TIGER WOODS. American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time and who has been one of the highest paid athletes in the world for many years during his career. Following an outstanding amateur and two-year college golf career, Woods turned professional aged 20 in late summer 1996. By April 1997 he had already won his first major (the 1997 Masters) in a record-breaking performance, winning the tournament by 12 strokes and pocketing $486,000. He first reached the No1 in the world rankings in June 1997. Through the 2000s, he was the dominant force in golf, spending 264 weeks (from August 1999 to September 2004) and 281 weeks (from June 2005 to October 2010) as World Number One. From December 2009 to early April 2010, he took leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity, but he and his wife Elin still eventually divorced. His many alleged extramarital indiscretions were revealed by several different women, through many worldwide media sources. This was followed by a loss of golf form and his ranking gradually fell to a low of No 58 in November 2011. He ended a career-high winless streak of 107 weeks when he triumphed in the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011. After winning the Arnold palmer Invitational on March 25th 2013, he ascended to the No1 ranking once again (holding the top spot until May 2014). He then had back surgery in April 2014 and again in September 2015 and has struggled since to regain his dominant form. By March 29th 2015, he had fallen to No104, outside of the top 100 for the first time since the week prior to his first Tour title win in 1996. In May 2016, Tiger Woods dropped out of the world top 500 for the first time in his professional career. He has broken numerous golf records. He has been World Number One for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any golfer. He has been awarded the PGA Player of the Year a record eleven times, the Byron Nelson Award for the lowest adjusted scoring average a record eight times and has the record of leading the money list in ten different seasons. He has won 14 professional major Golf Championships (the second-highest of any player after Jack Nicklaus) and 79 PGA Tour events. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam and the youngest and fastest to win 50 tournaments on tour. Additionally, he is only the second golfer (after Nicklaus) to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times. He has won 18 World Golf Championships and won at least one of those events in each of the first 11 years after they began in 1999.
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