As a die-hard PGA Tour fan I’ve reserved judgement on Tiger Woods the last 8 months. I didn’t want to come out and say he’s back after his T23 in his first official tournament on tour in January. This was just months after his latest back surgery. I didn’t want to declare him for dead when just a few weeks later in his second tournament back, he missed the cut at the Genesis Open. He looked like he would never be able hit a driver straight again after the Genesis.
Those emotions have continued to run up and down over the last several months, from a second place finish at the Valspar in March and a Sunday charge at The Open last month, to a missed cut at the U.S. Open in June.
Everyone wants Tiger to win again. It would be an amazing story. A man who was once declared as the best golfer to ever live. A man who went through marriage issues like almost 50% of the country these days. A man who’s had four back surgeries over the last 5 years. A single man who can captivate an entire golf audience by himself despite competing against 155 other golfers. The story of seeing him win another major or even golf tournament would be one of the best sports dramas of all-time.
As someone who follows the PGA Tour religiously, of course I’ve wanted to see Tiger succeed again. Golf is an amazing sport, and anyone who plays it knows how difficult it can be. To see these professionals drive the ball 300 yards or hit 60 foot bunkers shots within 5 feet of the hole is jaw dropping. But let’s be honest, unless you’re a die-hard fan of the tour, the casual golf fan couldn’t give a damn about some random tournament in March or a major if Tiger’s not competing.
Everything came full circle on Sunday afternoon at the 4th and final major of the year. Tiger gave sports fans around the world one wild ride. Woods came into the day 4 strokes behind the leader and the eventual PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepeka. The big cat (Woods) gave fans around the world many ups.. and a few downs. He launched monster drives. He showcased his world-class short game around the greens. He reminded everyone how clutch he can be with his putter, and most impressively for me he reminded everyone that when in contention to win a major nobody is more passionate and hungry to win than Tiger himself.
Woods went on to shoot a 64 and finish the tournament at -14 in 2nd place. This was his best ever score at a major in a losing effort. Think about that for a second. A man who’s won 14 majors, 79 times on the PGA tour, had 4 back surgeries over the last 5 years, hasn’t won a golf tournament for 5 years, and hasn’t won a major championship in over 10 years went out and had one of the best final rounds of his major championship career today.
Let’s be honest… as great as Koepka’s final round was, the 2018 PGA Championship will be remembered for Tiger Woods’ exhilarating run at his 15th major victory. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve wanted Tiger to “be back” as much as anybody. I was almost ready to declare him back after his run at The Open Championship a few weeks ago but couldn’t go all in yet. After today, I’m officially all in. When you watch moments like this…
and when you have an entire bar of random people in Boston clapping and going wild when Tiger hits a birdie putt, you can’t resist the urge and truth any longer. Tiger Woods the man who finished 2nd at the final major of the year today is officially back and here to stay. I’ve waited a long time to say that… but I can finally say it with certainty… and oh boy does it feel good!
It may be 238 days away, but I’m already counting down the days until Tiger gets his next chance in a major at the Masters next April. In the meantime let’s see if he can win one of his final 3 or 4 tournaments of the year coming up. Oh and let’s not forget to watch him lead the U.S. to a victory over Europe at the Ryder Cup in a month and a half!