Tiger – Out of the Woods?
This past weekend, Tiger Woods did something that he hasn’t done since he admitted his infidelity…he won a PGA Tour event. Eldrick Tont Woods, or as we all know him, Tiger, has been on a steady decline from the golden boy he once was in the world’s eyes. Tiger was once the poster child for everything that was good in sports. This was a man who graced the cover of Sports Illustrated on a regular basis as well as setting all kinds of records throughout his young career. He went from the highest paid athlete in the world, (an estimated $91 million earned in 2010), to the largest ongoing joke through multiple media outlets. It can be argued that Tigers fallout from golf was the biggest tragedy in sports for the past 3 years. What Tiger has done for Golf since his emergence at the professional level in August 1996, can only be compared to the likes of what Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth and Johnny Unitas did for their respective sports.
Tiger Woods has won 14 professional major golf tournaments in his storied career, which is only second in history behind the great Jack Nicklaus (18). Tiger’s 72 PGA victories ranks third all time only trailing Sam Snead and Nicklaus. Woods got his 72nd victory this past weekend at Bay Hill golf course for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. This was an extremely important win for Tiger because it not only ended the longest win-less streak of his career, (26 starts), but it came two weeks after he had to remove himself from a tournament at Doral due to an Achilles Tendon injury. After the win Tiger said, “I’ve gotten better, and that’s the main thing, I’ve been close for a number of tournaments now. And it was just a matter of staying the course and staying patient, keep working on fine-tuning what we’re doing. And here we are.” The other significance comes from the fact that The Masters is just two weeks away. Winning his 72nd event was important, but Tiger has his eyes set on one record and that is Jacks big number 18.
This past weekends victory puts Tiger back into the top 10, (#6), for the first time since May 22, 2011, and gives him great momentum heading into the Masters. With 4 wins and 12 top 10 finishes, The Masters is considered Tiger’s best of the 4 majors. A lot of people argue that Tiger has lost that electrifying spark that he once possessed to help him win 14 majors because he hasn’t won one since the U.S. Open in 2008. But there are many players that are still fearful of the old Tiger coming back. “He’s going to be a force at Augusta,” said Ian Poulter, who finished third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. With a 4th place finish in last years Masters, and all the trials and tribulations he has gone through over the past couple of years, one can only hope that Tiger will reign supreme once again.