Tiger Woods-Return Of The Roar

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Tiger Woods-Return Of The Roar

Peter Canovali and Portland Canovali

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There are very few athletes that can grab a widespread audience and never have them leave the couch while watching them. A few examples include Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, and Tom Brady. But arguably, Tiger Woods has been absolutely dominant in his 20+ year career on the PGA Tour. But over the past few years, Woods has encountered a great deal of adversity leading up to his return.

Tiger Woods has dealt with injuries during his career like most great athletes. However, Woods has had 4 back surgeries, including a back fusion surgery, which most believed would put Woods out of even competing again. The surgeries caused a changed of a swing, short game, and even putting stroke. In April of 2017, he underwent yet another back surgery, but this time it was a spinal fusion surgery, which was deemed a success. Jack Zigler, president of the International Society for the Advancement of Spinal Surgery, commented on the surgery,” It’s almost miraculous… On the one hand, you have somebody who’s in the great physical condition and extremely well motivated — it’s the ideal patient. But on the other hand, he’s going back to an unbelievable level of function. The likelihood you could ever get back there is small.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/04/16/why-tiger-woodss-return-back-surgery-was-nearly-miraculous/?utm_term=.7fde3368ac7b.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the injuries that were holding Tiger Woods back; people all around the world still haven’t forgotten the events that happened to him in 2009. Woods has been reported to have had an affair with a New York nightclub hostess. He lost many supporters, contracts with sponsors, and overall regard to his name.

Yet, through all of that, he persevered and fought his way back into competitive golf again. After just under a year of waiting, the world of golf finally saw Woods back in action. His first tournament back from his fusion surgery was a tournament that he has hosted in the past: The Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. At one point in the tournament, Tiger had taken control of the first place, and the whole world of social media went mad.

Millions of people tweeted the live leaderboard across all social media platforms to let people know that Tiger Woods is back. However, he promptly fell off. Once Woods had taken the lead, he quickly lost it, and would never regain it. However, this would only be the start of what would be one of the greatest comeback stories in sports history.

Woods had many opportunities to win his first event in over 5 years. He came up just one shot short of forcing a playoff at the Valspar Championship. Even after dropping a 46-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to get within one shot, it still wasn’t enough. Another close call was at The Open Championship in Scotland. Woods held the lead on the back nine, looking to finally get that victory that he desperately needed. But with some costly errors late in the round, he would come up just short again.

In the final major championship of the golf season, Woods was within striking distance once again. After not hitting a single fairway on the front nine, Woods still managed to shoot -3. The crowd was electrified and had all of its attention on him. But when it was all said and done, he yet again missed out on another opportunity to win his first tournament in his return.

However, in the last tournament of the season, the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club, everything would change. Woods played against the toughest competition of the year, including Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, and Rory McIlroy. He was, without question, up against the best in the world.

However, Woods was up for the challenge. After three rounds of superb golf, he led the Tour Championship by 5 strokes heading into the final round. For the first time in 4 years, Woods would finally prevail. With the world waiting for so long to see Tiger back in the winner circle again, it was one of the greatest moments in golf history. Yet even with how big that victory it was, there was another tournament that was one he so desperately wanted to win: The Masters.

Augusta Golf Club hosts one of the greatest sporting events in all of the sports. More than 700 million people from all of over the world watched, and everyone had their eyes one person who they wanted to win so badly: Tiger Woods. However, he still had to fight through a very competitive field for him to have a chance to win his 5th Green Jacket.

Through three rounds of the tournament, Woods was only two shots back of leader Francesco Molinari. Through 11 holes in the final round, Woods struggled to keep pace with the leaders. However, all of that would change in the blink of an eye. The twelfth hole at Augusta is one of the most difficult and most pressuring holes in golf. Francesco Molinari, being the leader through the final round so far, was the first to play.

It seemed that the pressure got to him because his tee shot ended up coming up short and rolling off the green, into Rays Creek, a water hazard. The crowd was partially shocked, yet somewhat filled with excitement, knowing that the door is wide open for Woods. And through 15 holes, Woods took control of the lead by 1 shot.

At the 16th hole, Woods stuck an 8 iron to within three feet and made the birdie putt to move 2 clear of the lead. Woods would only need a bogey on the final hole to secure his 15th major title. After putting his par putt to within tap-in range, the world started to begin to realize that Woods was going to do what seemed impossible to so many.

From being at a state to were it was difficult to even get out of bed in the morning, to the scandal in 2009, Woods was about to do the unthinkable. He would make the winning putt from just inside of a foot, ending the long 11-year drought for his first major win.  

In his first major victory in 1997, he cemented the win with a hug from his father at the end of his round. 22 years later, he shared his victory coming off of the 18th green with a hug from his son, Charlie, and lifted him in the air and hugged him tightly. He would also share the moment with his daughter Sam, his mother Kultida, and his fiance, Erica. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE-aOBGN8UM&t=14s

The world of sports went into a complete frenzy when Tiger Woods won his 5th Green Jacket; it is one of the most incredible comeback stories in sports history. From not knowing he would ever play golf ever again, to now winning his first major in 11 years. His story inspired so many, including the President of the United States, Donald Trump.

President Trump told Woods that he was going to present him with the highest honor a civilian could ever receive: The Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Tiger Woods has yet again proven that he can compete and even win in professional golf. Woods only trails Jack Nicklaus by only 3 majors, and with the US Open and the Open Championship being the last two majors of the year, Tiger has a legitimate chance to put his name even deeper into the conversation to be the “Greatest of All Time”.