Tiger WoodsTiger Woods turned professional in 1996 and became World Number One the following June. He dominated the world of golf until personal problems forced him to leave the tour temporarily in 2010. He gradually dropped as low as 58 in the rankings before winning the World Challenge in December 2011. He is now in the process of rebuilding his career and ranked Number Two behind Rory McIlroy.

 

Woods was a child prodigy and won the Junior World Championships six times, breaking 70 on a regulation golf course for the first time at the age of 12. In 1994, he became the youngest-ever winner of the US Amateur Championship at the TPC at Sawgrass in Florida, a title he would win for a record three successive seasons. He won the Silver Medal as leading amateur at The 1996 Open Championship and turned professional shortly afterwards.

 

The following year, Woods won his first major when he won the US Masters at Augusta by an incredible 12 shot margin. Two years later he won the PGA Championship, one of eight victories that season. In 2000, Woods won six consecutive tournaments, the longest winning sequence for more than fifty years. The winning streak was finally ended by Phil Mickelson at the Buick Invitational. In the 2000 U.S. Open, Woods destroyed the field and strolled to a record 15-stroke victory. His eight-stroke victory at the British Open made him the youngest golfer in history to achieve the Career Grand Slam. He retained his US PGA title by defeating Bob May in a playoff and won nine of the twenty PGA Tour events he contested that year.

 

Woods began 2001 with a two-stroke victory in the Masters, making him the first player in history to hold all four major titles at the same time. He won the Masters and the US Open in 2002 before his domination began to slip. He was finally replaced as World Number One by Vijay Singh in the World Rankings after a record 264 weeks at the top. He won the Masters again in 2005 and won six official PGA Tour events to reclaim the Number One spot. Woods also won his second British Open with a five-stroke victory over Colin Montgomerie. The following year he won a third British Open and a third PGA, closing the year with six consecutive victories.

 

In 2007, Woods added a fourth PGA title and won his 16th major title at the US Open in 2008. His US Open victory was achieved despite a serious knee injury that caused him to miss the rest of the campaign following surgery. In 2010, following the huge publicity that followed revelations about his personal life, Woods failed to win a tournament for the first time since turning pro.

 

Woods finally broke his losing streak at the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011 and the following year gained his first success on the PGA Tour since 2009. He equalled the record for PGA Tour victories when he won the Memorial Tournament in June, and surpassed Jack Nicklaus with a 74th Tour victory at the AT&T National. His victory in the WGC Cadillac Classic in 2013 continued his progress back towards the top of the rankings.