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Golf World's 2010 Newsmakers

Illustrations by Zina Saunders

If anyone says he saw 2010 -- and all the surprising things in golf -- coming, check his handicap. One superstar was engulfed in scandal, his life and image forever changed, his game, for now, a residual casualty. Another icon quietly left the stage early, a surprise exit to everyone but her. Underdogs and longtime favorites had their day, but often the Rules, unyielding and at times complicated, turned more heads than the caliber of play. It was a year of many twists, a double dogleg that made sense only when you got to the green.
Web-extra video: Golf World's Newsmakers Of The Year

Tiger Woods

1. TIGER'S TRIBULATIONS

Off the course or on it, in contention or woefully out of the running, Tiger Woods was news, one of the strangest years an athletic icon has ever had.

From precocious tot to the most dominant golfer the world has known, Woods always made headlines for the right things. But that changed. His tightly controlled image exploded into a tangle of revelations of infidelity that would send him into rehabilitation, end his marriage and soil his reputation.

The most extraordinary golfer of his time looked quite ordinary at times, his mystique punctured in a way that isn't easy to patch. Woods took on Sean Foley to help him with his game as he continued to work on his life, which further changed Aug. 23 when his divorce from Elin Nordegren was finalized.

"It's been difficult, but also it's been very rewarding at the same time," Woods said recently. "It forced me to look deeper into myself."

-- Bill Fields

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