Everyone involved in the golf community knows very well what a risk this game really is. Perhaps no other sport faces this kind of a need to prove itself to the World as golf does, regarding the people who don’t care about the existence of the game. Looking at those stats, a single person making a huge name for themselves in this game is no little feat. But Tiger Woods has proved his worth for more than two decades in this field. And is still going strong.
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Woods is back playing his first Masters after 3 years of a hiatus. He hasn’t won a tournament in 5 years nor a major in 10 years. He walked out in fashion, dressed in black and surrounded by cheers from the crowd. He is making a comeback from personal as well as physical depths and is surrounded by what looks like concerned friends and believers, with “Tiger you can do this!” shouts from many.
It is possible he could’ve been a bit overwhelmed by all of this support initially, being out of the game for several years now. For most of five hours, Woods made futile attempts to grab a Masters comeback and it seemed like a mess. Things seemed empty and dark until suddenly, Woods saw a window through the Augusta National forest.
He repeatedly begged marshals to move the audience a safe distance from Tiger’s fight plan at Amen Corner. He played the shot exactly as he’d intended but the crowd hadn’t been moved far enough and his shot hit a man’s chair on the way, making Woods shout in exasperation.
The 42-year old Tiger Woods fought to stay in the game just as he would have 10 or 20 years ago, showing that the veteran has not lost his enthusiasm and energy for this game. After all the struggles in his personal and the resulting professional life in the past years, his recent recovery of health and an inspiration to play made him a favorite to win this tournament. And looks like he is not too far behind after all.
After his misadventures in Amen Corner, he birdied No. 14 and then No. 16 which produced an old Tiger roar from his gallery, sounding both as a cheer and a warning; Tiger Woods had returned.
For years this question has been asked over and over again, who will be the next Tiger Woods? But the answer is, there is no next Tiger Woods. He is a cultural phenomenon, a black man in an immensely white sport. And here he is, back in the game, healthy and more than eager to compete for a few more years. So just sit back and relax and enjoy this phenomenon while it lasts. Because the likes of Tiger Woods, once he’s gone, will never be seen and no one will ever be able to set-up a stage so huge for it to be able to beat the standards he’s set.
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