Tiger Woods’ Incredible Comeback

Noah Neri, Staff Writer

From April 11 to April 14, 2019, Augusta National Golf Club hosted the annual Masters Tournament, one of professional golf’s four major events. Tiger Woods mounted a come-from-behind victory to take the green jacket with a score of -13, just one stroke in front of runner-ups Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele. This victory was huge for Woods as it was his first major win in 11 years and marked a comeback unparalleled in all of sports.

Woods winning the Masters was the climax in a long story with many ups and downs on the road to greatness. As a young player, Woods took the PGA Tour by storm, becoming the youngest player to win the Masters at 21 by a whopping 12 strokes, a record victory.

He would continue to become one of the most dominant players on the tour, and, by 2000, he had won nine of the 20 matches he entered. In his prime, Woods was the highest-ranked golfer in the world for two periods of over 250 straight weeks. Woods was so great that several courses were even “Tiger-proofed” to make them more difficult for him and players like him. He also landed endorsements with top brands like Nike, Monster, AT&T and Gatorade.

However, the next few years led into a steep downward spiral for Woods. News reports surfaced about several women who had extramarital affairs with Woods, who was married at the time to former model Elin Nordegeren. Tiger later confirmed the reports, and he and Elin divorced in Aug. of 2010.

Woods would once again climb to the #1 ranking between 2013 and 2014, but, this time, he was confronted with a new set of problems: injury. Woods underwent four back surgeries from 2014 to 2017, missed many tournaments, and dropped out of the world’s top 1000 golfers. In Aug. of 2017, Woods possibly hit his lowest point: getting arrested for driving while under the influence of several drugs.

Despite these obstacles, Woods returned to golf and trained for a comeback. He fought through back problems that severely limited his driving distance, one of his strongest skills. He would place top-five in 2018’s Valspar Championship and win the Tour Championship, finally getting his first victory in the Masters in 14 years.

Woods, with 15 major victories, will continue to chase Jack Nicklaus (18 victories) for the major win record. This victory was the shining moment for Woods’ incredible story thus far and is one for the ages.