BlackJack: Just When I Thought I Was Done With Golf, Tiger Woods Gets Me Again
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tiger Woods.
Everyone who follows me knows that I am not a golf fan.
I don’t play the game, I don’t bet it, and I rarely watch it. Yet, this afternoon instead of watching the NBA or NHL playoffs, I found myself watching the final round at Augusta.
While I may not be a fan of the game, I am a fan of greatness. I’m also a fan of a great story. This weekend at The Masters, we saw both.
We saw the redemption of Tiger Woods, one of the greatest athletes in American history, who suffered an incomparable fall from grace, and now, after an incredibly long road back, has reached the mountain top once again.
It is difficult for some to remember, but before 2009, Tiger Woods was the poster child for athletes in this country. He was intelligent, articulate, always surrounded by family, and the greatest in the world at what he did.
Everyone assumed it was a matter of when, not if, he would break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships.
Then, in the blink of an eye, it all vanished.
His infidelity was put on a world stage. His sexual proclivities known by millions around the world, a self-inflicted fall from grace.
He suffered injury after injury. He was arrested for a DUI in Florida. He had nude photos leaked on the internet. The man who was once a living legend, had become little more than a punch line and a cautionary tale of how things can go very wrong.
And then today happened — and he sucked me all the way back in.
Tiger went 11 years between major championship wins. He went 14 years between Masters’ victories, the longest such stretch in golf history. And today, he walks away from the 18th hole with his son and the rest of his family, and an expression of pure joy on his face.
There is something else, there is relief. The long nightmare is over. The road back is complete.
The most electrifying golfer of all time is finally, decidedly and unequivocally, back. I’m happy for him.
His story is one of perseverance, dedication and resolve. Everyone makes mistakes in their life. His were made on a worldwide stage. His victory today proves that our mistakes don’t define us. No matter how long the road, there is always a way back.
Golf is better with Tiger Woods playing the way he did this weekend.