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Professional golf player Tiger Woods was the youngest man (at the age of 21) and the first African-American to win the U.S. Masters.
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Friends of Tiger Woods talk about the tenacity and skill that Tiger Woods shows, even when just playing a "friendly game" of golf.
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He was named Player of the Year by the other participants in the PGA Tour and won his eighth Arnold Palmer Award for being the lead money earner on the tour.
Woods won the U.S. Open on June 16, 2008, in a 19-hole playoff, overcoming sporadic pain in his left knee from arthroscopic surgery performed on April 15. Woods shot a par four on the first and only hole of sudden death while American Rocco Mediate, 45,
settled for a bogey.
The sudden death duel at Torrey Pines in San Diego followed an 18-hole playoff, which saw the two finish at par. In that playoff, Woods led Mediate by three shots after the first ten holes. Mediate then birdied three of the next five holes and took the lead. But on the final hole, Woods birdied while Mediate shot par, forcing the sudden death playoff."I think this is probably the best ever," Woods said. "All things considered, I don't know how I ended up in this position, to be honest with you." The victory gave Woods his third U.S. Open championship and 14th major title. He's now just four behind the all-time record held by Jack Nicklaus.
Two days later, Woods announced he would miss the rest of the season because his left knee requires more reconstructive surgery. He also revealed he suffered a double stress fracture in his left tibia two weeks before the U.S. Open tournament, ignoring doctors' advice to take six weeks off to let it heal.
Woods and his wife announced September 2, 2008, that they were expecting their second child in late winter. "Elin is feeling great and we are both thrilled," Woods said on his Web site. "While my injury has been disappointing and frustrating, it has allowed me to spend a lot of time watching Sam grow. I can't begin to tell you how rewarding it is being a dad and spending time with her and Elin." The couple welcomed baby boy Charlie Axel Woods on February 8, 2009.
Several weeks later, on February 25, 2009, Woods returned to the green in the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson, Arizona. Woods played against South African golfer Tim Clark, losing 4 to 2 in his first tournament since his injury. In June of 2009, Woods competed again in the U.S. Open. After putting a four-over-par in the first round, Woods quickly fell out of contention for the win.
Although Woods' comeback had not been as auspicious as he'd hoped, he remained No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and continued to be the leader in top 10 finishes overall. But after losing the PGA title to Yang Yong-eun, Woods finished the year without a single major win—the first time he had done so since 2004.
While his life on the green seemed lackluster, his personal life was in an even more serious tailspin. In late November, reports surfaced about a tryst between Woods and nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel. Both parties denied a relationship, despite photographic evidence that seemed to indicate otherwise.
On November 27, as the story gained traction, media outlets announced that Woods had collided into a fire hydrant outside his home at 2:30 in the morning.
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