By Staff Writer Tom Griffin.
The 2019 Masters tournament has ended, with Tiger Woods winning the event in dramatic fashion.
In his first Masters win since 2005, Woods completed the tournament with a stunning stroke total of thirteen under par, barely beating out a close-running three-way tie for second between Xander Schauffele, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson at twelve strokes under.
Woods most notably swept both Phil Mickelson (tied for eighteenth) and Rory McIlroy (tied for twenty-first), two more successful golfers of the past decade, with both athletes being highly touted as potential winners by media in the weeks leading up to the tournament.
As for Tiger himself, success hasn’t come so easy for him in the past few years.
Before this Masters series, Woods had earned his last major win with the 2008 U.S. Open, over eleven years ago. Following a streak of fourteen major wins across the 00’s, Woods hit a devastating decade-long slump.
The aging golf star found himself riddled with injuries in his later career, with back spasms leading to multiple back surgeries throughout the 2010s. The prescribed pain medications that followed his surgeries would eventually hold him at the center of a driving under the influence charge in 2017.
Inactivity from the sport dropped him from the #1 ranked golfer worldwide in 2013 to just outside the top 1,000 by 2017.
Of course, it’s impossible to forget the infidelity scandal of 2009 that led to his divorce with now ex-wife Elin Nordegren and brief absence from the sport.
Amid relationship issues, legal troubles and a failing body, Woods was taken mentally out of the competition in his off-course struggles, and it showed in his poor on-course performance, placing no better than ninth at the 2017 Hero World Challenge.
In mid 2018, a bit of hope graced his ailing career.
In the PGA Championship, Woods found himself finishing second behind the aforementioned Brooks Koepka by only two strokes. He hadn’t quite won again yet, but his play showed the promise of a return to championship contention.
Flash forward to the present, and Tiger’s wearing his most recent green jacket, a new addition to his previously dusty trophy room.
This Masters win marks a turning point in his losing trends, reviving a dying career to immediately surge back to relevance.
If Tiger decides to end his two-decade-long ride here, the grizzled 43-year-old veteran will carry a legacy of battling through adversity to be the absolute best at what he does.
If he’s here to stay, however, expect a renaissance from the world’s former #1.
Photo Courtesy: USA TODAY