The Tiger Woods Show ReDux
The Augusta National golf course could be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Almost every shot you see of it is some kind of picture post card.
And the Masters tournament, that has been played there for umpteen years, is easily my favorite of all the majors.
This year’s tournament, however, will go down as one of the truly great ones, and that’s because the winner this year was someone who I was pretty sure would never be able to pull it off again, and by again, I mean for the fifth time.
That player is, of course, Tiger Woods. And this is his first major victory in 15 years, if you can believe that.
Tiger lit up the golf world for quite a while back in the nineties and the early part of this century. His stats were awesome. He was not just a competitor, but someone who scared the crap out of everyone on the tour.
And rightly so. He was one of the fiercest competitors the golf world had ever produced.
But then, a few things happened. His dad, Earl, who had been his coach, manager and mentor for all of amateur and professional life, passed away, and he became a bit untethered. His game started to suffer. Anmd his personal life turned into a bag of hammers, with a messy divorce and a bunch of bad press about his sex life.
I believe all that personal stress combined with the pressure of being the most recognized dude on the planet, and the incredible exertion it takes to play the game of golf at this level, defending your reputation every couple of weeks, took its toll on his body.
Not willing to be the guy who beats his own dead horse, Tiger started taking some time off, got the surgeries he needed, cleaned up his rep, or at least, let some of the bad stuff fade away, built a big mansion, bought a big boat, created a whole line of stuff for golfers, took care of his foundations, made millions from sponsorships on the big time fame that he was stuck with and then a couple years ago, got back into into some serious golfing.
It was a slow (and measured, I believe) process. But, over the past dozen or so tournaments, he had shown steady improvement, winning the Tour Championship last September, which qualified him to play in any PGA tournament in 2019.
This all culminated yesterday with a win at the Masters. With that Masters win, in what many concede is the most prestigious match on the tour, he once again becomes the guy that scares the crap out of you on the golf course.
Comebacks like this in pro sports are extremely rare and a great comeback like Tiger’s pretty much one-of-a-kind.
I watched all four days of this tournament, and to be honest, was paying more attention to guys like Brooks Keopka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. Because it seemed to me that there was some sort of changing of the guard going on.
But Tiger Woods showed pretty much everyone that he would not be counted out. And sure as hell he wasn’t.
Professional golf, even on a good day, is not the most exciting sport going. But if you were to get onto YouTube and look at some of Tiger’s archival footage, you will see that he turned up the electricity in his crowds like nobody’s business.
He changed the game of golf forever when he was in his twenties and early thirties, and now, in his early forties, he very much appears to be doing it again.
Nobody knows if this is the beginning of a new Tiger Woods era in professional golf. But what he proved today is that when it comes to Mr Woods, the possibilities are endless, and he can never be counted out.
Jim Murray is an experienced advertising and marketing professional and formed professional photographer. He has run his own business (Onwords & Upwords), since 1989 after a 20 year career in Toronto as a senior creative person in major Canadian & international advertising agencies. He is specialized in helping businesses that are working to make a real difference in the world.
Jim used to blog a lot about politics. But not so much anymore. Life's too short and politics has become almost pointless. He's now focused on marketing & communications, sports, entertainment and the environment.
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