Tiger Woods comeback
As a Tiger fan since late 2007 I have been through it all basically a rollercoaster. After today win at the Masters for major number 15 and win number 81. I wanted to reflect on what I have been preaching for a while the greatest comeback in sports history. After winning the US Open in2008 dramatic fashion Tiger Woods reached number 14 in majors. He was at the told of the world winning events like they were all easy. However The predecessor to all what we have experienced past 11 years of Tiger fall from grace started at the 2009 PGA Championship. An event I watched still haunted by to this day YE Yang come back and defeated him. Little did we know his world came more crashing down when his affairs being exposed over Thanksgiving. and his marriage was over. Tiger Woods image was ruined and his life was a wreck and his golf game was impacted as a result. Sponsors left him and everyone casted him aside as a horrible human being and a disgrace to golf would he golf again?
Well in 2010 he was close but went winless and in 2011 his game was such a wreck to where he had the yips and I got questions would Tiger ever win again? Of course I said he would I preached patience to anyone who listened. Then in 2012 after going to Sean Foley a well-known swing coach on tour who has worked with Justin Rose. After months of progress Tiger Woods won again at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the World Golf Championship Cadillac Championship. He make one of the greatest runs I have ever seen from a golfer charging back to win the Memorial and then winning his own event AT&T National. Was Tiger finally back was he question ? Well he never left in my mind he was still the same Tiger Woods that could win. Only problem was a winless major streak and really despite good finishes was never really close to getting 15 since 2009 PGA Championship.
In 2013 Tiger Woods won five times and dominated the tour winning player of the year. The only problem was he did not win any majors extending the streak .
It was frustrating to watch believe me at the Masters he was set to take the lead only to watch his ball hit the flagstick go in the water. He also saw his putter let him down at the Open Championship just a few months later. However you just felt like after once again returning to one of the top golfers in the world Tiger Woods would win another major. His dad his role model and mentor told him he would win 14 majors his career. However at the Barclays the first of the FedEx Cup playoffs Tiger Woods hurt his back another injury and little did we know it set off a chain reaction for the next few years of his career. The first of four back surgeries followed and for the first time in his career Tiger Woods missed the 2014 Masters. At this point it was not a major concern but Tiger Woods golf game started on a decline as the back gave him problems.
The doubters return and Tiger Woods played hurt during many events in 2014 and spilt with Sean Foley who’s swing can cause back problems. We then go into 2015 where Tiger Woods was still golfing and it was still a blessing. Only it was the worst golf of his career shooting two 80 sub rounds. He had a solid finish at the Masters but the major streak continued as he then missed the next three cuts at majors championship. At the lowest point in his career and spiraling down the world rankings experts and media called for him to retire. Those talks grew louder when Tiger Woods underwent a 2nd back surgery.
This time it was much serious and Tiger Woods missed the entire 2015-2016 season with no timetable given. With so many injuries catching up to him everyone was ready to right him off for good. Thanks for the memories Tiger Woods and preserve your legacy while you still have a chance. Those were the things that were said to Tiger Woods while he was out. Tiger Woods then tried his first comeback in 2017 and wanted to push himself playing four events in five weeks to start the season. I was excited I truly felt like Tiger Woods would return to form and be the Tiger Woods we all once knew. However a big mistake happened he went to Asia and competed in Dubai. His back acted up and he withdrew and was hurt again. Despite being hurt he was made a mockery and once again while Tiger Woods claimed he would be back soon.
That never happened and Tiger Woods missed the Masters and had a fourth and final back fusion surgery. He was suffering in pain he could not practice let alone sit down or walk at times. He was in so much pain to the point he thought he would never live a good life. This surgery goal was to be a life thing not a golf thing. Everyone officially wrote him off he fell to the 1000 area in the world and Tiger Woods as we know it was done. I cannot tell you how many videos and texts I either saw or received saying that. At this point I had a feeling if he got cleared to gold again his back would be fine and he could return to form once again. I was not giving up hope on Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods even said he may never play golf again but I knew about the surgery and knew he would be back. All he had to do was get cleared and all the videos he sent of him practicing just told me it would only be a matter of time before he golf again.
