It has been 14 years since Tiger Woods last wore the Green jacket on a Sunday at Augusta, a lot has changed since then, a lot of people had written him off for little had remained from the dominant Tiger Woods of the first decade of the 21st century yet everything remained. Woods is a major winner again. Back then he had everything go for him, on course to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championship wins yet everything evaporated before him in a blink of an eye.
It had been eleven years since his last major win, yet at Augusta, Tiger Woods turned the clock and roared to a 5th Masters Title and 15th major championship win of his stellar career. Numbers do not lie, thus it’s true, Nicklaus still holds the record with 18 major championship titles but no one can dispute the fact that Tiger Woods transcends the sport of golf. When Woods wins the whole golfing world wins. No player commands a following as he does.
By the time he putted on the final hole, everyone held their breath for Tiger Woods was a major championship winner again almost 4000 days to the day of his last major.
Having won each of his previous 14 major championships either as a leader or joint leader going into the final round, Woods bagged his first final round come from behind win at Augusta. That he was trailing going into the final round meant these were uncharted waters even for arguable the greatest of all time. He had to do what he had never done before. As all his main challengers from the final group wilted under pressure, he held his nerve with a final round, 2-under par to clinch his 83rd tournament win. The following pack had little to counter the Big Cat. They couldn’t handle his presence or his force.
Tiger Woods’s win at the Masters will breathe life into the sport of golf. It hasn’t been an easy road back to the top though. Two years ago at the Masters Champions dinner, he told Nicklaus, “that’s it, I’m done”. That’s just how bad things were. 16 months ago he was ranked 1199 in the official world rankings. In the past few years, he has been through so much, chronic back pain, police arrests and the infamous infidelity scandal almost a decade ago. But yet he rose again and conquered all that.
Woods has broken so many records along the way but this win ranks amongst his best. The greatest comeback of all time, surely. When Tiger Woods wins, all other sporting codes can take a back seat. This is front page stuff. A great day for golf, what a comeback from the greatest of all time for all of golf’s rich history, Tiger has written a lot of those pages. He transcends the sport of golf. He is a living legend. The youngest to complete a career grand slam.
What this win does though, is resurrect the debate again. Thus can he do it, can he win 4 more majors to finally haul Jack Nicklaus record that he was on course to do a decade ago?
Only time will tell but what this win does is put the golfing world back at the forefront of the sporting pages yet again.
That’s Tiger Woods for you.