I’m not crying, you’re crying! