Tiger at 40: Woods' career-defining moments (2002-2008)


In a three-part feature to mark Tiger Woods' 40th birthday, we have identified 40 standout moments - good and bad - from the 14-time major champion's illustrious career.

Part two assesses the period between 2002 and 2008, which featured a further seven major wins for Tiger.


April 14, 2002 - Woods' love affair with Augusta continues as he follows Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo in making a successful defence of the Masters - a third-round 66 crucial to his three-shot triumph over Retief Goosen.


June 16, 2002 - Major number eight - and a seventh in 11 starts - comes Woods' way in the U.S. Open at Bethpage. Tiger is the only player to finish under par on the demanding Black Course.


July 20, 2002 - Hopes of a Grand Slam in 2002 are ended in dramatic fashion as Woods shoots a third-round 81 in miserable conditions at Muirfield - the worst score of his professional career to date.


August 17, 2002 - On his way to a second-place finish at the US PGA Championship, Tiger announces that coach Butch Harmon will no longer work with him in a full-time capacity. He subsequently links up with Hank Haney.


September 6, 2004 - Having gone more than two years without a major win, Woods sees his 264-week stretch at the top of the world rankings come to an end as Vijay Singh reaches number one for the first time. Tiger would go on to spend 281 weeks at the summit between June 2005 and October 2010.


September 17, 2004 - Hal Sutton's decision to pair his two biggest stars - Woods and Phil Mickelson - together at the 2004 Ryder Cup backfires as the US duo are beaten in both of their matches on day one. Woods and Mickelson were three holes to the good in their afternoon foursomes encounter against Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood, but fell away badly amid an apparent lack of chemistry and have not partnered each other since.


April 10, 2005 - Woods ends his 33-month major drought with a memorable fourth triumph at Augusta, beating Chris DiMarco in a play-off. A spectacular chip-in at the 16th, where Tiger's ball hovered on the lip of the cup before dropping for birdie, remains one of the most iconic moments in golf.


July 17, 2005 - St Andrews again proves a happy hunting ground for Woods as he completes a wire-to-wire Open Championship victory to secure his 10th major at the age of 29.


February 2, 2006 - A fired-up Woods romps to a record-breaking 9 and 8 victory over Stephen Ames in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. In the build-up to the first-round match, Ames had said: "Anything can happen, especially where he [Woods] is hitting it."


May 3, 2006 - Tiger's father, Earl Woods, dies at the age of 74 following a lengthy battle with cancer. The world's leading golfer takes a lengthy break from the PGA Tour, before returning at the U.S. Open, where he misses the cut in a major for the first time as a professional.


July 23, 2006 - Woods retains the Claret Jug at Hoylake, claiming the third Open Championship title of his career and a first major since the passing of his father. His decision to predominantly use long irons off the tee proves hugely successful.


August 20, 2006 - Four weeks on from his Open success, Tiger takes his major tally to 12 with a third US PGA title and second at Medinah. A dominant performance sees him finish five shots clear of nearest challenger Shaun Micheel.


April 8, 2007 - Another Augusta victory for Woods appears likely as he begins the fourth round of the 2007 Masters in the final group. However, on this occasion, it is the less-heralded Zach Johnson who claims glory as Tiger uncharacteristically comes up short in a Sunday shootout. Woods goes on to record another tie for second in the U.S. Open, having again been in the last group on Sunday. 


August 12, 2007 - Following two near-misses at majors in 2007, Woods gets the job done in sweltering conditions at Southern Hills - holding off a final-day charge from Woody Austin to claim a fourth US PGA title.


September 16, 2007 - Woods becomes the first man to triumph in the Tour Championship for a second time - triumphing by eight strokes at East Lake - and wins the inaugural FedEx Cup in the process. This success sees him finish the 2007 PGA Tour season with four wins and a tie for second from his last five starts.


June 16, 2008 - On his return from two months out due to knee surgery, Woods claims his "greatest ever championship" - winning the U.S. Open for a third time despite being significantly inconvenienced by injuries to his left leg. Tiger beats Rocco Mediate in a Monday play-off, but announces two days later that he will miss the rest of the 2008 season in order to undergo an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. He also reveals he had sustained a double stress fracture of his left tibia during the rehab that followed his previous surgery. "He beat everybody on one leg," said Kenny Perry.