Today is an anniversary Tiger Woods will not celebrate. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving a year ago when the world found out Woods crashed his car outside of his Isleworth home near Orlando. Since then, his life has changed forever.
Woods, already the most famous golfer in the world, became even more famous for all the wrong reasons. Tabloid stories chronicled his affairs with several women. He was linked to a Canadian doctor under investigation for providing athletes with performance-enhancing drugs (which was later dropped). His marriage to Elin Nordegren disintegrated. He took five months off from golf, and when he returned he failed to win a tournament for the first time in 15 years. He fell from No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings. And he lost millions in endorsement money and in his divorce settlement with Nordegren.
Perhaps nobody is ready for 2010 to end more than Woods.
"You have to look at the past in order to learn from it and move on,'' said Woods, who turns 35 next month. "I've done a lot of reflecting over the past year. And certainly, I've turned the corner and am looking more toward the future in a lot of ways."
How it began
Woods' world turned into tabloid fodder the second he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant and a tree outside his Isleworth home in Windemere at about 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 27 last year. The first reports listed his injuries as serious, and for several hours the concern was Woods' health.
That quickly changed when Woods' spokesman posted on tigerwoods.com that he was treated and released from the hospital. Attention then shifted to reports of infidelity. There was already a story in the National Enquirer about Woods' relationship with Rachel Uchitel, a New York nightclub hostess who was photographed in the same hotel as Woods during the Australian Masters. Then a few days after the accident, cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs was linked with Woods, and she had phone messages to prove it.
More women came forward, and it became clear that Woods was leading a double life. On Dec. 11, Woods announced on his Web site that he is taking an "indefinite break" from golf to work on his marriage, confessing to "infidelity" for the first time.
Tiger Woods 24/7
The best and richest golfer in the world with the beautiful wife and two kids is a sex addict who ruined his marriage and perhaps his career. There was no way the tabloids and gossip sites could stay away from a story like that. Helicopters circled his neighborhood. Photographers tried to get near his house.
People like gossip blogger Perez Hilton and Geraldo Rivera were spending weeks doing Tiger Woods stories. Woods was on the cover of the New York Post for a record 20 straight days.
By the time Woods made his first comments about the ordeal during a February news conference, his philandering and time spent in treatment was well known.
"I made my share of mistakes,'' Woods said. "People can look at that as what not to do, and if they choose to make fun of it, that's fine. I can't control that. All I know is that I can control myself. And at that point in my life, I wasn't even able to do that."
Who are the women?
Here is a list of women linked to Woods:
Rachel Uchitel: The first mistress to be named, Uchitel was a New York night club hostess. She reportedly got $10 million from Woods to stay mum. She plans to write a book, but it won't have details about Woods.
Jaimee Grubbs: A cocktail waitress in Los Angeles, Grubbs claims to have had an affair with Woods for two years, and she had voice mail messages to prove it.
Jamie Jungers: A Las Vegas model, she claims to have had an 18-month affair with Woods when she lived in Orlando.
Mindy Lawton: A waitress at a Perkins restaurant in Orlando, she said she had many trysts with Woods.
Holly Sampson: A porn actor from Los Angeles who did not deny allegations of an affair with Woods.
Joslyn James: A porn actor, James came out in mid March saying she had sexually explicit text messages from Woods.
Devon James: A porn actor, she claims to have a sex tape with Woods and is trying to get it distributed.
Kalika Moquin: A Las Vegas night club manager, she says she has only a professional relationship with Woods.
Cori Rist: A Manhattan socialite/model who met Woods in the New York club scene.
Julie Postle: A cocktail waitress in Orlando a year ago who claims to have phone records proving an affair with Woods. She now lives in Texas.
Loredana Jolie: A Playboy model linked to Woods.
Theresa Rogers: An over 40 mistress from Wellington, she allegedly traveled with Woods for a five-year period.
Raychel Coudriet: A college student who lived next door to Woods.
On the golf course
Woods returned to competition at the Masters in April, where he tied for fourth. He was back. Or so we thought. He failed to make the cut in his next tournament and withdrew from the Players Championship on Sunday when he was way out of contention.
There was another tie for fourth in June at the U.S. Open, but he would not contend again. At the Bridgestone Invitational, a World Golf Championship event with no cut, Woods finished last at 18 over. He got a new swing coach (Sean Foley) and played a little better near the end of the year.
Woods finished 68th on the money list with $1,294,765 earned. He has no tournament championship to defend in 2011.
"If we're all brutally honest with ourselves, he's not had the year you'd think he would have had,'' said Lee Westwood, who overtook Woods as the world's No. 1 ranked golfer. "I don't want to say he's not the golfer he was, but at the same time, golf gives you one and takes away another. Form is very fickle in golf, and it can affect anybody. To all the players, it made him look a little more human. A bit more like us."
Woods will play in the Chevron World Challenge next week in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Last year he was host of the tournament but withdrew because of his ordeal.
He does not divulge his full schedule for the year, but expect him to play in about 25 tournaments in 2011, including at least four or five before the Masters in April. , Woods has never played at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor since it became a PGA only event, so it's unlikely he will play in the bay area next year.
As for this Thanksgiving, Woods planned to spend it with family, including his kids, Charles and Samantha. He expects the upcoming year to be much different.
"We're going to have a great Thanksgiving,'' he said. "We've turned the corner, turned the page, and it's time to move forward."
Information from the Associated Press and other news organizations was used in this report.