As Tiger Woods walked towards what became the shot that would grant him his 80th Pro Golf Association tour win, the crowd followed intently, ready to watch Woods reclaim the throne after going over 1,800 days without a single tournament win. This scene resembled the walk that Woods took in 1997 on his way to the 18th hole of the Masters Tournament that he would go on to win – his first at a major tournament, but it surely would not be his last.
Woods has created a legacy that posits him as somewhat of a god in the golf community. Despite his past transgressions, like his cheating scandal in 2013 and subsequent divorce, Woods has managed to overcome the fiasco along with a host of lingering back injuries. This is only proving why Woods is worthy of the respect that he gets.
Though, Woods has never been characterized as infallible by any means. He embodies everything you’d expect out of a hyper-famous pro athlete. The recurring difficulties of his infidelity, being a part of a collective and hubris are not at all surprising considering the stature Woods has built for himself. He plays good golf. That’s all anyone has ever expected of him – nothing more and surely nothing less.
With this in mind, Woods’ recent resurgence in the form of his PGA tour win could stand to truly solidify Woods’ position in golf history. In a promotion for the upcoming 2018 Ryder Cup starting Sept. 28, Tiger was asked to name his golf Mount Rushmore. He answered naming Sam Snead, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Yes, Woods named himself as one of the four greatest players to ever grasp a club. This statement might be problematic if it weren’t for Woods’ 80 PGA tour wins and 14 major wins which rank him second only to Snead and seven ahead of Nicklaus in the latter category.
While this is a brazen display of hubris it is more accurately a demonstration of Woods’ determination of his goals. The fact that Woods is still competing at age 42, and it seems his career still has an ample amount of gas left in it is important because we could get a Woods that plays as well as he did during his historic run between 2000 and 2008.
Fellow golfing veteran and rival of Woods Phil Mickelson is even recognizing the greatness with which Woods is playing right now.
Mickelson tweeted, “I just played with Tiger today, and it is the best I’ve ever seen him swing the club. It is so on-plane and solid.”
This quote is notable coming from Mickelson because he has been playing with and competing against Woods for upwards of two decades. Mickelson witnessed the Tiger Slam, when Woods finished in first place consecutively at the Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, Open Championship and on the PGA tour – the only four major tournaments golfers participate in throughout the year. What this means is that Woods is essentially more technically adept now than he was when he was quantitatively at his best.
Also worthy of consideration is the fact that Woods underwent his fourth back surgery, a spinal fusion operation, in 2017. The severity of Woods’ injuries led many to believe that he would never reach the golfing heights he once had. Woods’ PGA tour win seemingly proved his critics wrong. Injuries can largely be ruled out as the reason Woods does not succeed in the future now.
All of this leads to one major conclusion – Tiger Woods is back. He is swinging the club better than ever and now he has another trophy and nine million dollars from his PGA win to prove to everyone he can still play. Much like the quest’s of Tom Brady and Lebron James for continued greatness into their older years in terms of athleticism, Woods wants to solidify his status to point where there is no dispute as to his legitimacy.
Photo courtesy of Online Gambling.