Injuries, infidelities, and poor choices: How Tiger Woods unravelled from the greatest golfer in the world

Tiger Woods is once again back in the headlines for something other than playing golf, as he was arrested and charged with DUI at 3 a.m. on Monday morning.

This is just the latest ugly chapter in what was once one of the greatest careers in the history of sports. It is a career that has spiraled out of control thanks to injuries, infidelities, a car wreck, and some poor decisions with his golf game.

Below we take a look back at where everything went wrong for Tiger Woods.

Things started to go downhill for Woods in 2008, a year before his famous car accident. That year, Woods won the U.S. Open, what would turn out to be his final major championship to date.

Photo: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

However, he played that tournament with stress fractures in his tibia and his knee, injuries that occurred because he rushed back from a knee surgery earlier in the season. Woods would need another surgery after the US Open, his fourth on his left knee, and would miss the Open Championship and the PGA Championship.

Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Woods' former coach Hank Haney would later claim that Woods originally injured his knee while training with the Navy SEALs in 2007. Woods had previously claimed to have injured his knee while jogging.

But in 2009, Woods was still seemingly at the peak of his career. He won six events on the PGA Tour, finished in the top six of three majors, and took home more than $10 million in winnings for just the third time in his career.

Hunter Martin/Getty Images

But in November, things began to unravel when the National Enquirer reported that Woods was having an extended affair with Rachel Uchitel, whom they described as a 'New York City party girl.'

Rachel Uchitel. Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Source: National Enquirer

That same week, Woods was 'driving erratically' and crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant and a tree as he was leaving his house in the middle of the night. Woods suffered 'facial cuts and bruises,' but refused to speak with police triggering speculation and rumours that the incident was related to a domestic dispute with his then-wife, Elin Nordegren.


Source: USA Today, Reuters

The crash became a huge news story, even beyond the sports world. The crash even received the Taiwanese animation treatment as rumours swirled over what really happened.

Over the next few months, many other women came forward claiming they had affairs with Tiger, including 24 year-old Los Angeles cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs. US Weekly published transcripts of a voicemail allegedly from Woods to Grubbs, in which he asks Grubbs to change her voicemail greeting in case his wife tries to call.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty

Source: Us Weekly

At the time, Carol Bartz, then-CEO of Yahoo, called the Tiger Woods scandal, 'better than Michael Jackson dying' in terms of generating traffic and advertising revenue.'

Carol Bartz. Photo: Getty

Source: Fox News

Many of his endorsement partners dropped Woods over the controversy, including companies like ATT, Gatorade, Gillette, Golf Digest, and Tag Heuer. But Tiger's biggest partner, Nike, stuck with him.

Over the next few months, Woods released several statements admitting he had been unfaithful to his wife, but asking for privacy. However, in February, 2010, he gave a televised statement in which he said he had been in a therapy program, famously saying 'I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to.'

Lori Moffett-Pool/Getty Images

Woods would not appear in another golf tournament until the Masters that year, where he seemed to be back to his old ways, finishing tied for fourth.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

But later that year, he and Nordegren were officially divorced. It was initially reported that she would receive $750 million in exchange for her silence. That number was later reduced to $100 million, custody of their children, and child support.

On the course, things weren't much better. Despite his strong play at the Masters, Woods did not win a single event in 2010 and only finished in the top 10 twice. Woods would lose his No. 1 ranking for the first time since 2005.

Richard Schultz/Getty Images

That's when the injuries returned. Woods was forced to pull out of the US Open and the Open Championship in 2011 due to lingering leg injuries initially suffered during the Masters when he nearly fell down on a shot from some pine needles.

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Woods would return three months later. In his second tournament back, he missed the cut at the PGA Championship, just the third time he would miss the cut at a major in 15 years as a pro.

Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

He also fired his longtime caddie, Steve Williams.

Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Things improved in 2012 and 2013 as Woods would win eight times on the PGA Tour in those two seasons and eventually regain his No. 1 ranking. He also finished in the top six at three majors during that span. Tiger was seemingly back.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Things were even heating up again in Woods' private life as he relationship with skier Lindsey Vonn became tabloid fodder.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Read more: IT'S OFFICIAL: Tiger Woods Is Dating Lindsey Vonn

Sports Illustrated even declared that Woods was 'BACK' as the chase for Jack Nicklaus' all-time majors record was seemingly back on.

But even when he was playing well, things were still going haywire, like his fourth-place finish at the Masters where some felt he should have been disqualified for incorrectly placing a ball.

Woods' rivalry with Sergio Garcia peaked in 2013 also as the future Masters champ ripped Woods for distracting him during a shot.

Garcia would later make a fried chicken joke at Tiger's expense, with Woods later calling the joke 'wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate.'

David Cannon/Getty Images

But little did we know at the time, Woods' sixth-place finish in the Open Championship would be his final top-10 at a major and his win two weeks later at the WGC-Bridgestone would be his final win on the PGA Tour, to date.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Things once again started to unravel in 2014 when Woods would be forced to withdraw from final round of the Honda Classic with lower back spasms. He was later forced to skip the Masters, revealing that he had surgery for a pinched nerve in his back.

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Read more: Tiger Woods Pulls Out Of The Masters After Back Surgery

He even started to look old.

However, below the neck, Woods looked younger than ever. In fact, his muscles were getting so big that many wondered if it was hurting his game. Hold coach Hank Haney said, 'my opinion is he really overdoes that.'

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Read more: Tiger Woods Is Jacked Now, And It Could Be Hurting His Golf Game

Haney would also suggest that Woods pushed himself physically because he wanted to be viewed as an athlete, saying that Woods viewed injuries as 'a way of being accepted into the fraternity of superstars who played more physical sports than golf.'

2014 also saw Woods break up with another coach, this time it was swing coach Sean Foley.

Sean Foley (L). Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Read more: Tiger Woods Cuts Ties With The Coach Who Radically Changed His Swing

Woods fell apart at the 2014 Open championship after a strong opening round and finished 69th. He later missed the cut at the PGA.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Woods' injured back would also keep him from competing in the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Woods was also losing respect off the course. Golf Digest published a parody interview of Woods, titled, ''My (Fake) Interview with Tiger: Or how it plays out in my mind.' Woods would later call it 'a grudge-fuelled piece of character assassination,' later adding, 'Journalistically and ethically, can you sink any lower?'

By the end of 2014, a new problem had arisen: Woods seemingly had the yips when it came to chipping.

And then, in January, 2015, he had a tooth knocked out by a videographer while watching Vonn compete in the World Cup.

Photo: Getty

A month later, it was the back again, as Tiger was forced to pull out of the Farmers Insurance Open after just 11 holes, later famously saying he couldn't 'activate' his glutes.

He returned two months later to finish 17th at the Masters, but he missed the cut at the remaining three majors in 2015. And in August, Woods ended his season early. He would have two more surgeries on his back in September and October.

Warren Little/Getty

In the two years since, Woods has played in just one official PGA Tour event, missing the cut at this year's Farmers Insurance Open. What seemed like a promising return to the course, was once again cut short when he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic in February, seemingly downplaying the move by just saying it was due to back spasms.

Francois Nel/Getty Images

But in April, Woods announced that he had a fourth surgery on his back in just four years. Woods is now expected to miss the rest of the 2017 season.

To add insult to injury, quite literally, Woods was arrested and charged with DUI on Monday, citing 'an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications.' The police report indicated that Woods was found asleep in his car while it was running.

At this point, winning majors is the furthest thing from the minds of Tiger Woods fans, as most have to be wondering if we will ever see him on the golf course again.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

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