Gone are the days of Tiger Woods' absolute dominance at major championships. After 1999 it seemed that any major that Tiger teed it up at, he was not only going to win but win by a lot, and when he didn't win we were all left scratching our heads wondering how the heck a guy like Rich Beem beat him. But in 2013 Tiger has returned to form, and his golf game, despite a poor showing at the Memorial, has been downright scary. This week marks five years since Tiger last won a major championship, and we look back at each major he's played in and focus on what went wrong for Woods as he's searching for that elusive 15th major championship.
2008 British Open and PGA Championship -- It was on the heels of that epic U.S. Open victory at Torrey Pines that Woods announced he would be out the remainder of the PGA Tour season because of a knee surgery. With Woods out, Padraig Harrington took over his role, winning both these major championships, his second and third in just over a year.
2009 Masters -- Woods did all he could in the final round at Augusta National, but his 4-under 68 on Sunday just wasn't enough to catch the leaders as he returned to the major scene. Woods would finish a respectable T-6, four shots back of a playoff between Chad Campbell, Kenny Perry and Angel Cabrera that was eventually won by Cabrera, his second major win of his career.
2009 U.S. Open -- It was supposed to be a heroic return to Bethpage Black for Woods, but his opening 74 left him 10 shots back of the lead on Thursday and a ton of names between him and the top spot. Woods would play himself back in the tournament for the remaining 54 holes, but that opening round left him too far back to compete. Woods would finish T-6, four shots back of winner Lucas Glover.
2009 British Open -- The beautiful Turnberry was not so nice to Woods, who missed only his second cut at a major championship as a professional. Woods' opening round 71 was respectable, but it was the second round that did him in as Tiger made two double-bogeys on Nos. 10 and 13, finishing at 5-over par for the week and without a spot on the weekend. Stewart Cink would go on to beat Tom Watson in a playoff for his first major win.
2009 PGA Championship -- This was the major that looked like it would get Woods back into form and back on his major championship quest, especially after a first round 67 had him leading the tournament at Hazeltine. Woods would follow that opening round up with a second round 70 that left him four clear of the rest of the field, but a Saturday 71 closed the gap to just two. Still, Woods' record with a 54-hole lead was incredible and it seemed Sunday would be a victory lap for Tiger. That was when things got strange, as Tiger posted a 75 on Sunday and Y.E. Yang leapfrogged him, winning the PGA by three shots thanks to a clutch eagle chip on the 14th and a memorable hybrid on the last that sealed another majorless year for Tiger.
2010 Masters -- It was Tiger's return to golf post-scandal at the '10 Masters, and it seemed like the perfect place for him to attempt to get his life back to normal. He was doing just that after an opening 68 left him just two shots back of the lead, but Woods could never muster much after that, finishing five shots back of eventual winner Phil Mickelson.
2010 U.S. Open -- If you were looking at 2010 from afar, before all the personal problems hit Tiger, it was the perfect storm of major venues for Woods. He had Augusta National, a golf course he had dominated in the past, and then Pebble Beach and St. Andrews, two golf courses that accounted for three of Tiger's major wins. It was Pebble that gave us one of the greatest major championship performances in history by Tiger in 2000, and after a third round 66 it seemed he might just comeback to win a major. That was about all Woods could throw at Graeme McDowell, the eventual champion, as Tiger shot a final round 75 to finish three shots back.
2010 British Open -- There was hope for Tiger at St. Andrews after he opened with a round of 5-under 67, but winds were down and Rory McIlroy was a short birdie putt missed on the 17th hole away from breaking the all-time scoring mark at a major (he birdied the 18th that day to post 63). At a golf course that Tiger was a combined 33-under par in his two major wins, Woods failed to break par the rest of the week, finishing a disappointing T-23 at the Old Course. Louis Oosthuizen pulled a Tiger on the field while Woods was struggling, winning his first major by seven shots.
2010 PGA Championship -- Woods went to Whistling Straights with basically no golf game, finishing T-78 the week before at Firestone, a golf course he had won at seven times heading into the week. Woods failed to break 70 all week, finishing T-28, nine shots back of the playoff between Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson. Kaymer would eventually beat Bubba for his first major championship win.
2011 Masters -- Tiger's first major of '11 got off to good start with rounds of 71-66, leaving him three shots back of McIlroy heading into the weekend at Augusta National, but a third round 74 was too much to overcome. Woods would eventually finish T-4 thanks to a final round 67, but it was another major with that one bad round that Tiger couldn't shake and his sixth straight top-6 finish at Augusta without a win. Maybe the biggest blow to Tiger's week at Augusta National came with an injury he suffered in the third round that would force him to miss a good chunk of the season. Charl Schwartzel would go on to win his first green jacket, beating Jason Day and Adam Scott by two shots.
2011 U.S. Open and British Open -- Tiger didn't play in either of these events because of the injury he suffered at Augusta. McIlroy would win his first major at the U.S. Open, while Darren Clarke surprised the world at the British Open, keeping the first-time winners streak alive for the '11 season.
2011 PGA Championship -- Tiger returned to competitive golf the week before the '11 PGA, playing Firestone and finishing T-37 highlighted by a first round 68. His game just wasn't ready for a major championship, opening with a round of 77 and following it up with a round of 73, finishing at 10-over and well outside of the cut line. Keegan Bradley would go on to beat Jason Dufner in a playoff for a surprise major win.
2012 Masters -- Woods came into Augusta National with something that hadn't happened since '09; a PGA Tour victory already under his belt. His win at the Arnold Palmer was a huge relief and most expected Tiger to finally get in a groove at the majors. That just wasn't the case, as his swing abandoned him and he finished T-40, his worst finish ever at Augusta National as a professional. Bubba Watson would go on to beat Oosthuizen in a playoff, hitting one of the most memorable golf shots in the history of the Masters.
2012 U.S. Open -- Finally, it seemed, Tiger was ready. A second PGA Tour win at the Memorial just two weeks before Olympic Club seemed like the perfect precursor to a major win, and Woods got himself into contention early with rounds of 69-70 that had him in the final group on Saturday. Tiger lost it after that, posting weekend rounds of 75-73 that dropped him all the way down to a T-21, six shots back of champion Webb Simpson.
2012 British Open -- It was a solid 67-67 start for Tiger at Lytham, good enough to sit four shots back of Brandt Snedeker but within striking distance for a past champion that was really playing good golf. His third round 70 dropped him even further back of the lead, but it was the final round that saw his game truly unravel. Woods made a triple-bogey out of a greenside bunker on the par-4 6th hole, posting a Sunday 73 to tie for third, four shots back of Ernie Els.
2012 PGA Championship -- The theme of '12 continued for Woods, who started the tournament hot but couldn't keep it going on the weekend. Rounds of 69-71 had him tied for the 36-hole lead at Kiawah Island, but Woods went in opposite directions of eventual winner McIlroy in the third round, posting a 74 to his 67. Woods sat five back heading into Sunday, and his 72 left him 11 shots back of Rory, who picked up his second major victory.
2013 Masters -- It finally seemed time for Tiger to return as a major winner, especially with the way he was playing heading into Augusta National. An opening round 70 had Woods right where he had been in the past when he had won at this golf course, and he was making a move in the second round before his ball hit the flagstick on the 15th and everything went with it. Woods took an illegal drop on the hole, landing a two-shot penalty after his round, basically ending his chances at the green jacket. Tiger would finish T-4, four shots back of the Adam Scott-Angel Cabrera playoff that Scott went on to win.
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