When he announced his return to golf again at his Hero World Challenge in 2017 I began saying the words in my head “The greatest comeback in sports history”. I knew it would take time and patience but as long as he stayed healthy I knew he would prove the doubters wrong. Slowly but surely Tiger Woods was building up good play and showing no signs of back issues. He still had problems in his game and I knew it was a mental thing not physical. When you are that old you want to be able to stick with the young guys on tour. Sadly Tiger Woods tried to hit the hell out of the ball it always got him into trouble the big mistake and inability to take advantage of the Par 5s . His ability to read greens went down but that comes with getting older. However with each event he slowly kept creeping up the leaderboard and taking a small step the greatest comeback in sports history. Valspar Championship the first time Tiger Woods played this event he finished T2 with a chance to win it on Sunday. He got a taste of winning again and his confidence was coming back so you knew a win was coming. The hype was building up and his comeback was making good progress but people still said Tiger Woods was done. A poor showing with the Masters and bad putting at the Wells Fargo and US Open Championship put a step back on the comeback. All the progress he made however set up for a good summer. Tiger Woods was always stubborn and had an ego to him but for once finally listened to the people around him. He took care of his body more, he stopped trying to play through injury. He changed putters and clubs multiple times on his current comeback to fit him listening to other people around him.
He teased us on his comeback with low scores on the front nine and being in contention before fading away late on the back nine. It was progress however and another step on the comeback. Tiger Woods also owned the best scoring average 3rd round on the PGA Tour yet one of the worst 1st round scoring averages. Then the Open Championship came that trend continued starting slow then getting hot the 3rd round. In the 4th round he was four shots off the lead with tough conditions on the course. Tiger Woods made a charge and took the lead on the back nine and you slowly felt the golf world tune in to see maybe the old Tiger Woods.
Only he made two mistakes off the tee 11 and 12 and tried to play the hero flop shot he had done so many times over the years and it cost him. He should have played the smart shot take the bogey live to fight another hole and it cost him a chance at 15. However they say there are no moral victories in sports but Tiger Woods got the taste of being in contention of a major again. I knew that major 15 would come close after that and in 2016 while he was out with injury I look ahead to the major schedule and one year stuck out to me 2019. Augusta, Bethpage Black and Pebble Beach three courses he has won at. If there was going to be a year he would win 15 it was 2019.
He came close at the PGA Championship making his weekend charge trying to catch Brooks Koepka. On that Sunday the world got a taste of Tiger Woods being back despite not having his best stuff that cost him 15. For years I have begged Tiger Woods to stop hitting the ball as hard as he could just get it in the fairway. You are the best iron player in the world give yourself looks and avoid the big mistake or double bogey or worse. Then he came into the FedEx playoffs with his old prime Tiger Woods driver shaft. Next thing I know he is just hitting fairways left and right and finally took distance off for accuracy. The next thing he needed to do now have all three phases click. All the goals I set out for him in order to win again he did last week of the season Tiger Woods went wire to wire to win the Tour Championship and almost won the FedEx Cup.
He had his swagger and confidence back and once again major 15 was close and 2019 would be the year. All he needed to do was just get himself into position on Sunday where he could be the greatest closer in golf. He started the 2019 season slow but cold weather and unfavorable greens and a neck injury brought the doubters out. Some simply dismissed the Tour Championship win because it was only a 30 man field. Once again Tiger Woods knew he could win again and if he could get into that final group on a major Sunday history would be made. Masters 2019 that moment came Tiger Woods shot 70 68 67 and 70 to finally win major number 15. Tiger Woods was in a final group on Sunday and the Tiger effect took charge golfers began to collapse he took advantage. That shot on 16 is a top 5 Masters shot my opinion it’s the shot that won him number 15 looking at the final score. The world was on Tiger Woods side after leaving him years before. Tiger Woods completed the greatest comeback in sports history finally winning a major. Tiger Woods is back and physically may not be his prime self but mentally he is and now is once again a force in golf. The race for 18 is back on as long as he stays healthy he has a great chance of doing it. Everyone counted him out but once again my message to people who read this never question the goat in Tiger Woods. Now that he has won 15 the floodgates might have just opened I can’t wait to once again be a part of the ride. Golf is better when Tiger Woods is on his game and is on that Sunday leaderboard in contention.
Tiger Woods checked off my checklist of how to win major 15 again. Stay healthy, stop trying to outhit the younger guys, just be accurate not long with the driver, getting himself into position on the leaderboard, all three phases click, get more reps in tournaments (did that in 2018) and finally get into that final group so the Tiger effect would take over and get a lead so the greatest closer in golf would close out number 15. Thank you Tiger Woods you asked your fans in your press conference 2009 to forgive you and stick by your side. Us Tiger Woods fans did just that and now you are fully back and we are truly always support whether you are winning or not in contention watching every shot you deserve every moment of this now let’s go break some records Tiger Woods.