Tiger Woods triumphs in first win after years of injury

Mackenzie Bernas

By Mackenzie Bernas

After 1,876 days, four back surgeries, a drug addiction, and a drastic drop in popularity, former golf megastar Tiger Woods seemed to be a forgotten icon at the end of his career. Although many gave up hope of seeing Woods blowing away the competition as he had before 2009, Tiger Woods made an astounding comeback on Sept. 23.

To the delight of his fans around the world, he won the prestigious Tour Championship where only the top 30 golfers in the world are invited to play in the PGA tournament finale. This was Tiger’s 80th tournament win, which puts him only two short of having the most PGA tour wins of all time.  

“I was having a hard time not crying,” said Woods over the crowd chanting his name as a response to the reporter inquiring about his feelings, walking to the last hole of the tournament.

Woods has long been known to be the face of golf, his popularity coming to be known as the “Tiger Effect.” At one point in his career, “TIGER WOODS IMPRESSES” was the headline of a sports newspaper. Right underneath the giant headline, it stated, “Tiger Woods finishes 12th at Honda Classic as Thomas wins.” Barely any attention was paid to other golfers when Woods entered a tournament.

Forty-two weeks after Tiger Woods became a pro, he earned the top spot on the official world golf rankings. He was the youngest player to win the Masters at 21 years old, while also setting the record for largest winning margin. He is the only golfer to have won the U.S. Amateur three consecutive times. He holds the title for the most career earnings in PGA Tour history. In addition, Tiger won all four major championships in golf in a row. These are a few of his mind-boggling achievements. By the opinion of many, Tiger Woods changed golf itself.

But he dropped from the scene and there was lots of speculation he was through.

Tiger Woods who was called the greatest golfer by many a multitude of people, and had popularity that was stupefyingly great, received a devastating blow to his public support. Tiger was exposed to having multiple affairs with his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren. It started with a huge fight at their house, and ended with divorce after all of the affairs in 2009. Scores of news articles about this infamous “ Sex Scandal” were published with accusations like calling Woods a “serial cheater.” As an unfortunate case for many of Woods’ fans, victory at WGC-Bridgestone in 2013 Invitational would be his last for another five years.

The cheating scandal was not the only thing keeping Woods away from playing. In the spring of 2017, Woods went through his fourth back surgery to alleviate pain in his back and legs. His back injury caused his absence for almost the entire season. Shortly afterward, Woods was arrested for consuming a combination of multiple drugs including painkillers, the active ingredient to marijuana, and two sleep drugs while driving. He was eventually released from jail on his own recognizance, which is a bond where someone commits before a court or magistrate to observe a condition. Last year Woods admitted that he might never play golf again.

Woods eventually attended rehab and received a light punishment for driving under the influence which included hours of community service, a small fine, and a mandatory attending of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) class.

Less than a year after surgery, surprising everyone,  Woods began to walk onto the golf course again calling himself a “walking miracle.” It was a surprise and a delight to longtime fans of Woods when he started playing in tournaments again. This began his historic comeback to victory in the tour championship. He drew a spectacular number of people to watch him play as he once again stole back his spotlight from all of the players participating in the tournament.

He turned his deplorable situation into a fantastic comeback story that inspired the crowd to chant his name.