The story is well known in golfing circles, the downward spiral of the seemingly infallible and unbeatable Tiger Woods. Having emerged as a fresh-faced rookie on the PGA Tour in 1996, he immediately set the golfing world alight. A stellar reputation preceded his arrival, but he more than lived up to it. He was named PGA Tour rookie of the year in his first season and went on to break records and records and records. Lowest season scoring average, most consecutive cuts made, most weeks at world number one (683 weeks) – all records that belong to Woods. This is all without mentioning the countless PGA Tour wins and 14 majors. Then it all went wrong.
Tiger Woods: Back to Winning Ways?
His swing caught up with him as he had back surgery in 2014 and his form went downhill. As of July 2017, he was ranked outside the top 1000 golfers in the world, a position he has never been in before. This is all without mentioning the incredible adultery and infidelity scandal that engulfed him in 2009. The King of Golf had officially fallen from his throne, his last major victory in 2008 and last PGA Tour victory in 2013.
The road to recovery
The low point was the arrest. Overdosed on medication, Tiger Woods was stopped and arrested in Florida. The recovery process has been slow and arduous and compounded the back recovery process Woods has had to endure. He was forced to endure a fourth back surgery in April of this year. This comes after a failed attempt to re-launch his golfing career at the Hero World Challenge. The quality of Tiger’s play seemed so unlike what many are used to seeing on the Tour, as duffed chips and wayward drives plagued Tiger. The Woods of old seemed to be lost.
However, in October of this year, the golfing world has seen a real upturn in the fortunes and swing of Tiger Woods. A series of videos on social media showed Tiger’s full swing, complete with a trademark club twirl. Tiger was seen to hit stingers, drives, and irons at a charity event. This gives real hope to the golfing world that Tiger might return to grace the Tour with his formidable presence. All going well, we may possibly see Tiger return in the event he attempted last year, the Hero World Challenge in December.
The return of Tiger begs a serious question. How will Tiger perform against a radically different Tour from the one he last played on during the 2014-15 season? The Tour has certainly changed, putting golf in an incredible place. Victory on the PGA Tour is becoming harder and harder as new talents emerge every week. A record number of 20 somethings won last season. I am of the opinion that even Tiger Woods in his best form will struggle in a Tour this good. It isn’t easy to win when faced with Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth on Tour, even for Tiger Woods.
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