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Tiger Woods makes biggest comeback in sports history

by Matt Lauster - Staff Writer
Tue, Apr 23rd 2019 10:00 pm

The Master’s Tournament, unlike other majors on the PGA Tour stands out for giving golf fans iconic moments where some of the best of the game like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicholas cement their legacy by winning the coveted green jacket. Despite the decades of some of the best the sport of golf has to offer nothing could equal what the most recent Master’s Tournament had to offer when fans all around the world witnessed arguably the greatest comeback in sports history that was 11 years in the making.

            During the tournament which took place from April 11th to the 14th, we got to see it again, Tiger Woods on a Sunday in the lead wearing red like he did when he had the same calculating dominance that would make Tywin Lannister blush. Hole after hole the idea of Tiger being able to obtain his fifth green jacket and showing that Woods was back was becoming more fact that fiction. After the eighteenth hole and Woods clinched the victory fans who were there live or were watching the broadcast on CBS saw a different side of the golf icon. Instead of the robotic stiffness we saw human emotions of relief amid validation and maybe the best moment of that Sunday, a father hugging his children after a great victory which reminded us all of Tiger embracing his late father after every tournament win.

            The image we saw on the final day of The Master’s was a stark difference from we saw during his span of going 11 years without a major win. Gong through all the torment he went through both physically and mentally after his eight surgeries that kept him away from the game he loved since a child and the very public fall from grace after his numerous affairs became public knowledge that ended his marriage. During this dark time for Woods, the negative affects could be seen on the golf course. From running away with victories with leads of 10 or more strokes he fell into becoming a below average golfer on the PGA tour that could not make the cut. It was always something that went wrong for the former number one ranked golfer in the world, if it was not the poor play keeping Woods down it was his back or leg that could not take the strain of performing at a world class level. After a while of all the shanked shots and dropped endorsements many wondered whether the Tiger everyone grew to admire would ever be seen on a course again. In fact on the sports talk show, Around the Horn which is one of ESPN’s most highest rated shows had guests on for years that thought for sure the Tiger Woods was done. But, in the recent years, there was hope again with Tiger Woods getting back to one hundred percent and with his scores getting better it seemed like Tiger was not over with yet. Those hopes would become more realistic after Woods would finish in a tie in 11th place at the 2018 Player’s Championship showing that he could still hang around with the biggest names in golf despite being over 40 years old. By the end of 2018, Woods would be ranked 13th in the world by Official World Golf Ranking which was a far cry from barely or even failing to finish tournaments which was the Tiger we were all accustomed to seeing. Even though Woods raised his play in recent years many still believed that Woods winning another major tournament was still a long shot. In fact, before the major tournament, Woods was ranked 12th in the world behind Master’s favorites Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIIroy according to Official World Golf Ranking.

            This win was not just another feather in the cap for Tiger, in fact many sports journalists argue that this victory was the biggest in the iconic golfer’s career. Climbing all way back to mountaintop after being through so much is what many believe to be the mans best accomplishment. Many sports journalist believe this to be true, on the highly rated radio simulcast The Herd with Colin Cowherd the host of the show, Colin Cowherd called it Wood’s most important victory and praised how Woods was able to “unite the country” with the United Sates being so divided currently.

            What makes everyone so intrigued whenever Tiger Woods is on the screen golfing is how imperfect he is. Instead of being a perfect godlike figure, Woods is complicated. Aside from his marital problems we have also seen him be humiliated after TMZ reported his DUI arrest after taking multiple drgs ranging from pain killers to sleep drugs to marijuana all being in his system. It was later reported by NBC News that while Woods was arrested in Florida after he was found unconscious in his car and he had no idea where he was. Adding to the complication is Wood’s friendship with the President, multiple times Woods has been seen playing golf with President Trump which brings a lot of baggage that goes along with that.

            Champion, hero villain Woods is all of these things which makes him human. No matter what the future has in store for this dominant athlete there will always be a loyal fan base in his corner. 

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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