Tiger Woods: 2013 in Review

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Tiger Woods’ 2013 season featured moments of greatness, badness and general weirdness. His opening event at the Abu Dhabi Championship had a little of everything. Woods shot 72-75, and missed the cut. On the fifth hole on Friday, Woods hit his drive into deep brush to the right of the fairway. After consulting with playing partner Martin Kaymer (bent over in red vest), Woods took a free drop for an embedded lie. However, the area where Woods took the drop was known locally as a sandy area, meaning that Woods was not allowed to take a free drop. The error resulted in a two-shot penalty that caused Woods to miss the cut by one stroke.
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Woods rebounded quickly from the controversy in the Middle East by rolling to a four-stroke victory at the Farmers Insurance Open. It was his eighth career victory at Torrey Pines.
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Woods entered the Accenture Match Play as the second-ranked player in the world, and a No. 1 seed in the brackets, but he was bounced 2 and 1 by Charles Howell in the opening round.
4 of 19 Courtesy of Twitter / Lindsey Vonn
On March 11 Woods and Lindsey Vonn made it Facebook official by announcing that they were a couple. They also released a series of photos on social media.
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All eyes were on Woods on the opening tee in the final round at Doral. He went on to win his second title of the season while having one of the best putting weeks of his career -- 100 total putts in four rounds.
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Two weeks after triumphing at Doral, Woods shared a laugh with the King after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It was the 77th PGA Tour title of Woods’ career and eighth at Bay Hill, and it vaulted him past Rory McIlroy for the No. 1 ranking. It was the first time Woods had reached No. 1 since October, 2010, and he would not relinquish it for the rest of the season.
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Woods entered Augusta with momentum from three-early season victories, but it came to a halt on the 15th hole in the second round. Woods’ approach shot clanked off the flagstick and into the pond. His ensuing drop was deemed to be illegal after the round was over, but rather than disqualify Woods for signing an incorrect scorecard Augusta officials hit him with a two-shot penalty. Woods played on, and “dropgate” overshadowed his performance during the weekend -- and beyond. It was arguably the biggest moment of the 2013 golf season. Woods closed with two rounds of 70 to tie for fourth place.
8 of 19 Fred Vuich / Sports Illustrated
In his first start after the Masters controversy, Woods rang up his fourth win of the season at the Players Championship. It was Woods’ second career title at Sawgrass, which was historically a course where he had struggled.
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Woods turned in a subpar 65th place at the Memorial, where he was the defending champion. It proved to be an ominous tune-up for the U.S. Open.
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Woods entered the U.S. Open at Merion as the runaway favorite, but he struggled all week with the venerable course’s slick greens and juicy rough. On the first hole he winced while extracting his ball from the rough, and appeared to fight through an elbow injury all week en route to a T32 finish. Woods would rest his elbow until the British Open in July.
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Woods hung around the leaderboard all week at the British Open at Muirfield, and did not appear hampered by his elbow injury. But on Sunday he had two three-putts and struggled to hit fairways while in contention late in the round. He finished tied for sixth.
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In his first start after the British Open, Woods earned title No. 5 on the 2013 season by running away for a seven-shot victory at the Bridgestone Invitational. It was his eighth career title at Firestone, matching his eight wins at Bay Hill and Torrey Pines.
13 of 19 Carlos M. Saavedra / Sports Illustrated
One week after blitzing the field at Firestone, Woods was a nonfactor at the PGA Championship, where he struggled to hit fairways and tied for 40th, extending his major drought to more than five years. "I put four good rounds together last week [at Firestone]. Unfortunately, it wasn't this week," Woods said.
14 of 19 Carlos M. Saavedra / Sports Illustrated
Woods fought through back spasms -- which brought him to his knees on the 13th hole -- in the final round at the Barclays. He ultimately shot a 69 and finished tied for second, one shot behind Adam Scott.
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Woods, shown here on the 18th tee, tied for 22nd at the FedEx finale at East Lake. Henrik Stenson won the event and the $10 million FedEx bonus.
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Woods tied for 11th at the BMW Championship and also found himself at the center of another rules controversy. He was assessed a two-stroke penalty after the second round when video replay showed his ball moved when he attempted to remove a nearby twig. Woods was standing in the trees near the first green (pictured) when the infraction occurred. Woods insisted the video was not conclusive, but the penalty stuck. He went on to finish seven shots behind winner Zach Johnson.
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Woods beat Richard Sterne 1 up to clinch what would become a 3-point victory for the U.S. at the Presidents Cup. Woods partnered with Matt Kuchar in the team matches, and finished his week 4-1.
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For the second straight year, Woods played an exhibition match against Rory McIlroy in China, this time at the Blackstone Course at Mission Hills. McIlroy won the match by one shot, firing a 67 to Woods’ 68.
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Woods was seeking his sixth career win at his season finale at the World Challenge, which he hosts as an exhibition benefiting his foundation. But Woods missed this four-footer in sudden death to hand the title to Zach Johnson. It was Woods’ fifth runner-up in the event.