Three shot lead, one putt on the 18th in order to win it all, that was the big cat. That was a common scene for the literal GOAT. Whom am I speaking about? The greatest golfer of all time TIger Woods. Tiger had encapsulated the golf world when he took the stage at such a young age. The guy had the world at the strongest grip possible when he began his reign. But, this is not going to be about Tiger’s success in the early years then translating to his failures. In fact, no event that Tiger had won in the early stages of his career came close to his greatest accomplishment. That accomplishment will be discussed later on in this, but for a starting point, let’s begin in 2008.
Tiger had done something in 2008 that I don't believe has ever been done in professional sports history. He tore his UCL in 2008 just a few days prior to competing in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines. In his documentary, his former caddie Stevie Williams said after a bad shot in the beginning, “Tiger, the leg is done. Maybe we should pull out and get surgery instead of making things worse”, Tiger graciously responded to that with a “F you Stevie, I’m winning this thing”. Which he did. He was absolutely dominant that year. Then, the cheating scandal began.
In November of 2009, things became clear to the world about Tiger’s infidelities. He had denied them, but on a November night he had crashed his car into a fire hydrant. Tiger was spiraling downward. For the first time in his professional career, he was viewed as a villain. A monster. He vowed to take a leave from the PGA. Companies from Gatorade to AT&T had relinquished their contracts of endorsement with the big cat, and he was left alone. Tiger called one of the mistresses who was suing him and told her to “Take everything” that she could from him. That just puts into perspective how wealthy he truly was.
In 2010, Tiger issued a public apology and broke down while his mother had sat in the front row and watched her son explain some of the hardest and most difficult details of his experiences. His marriage was ruined, his image was ruined, but more importantly, he was ruined. How could he ever return?
Tiger’s outside life had affected his golfing career, from the moment the case began to about 2013 his performance on the course had suffered mightily. In 2013, he won the first event of the new year, the Farmers Insurance open. He had then moved onto the Masters in April, where he was almost given a DQ from the entire event for taking and illegal drop. From 2015-2018 Tiger had experienced some major back problems. These problems had resulted in Tiger requiring a spinal fusion, a surgery most people do not come back from.
Throughout the beginning of this GOATs career, he had been faced with adversity, yet had always come through no matter what. Nothing could stop his dominating game. Phil Mickleson is one of the best ever, yet nobody even realizes he competed during Tiger’s reign of dominance.
Now we come to the main point of this post, the 2019 masters. Tiger Woods, at age 43, stood up on the 18th hole and putted it in to become the Masters champion. A man who was at the end of his career it seemed, a man who had scandal after scandal, allegation after allegation, setback after setback, and yet he still did it. They said, “Tiger can’t compete with these guys who are driving the ball 350 yards” “Tiger can’t compete against guys like DJ, JT, or Brooks” and yet he beat them all out for the win. To say it’s the greatest comeback in modern day, would be an understatement. That man shocked the entire world.
So then, we move to a very unfortunate situation again, which occurred after the highest of highs. During a gloomy time of the year, Tiger Woods’ vehicle crashed in California on February 23rd of this past year. Amputation, death, and much more were all on the table for Tiger during this accident. There has been much speculation as to how this occurred, what Tiger was using at the time, etc. yet the most important aspect of this all was that Tiger had survived and was able to go home a few weeks after. He had then missed the entirety of the 2021 season, yet was able to then return and play with his son in the PNC Championship.
So, yes Tiger Woods has surmounted one of the greatest comebacks of all time in 2019. Why would I now say “One of”? It’s simply because Tiger will return to full form this year, and he will win again. Whether it’s at the masters, or some other major he will win. That will then be the greatest comeback in sports history.