2018 in Review: The Year Tiger Woods Roared Back to Relevance

By Ryan Watson

photo credit: Getty Images 

One of the biggest stories of the 2018 PGA Tour is the resurgence of Tiger Woods. Woods ended 2017 as the 1,199th ranked golfer in the world. He ends 2018 as the world number 14. By any measure, climbing 1,185 spots in a calendar year is exceptional. For Woods, it is a return to form by one of the game’s greatest ever players. 


Scandals and Injury

Woods has suffered years of backsliding from his highs of the early 2000s, including a high profile admission of infidelity as well as a DUI arrest. While those scandals certainly made headlines, more pertinent to his ability on the golf course were the serious back problems that kept Woods from playing a full schedule for several years between 2014-2017. During this time Woods underwent several back surgeries, most recently in April 2017, to alleviate pain and return a full range of motion. He would later reveal that he struggled to walk following this surgery but nevertheless remained optimistic about a return to golf.

photo credit: Getty Images


2018 Season

Woods entered the 2018 season with understandably low expectations from golf pundits. Two top-25 finishes, followed by Woods’ finishing tied for 2nd at the 2018 Valspar Championship, changed those early predictions. Suddenly, the golf world took notice that Woods was returning back to being a legitimate contender. This was confirmed when Woods’ finished tied for 5th a week later at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Woods then competed in his first major championships since 2015, specifically impressing at the 2018 British Open by finishing tied for 6th. He would do even better at the 2018 PGA Championship when he finished 2 strokes behind Brooks Koepka in 2nd place. 

photo credit: Getty Images


FedEx Cup Playoffs

For the first time since 2013, Tiger Woods competed in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Woods’ confidence seemed to grow with each event, starting off with a respectable 40 place finish at the Northern Trust and following it by finishing tied for 24th at the Dell Technologies Championship. With a reduced field of 70 golfers, Woods took the the course at the penultimate BMW Championship and finished tied for 6th with Webb Simpson, assuring his spot at the Tour Championship. Woods played inspired golf at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club, setting the stage with an opening round 65. Woods never looking back on the way to his first postseason win in years. Woods would finish the Tour Championship with a score of -11. 2 strokes better than 2nd place Billy Horchel, a result that catapulted him to 2nd place in the final FedEx Cup standings. 


End of 2018 Season

The golfing world could see that Tiger Woods had returned to the elite level, and he was duly rewarded with a spot on the American Ryder Cup. While suffering a disappointing outing at the Ryder Cup, his return to relevancy throughout the 2018 season remains an incredible story. Woods said it best when he told reporters at the Hero World Challenge that “[i]t was an incredible year, to go from where I was at this point last year to go where I am now, I’m so blessed and so thankful to have the opportunity to have everything turn my way and have the whole year. It was transforming...” Time will tell how long Woods can maintain this form, but many in the golf world will hope it continues into 2019. 

About The Author


Campbell A.  Scored 81 at  Meadow Wood Liberty Lake, Washington

Campbell A.  Scored 77 at  Esmeralda, Esmerelda Spokane, Washington

Campbell A.  Scored 85 at  Esmeralda, Esmerelda Spokane, Washington

Campbell A.  Scored 80 at  Fairways Cheney, Washington

Campbell A.  Scored 86 at  Downriver Spokane, Washington

View Activity Feed

Video of the Day
Tee Box Alignment Work Watch Video>>

Related Articles

Article Image Pioneers of the Game: Ann Gregory - The First Black Woman to Compete at a USGA Event

Credit: USGA Museum   The history of golf in America,...

Article Image Here are the Golfers Most Likely to Earn Their First PGA Tour Win in 2019-2020

  The 2019-2020 PGA Tour season is just beginning, and alread...

Article Image Former Champion Georgia Hall’s Stolen Women’s British Open Trophy

photo by Dom Furore Georgia Hall is an English professional golfer...

Article Image New Faces on Tour: Who Earned Their PGA Tour Cards Through the Korn Ferry Tour?

  The Korn Ferry Tour, formerly known as the Web.com Tour, is...

Article Image Rory McIlroy’s Tour Championship Winning Clubs

  Rory McIlroy made himself $15 million richer by rising above ...

View All Related Articles