His previous highest was the 81 at Muirfield. Four months later he would slump to an 85 at Muirfield Village.

A week later after the Waste management there was another W/D next to his name as he only managed nine holes on day one at Torrey Pines and, you’ve guessed it, more back niggles.

Two months later, with his chipping now under the microscope, he posted a respectable -5 for a top 20. He then played a relatively full year before missing the entire season in 2016.

9) December 2016, Hero World Challenge

For the first time since the Wyndham in August 2015 Tiger played a tournament. In a 17-man field he finished 15th though there was the kicker of leading the birdie count and a second-round 65 that now seems a lifetime away.

Following that there was a missed cut at Torrey Pines and one round in Dubai before, again, making his excuses.

Which brings us to now…

 

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