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The Resurrection Of The Tiger: Tiger Woods Ends An 11-Year Major Drought With 2019 Masters Win

It may have been a week early, happening on Palm Sunday instead of Easter Sunday. But if you were wondering if Tiger Woods would ever resurrect, and win another golfing Major, the answer is now a resounding "Hallelujah Yes!" There’s nothing like a stirring comeback story, and this one was definitely one for the ages, and the golfing history books.

For those in the dark, there are four Golf Majors: the Masters, the US Open, the British Open, and the PGA. They’re considered the crown jewels of the Professional Golf Tour, the four tournaments you stake your legacy on. The other tournaments held over the year can earn you big money and points, but it’s those four that stamp you with greatness. 

 

Photo from @tigerwoods

 

Coming into the 2019 Masters at Augusta, Eldrick Tont Woods had 14 Majors under his belt, but his last win was the US Open in 2008. Well, the 11-year drought is over, and Eldrick (Tiger) has now won his fifth Masters—only Jack Nicklaus has more with six wins. So this gives Tiger his 15th Major win; and again, it's only Jack Nicklaus with 18, who stands ahead of him.

For many, Tiger Woods had become a name of golf’s recent past; he may have spawned a generation of young golfers, but his glory years were thought to be over and done with. PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 1996, he won his first Major in 1997, and promptly picked up several more in the first decade of the 21st century. In fact, with this unexpected 2019 win, he’s now won a Major in every of the last three decades. 

 

Photo from @tigerwoods

 

Plagued by a slew of sex scandals in 2009, when he even went into hiatus from golf to try and save his marriage (Tiger and Elin eventually divorced in 2010), and then having to undergo four major back surgeries from 2014 to 2017; his World Golf ranking fell to No. 1,199 in 2017. And while his presence in tournaments still made an impact in terms of galleries following him, it was generally felt that the mantle of winning had already been passed on to the likes of Justin Rose, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, and Brooks Koepka. So to have Tiger emerge from the Augusta clubhouse wearing the green jacket he last donned in 2005 was something very special. 

With his Thai mother, his two children, and current girlfriend, Erica Herman, awaiting him on the 18th hole, Tiger has often said that a pipe dream of his was to win another Major with his children at an age where they can appreciate his accomplishment, and share it with him. His daughter is now 12, and his son is 10. So that’s another dream come true for Tiger, a personal one that’s forever etched in the public’s memory: that of him heading to the clubhouse after his final putt, with his son Charlie right beside him, taking in the applause, cheers, and shouts of "Tiger, Tiger!" As Tiger said after, "To have my kids here, it’s come full circle. My dad was here in ‘97, and now I’m the dad with two kids there." Tiger’s father passed away in 2006.

 

Photo from @tigerwoods

 

I’ll confess I was still awake as the 4th round began late Sunday night, and had the TV on, but was more concentrated on reading a novel. Francesco Molinari, the 3rd Round leader, was maintaining his two stroke advantage throughout the first nine, but things really heated up when he suffered a double bogey, and the tournament was thrown wide open. At one point, there were four bunched up with the lead, with another six just a stroke or two behind, and my novel was set aside. Playing patient and shrewd, Tiger slowly separated himself from the pack and established a two stroke lead, and arrived on the 18th tee knowing a bogey would mean he had finally returned, and had risen again!

At 43 years of age, he is considered one of the grizzled veterans of the Tour; and it was stirring to see the gauntlet of golfing Who’s Who who lined up to shake his hand as he entered the clubhouse. What remains to be seen is whether this can actually be repeated, and whether the race to reach Nicklaus’ seemingly unassailable 18 Majors is once again on the cards.

 

Photos from @tigerwoods