These days Tiger Woods is better known for DUI’s and “extra curricular” marital activities than he is for winning golf tournaments. Following his period of dominance throughout the late 90’s and 2000s (when he won the 2000 U.S. Open by a record 15-shot margin, was the top-ranked golfer in the world for an unprecedented 281 weeks in a row, and was awarded the PGA player of the year a record 11 times) Woods’ career took a nosedive.
In 2009 Woods took a hiatus from golf to focus on his marriage, which was under intense media scrutiny, and eventually fell apart. This, combined with last year’s drink driving offence, a series of injuries and back surgeries, and a number of missed tournaments (and poor competition results) led many to believe his time at the top was over. Until now: Tiger Woods yesterday ended his five year tour drought with victory at a $9 million dollar tour championship.
And…… the greatest of all time @TigerWoods won his first event in 5 years after two spinal fusion surgeries . The reason we all picked up a golf club is back in action and the scenes are incredible
— Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial) September 23, 2018
History was made in Atlanta as Woods—by two shots—delivered PGA Tour victory number 80, and was swarmed by thousands of fans on the fairway. This came after a par on the 18th, which gave him a 71, and 11 under par total at East Lake. Billy Horschel finished second with 66, two shots behind. To put this in perspective, “Ten months ago, Woods was 1193rd in the world rankings. Precisely 1877 days had passed between win numbers 79 and 80,” (The Guardian).
This goes to show; life is a mental game that begins after your midlife crisis. Whether you deal with your sense of existential dread by buying a Mercedes-Benz or by winning a prestigious golf tournament (or, in Woods’ case, both), is immaterial—what matters is you focus on what you can control and make the best of things. Woods has pushed through five back surgeries and undergone a lengthly period of physical rehabilitation to be where he is today.
The following compilation of critics calling his career over, telling him to retire with some dignity and and reminding him that the average PGA tour player is 35 years old only makes victory even sweeter.
Tiger Woods wins for the first time since 2013.
Never a doubt. pic.twitter.com/JY4i6XuhRV
— Skratch (@Skratch) 23 September 2018
The moral of the story? Even if you don’t see yourself winning a world championship: get back on whatever horse you’ve left unsaddled, seek help, and be grateful.
“It’s been tough, I have had a not so easy last couple of years and I have worked my way back… I couldn’t have done it without the people around me. It was very special to see those people there,” (The Courier).