Tiger Woods Wins Tour Championship For 80th PGA Tour—His First In 5 years
For most of the people who took up golf over the last four years, the name Tiger Woods would have been more like the legend older addicts to the game would talk about with reverential awe. If anything, these novice golfers would be more attuned to the snickers surrounding his sexual misadventures and the endless comeback episodes that always fell short of amounting to anything.
After all, he last won a PGA tournament in August of 2013, a little over five years ago—and he’s been subjected to four major back operations; the most recent, spinal fusion surgery—procedures one doesn’t often come back from, much less perform at a level that can win tournaments given the quality of the field you’re competing against.
For these novices, the magical names would be Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Day, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, and Rickie Fowler. The likes of Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson would qualify as elder statesmen, and grizzled veterans of the Tour. For most, Tiger Woods at 42, was a dim memory of one-time unparalleled greatness—washed up before his time, and more a source of locker room guffaws and snide jokes.
And yet, early Monday morning in Manila saw the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Georgia end up as a flashback-episode of the highest proportions for the sports world. Like a conquering forgotten man, there was Tiger in his trademark Final Day Red, surrounded by a sea of fans, heading down the 18th fairway with victory in his grasp. Sure, the Tour Championship isn’t one of the four Golfing Majors (those would be the Masters, the US Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship); but undoubtedly, this was a major, major comeback that had captured the public’s wildest imagination.
His first win since August 2013, this is Tiger’s 80th Tour win, and puts him just two behind the still unrivalled record 82 of Sam Snead. And it was a tear-stricken Tiger who would face the cameras on the 18th green—a much more fragile, emotional, human Tiger, if we compare him to the Tiger who steadily amassed those 79 tourney victories.
In fact, it was way back 1996, when Tiger won his first PGA tournament. With this morning’s victory breaking the internet as the whole world was abuzz about the comeback of all comebacks, Tiger put it all in perspective when he quipped that back in ‘96, there was no internet!
Photos from @tigerwoods