On Sunday, April 14th, 2019, at the Augusta National Golf Course, Tiger Woods sunk a monumental three-foot putt to secure a final round score of 70 in the Masters Golf Tournament, which left him 13 points under par. With that victory, Woods once again donned the elusive green jacket, bestowed only on those who win the Masters Tournament, one of the most sought-after accomplishments in the world of sports.
Prior to this past Sunday, Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods, was considered by many to be a “has been” in the world of golf. In 1997 after becoming the youngest person to win the Master’s Golf Tournament at the age of 21, Woods’ career took off. In the 2000-2001 season, Woods won all four major golf championships, which together are referred to as the “Career Grand Slam”. Woods netted the US Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship in 2000, then in 2001, he won the Masters Tournament for the first time since his initial victory in 1997.
His hallmark success netted him several accolades, not to mention massive wealth and fame. His most notable sponsors included Nike, Titleist, General Motors, and AT&T. In 2009, Woods become the first professional athlete to earn over one billion dollars in his career.
In 2009, Associated Press named Tiger Woods the “Athlete of the Decade”, after being named the Associated Press “Male Athlete of the Year” four times. Woods is one of just two people to earn the Sports Illustrated honor of “Sportsman of the Year” more than once. Just behind Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, Woods has the third most Guinness World Records for a single-sport athlete at 14, and an additional 3 world records from his signature video game, the Tiger Woods PGA Tour, published by Electronic Arts.
The incredible dynasty Woods had created came crashing down in late 2009. The National Enquirer released a story claiming that Woods’ had an extramarital affair, and following the story, almost a dozen women publicly claimed to have had affairs with Woods. Just two days after this news hit headlines, Woods crashed his car into a tree and a fire hydrant near his home in Florida. He suffered minor injuries, and after these major incidents he announced he would take “an indefinite break from professional golf”.
Woods stayed quiet for the next decade. After capturing first place in the US Open in 2008, Woods didn’t win another major tournament until this weekend. His personal life was volatile, with
Woods and his wife separating after the numerous reports of his infidelity. Around this time, Woods underwent several back surgeries, leaving fans to wonder if he would ever play again.
After struggling through the early 2010s, Woods didn’t play in any major tournaments in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Woods was found asleep in his running car, parked in the middle of a traffic lane. The incident was attributed to legitimate prescription drug usage, and Woods pled guilty to reckless driving. In 2018, Woods showed off with a 6th place finish in The Open Championship, and a 2nd place finish in the PGA Championship, leaving everyone wondering- is Tiger Woods making a comeback? This Sunday, Woods said yes.
With Sunday’s win, Woods became the second-oldest person to win the Masters Tournament, at the age of 43. He also accomplished what many are calling the best comeback in the history of golf. His 11-year drought between major tournament wins is tied for the longest ever. After a decade of scandals and injuries, Woods slowly worked his way back into the game, competing in tournaments of increasing caliber and gaining ground in the world rankings. This first-place finish anoints Woods with 15 career major titles, only three wins behind all-time leader Jack Nicklaus.
After a weekend that changed the sport of golf forever, last year’s tournament winner Patrick Reed wrapped the green Masters jacket around Woods’ shoulders, and Woods remarked: “it fits”.