Two years after his life and career came crashing down; Tiger Woods is a winner again. It took him 749 days and 26 tournaments to finally get back to the winning ways. One shot behind with two holes to play, The 35-year-old finally looked like the player who dominated golf for so much of his career. He birdied his last two holes on Sunday, making a 6-foot putt on the 18th, to win the Chevron World Challenge by one shot over former Masters champion Zach Johnson.
This was his 83rd win worldwide, and the fifth time he has captured the Chevron World Challenge, which he hosts for his foundation. Woods finished at 10-under 278 and donated the $1.2 million to his foundation.
His last win came on November 15, 2009 at the Australian Masters. What followed turned his life upside down. He crashed his car into a fire hydrant outside his Florida home on Thanksgiving night, and shocking revelations of extramarital affairs began to emerge, which eventually led to a divorce. Since then, he has changed swing coaches and endured more injuries, missing two majors this summer and missing the cut in another.
But all this happened not before he took an indefinite break from golf in December 2009. He also admitted infidelity.
On March 16, 2010, said via website statement that he was ending his break from golf and would return at the Masters.
Amid struggles on and off the course in 2010, Woods finished equal fourth at Masters, equal fourth at the US Open, equal 23rd at British Open and equal 28th at PGA Championship.
On November 1, 2010, Woods officially lost world number one ranking after 281 consecutive weeks at the top.
On January 24, 2011, Germany's Martin Kaymer passed Woods in the rankings, dropping him to third, the lowest point Woods had stood since first becoming number one. Later in the year he fell out of the top 50.
But it seemed nothing could change his power status. In May 2011, the Forbes magazine announced its annual list of top powerful celebrities in the world that included 19 sportspersons, and Woods headed the athletes at No.6. He remained the most powerful athlete in the world. Even after taking major endorsement hits following the scandal that ended his marriage, Woods still made $22 million more than basketball star Kobe Bryant in the past year.
Now, however, it looks clear that Woods is on an upward path. The win has moved him from No. 52 to No. 21 in the world ranking, and likely will send expectations soaring for 2012.