Tiger’s Big Comeback

Tiger Woods victory at the 2019 Masters was one for the ages.

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Tiger’s Big Comeback

Tiger Woods won his 5th Green Jacket this year (his first Major win in 11 years)

Tiger Woods won his 5th Green Jacket this year (his first Major win in 11 years)

Tiger Woods won his 5th Green Jacket this year (his first Major win in 11 years)

Tiger Woods won his 5th Green Jacket this year (his first Major win in 11 years)

April 14th, 2019: It was Sunday at the Masters, arguably the biggest tournament in golf. Tiger Woods had never won a tournament going into Sunday chasing the lead. Francesco Molinari was ahead of both Tiger Woods and Tony Finau by two shots going into the day. Molinari had led the tournament for 54 holes. Almost instantly jinxing the Italian golfer, the commentators referred to the statistic that Molinari had not bogeyed once in 49 consecutive holes. Molinari proceeded to double-bogey number 12, and lose the lead after double-bogeying again later on. Tiger Woods would play his cards just right and go on to win his 5th Green Jacket and 15th major championship. So, why is this win so historic?

Let us flashback over the years and look at a timeline of Tiger Woods career and life. This would help to better explain the gravity of Tiger’s win at the 2019 Masters. In the early 1980’s, when Tiger was a kid, he appeared on television multiple times as a so-called golf phenom. Tiger recorded his first hole-in-one at the age of 6 (May 12th, 1982). However, in the 1990’s, Tiger Woods began to really come into the spotlight. He had won the amateur championship more than once, accepted a scholarship to play at Stanford, and was really on the rise. In 1996, Woods was the first player to win two tournaments on the PGA tour in his first year since 1990, and Sports Illustrated named him “Sportsman of the Year”.

Everything was beginning to happen for the young Tiger Woods, and he earned his first Green Jacket at the 1997 Masters tournament. Tiger shattered records becoming the youngest player to ever win the tournament (at 21 years old) and the youngest no. 1 player ever in PGA history. He also won the 1999 PGA championship.

What was to follow in the early 2000’s was a major win streak for Tiger. He won 6 consecutive tournaments in the PGA in 2000 (including the PGA Championship, U.S. Open). Tiger won many more major tournaments including the 2000 British Open, 2001 Masters, 2002 Masters, 2002 U.S. Open, 2005 Masters, 2005 British Open, 2006 British Open, 2006 PGA Championship, 2007 PGA Championship, and the 2008 U.S. Open. He was untouchable and unbeatable, with many major promotional deals including Nike, Gatorade, General Motors, etc.

The downfall of Tiger was imminent in the later 2000’s. In 2008, Woods began to have many knee problems, and a major surgery. One of the biggest emotional and psychological blows came in 2009, when the news of his unfaithfulness went public after it was reported Tiger had been cheating on his wife of 5 years, Elin Nordegren, with countless women. Tiger struggled with substance abuse and treatment, as he spent more time away from the game of golf and struggling to fix his other glaring issues in life, including dealing with the police for DUI and other offenses.

Tiger went from hero, to a villain. He became the subject of countless late-night jokes. A few years later, and people really wondered if Tiger will ever even play again, rather than win another major tournament. By 2017, Tiger Woods had struggled getting back on track to play in the tour, with multiple surgeries and rehabs on the body, which no doubt had countless mental effects. At the age of 41, Tiger was even arrested for driving under the influence after improperly handling his back fusion surgery medication.

Tiger was ranked number 656 in the PGA in 2017. It appeared his career was in shambles and his morale lost. To the surprise of the world, Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters, his first major win in 11 years and first Green Jacket in 14 years. It was hard to hold back a tear or two after seeing the now 43 year-old Tiger embrace with his children as he finished the 18th hole at Augusta National.

Although an imperfect man, Tiger Woods once shook up the golfing world and was seen as an unstoppable force. Yet, his biggest flaws and worst moments were shown on the biggest spotlight. His downfall was so great, that truly nobody thought he could redeem himself, his image, or his golf game. Silently, over the past couple of years Tiger has trained extensively to get back to the physical and mental state that he once was in. Although he will never be the same, the comeback win at the Masters for Woods was one for the ages. One that Tiger could truly be proud of and one that he could share with his kids. Nobody is perfect, and Tiger Woods is far from it, but everybody loves a good comeback story. If this isn’t one, then I don’t know what one is.

After winning, Tiger stated, “This has meant so much to me and my family, this tournament, and to have everyone here, it’s something I’ll never, ever forget”.

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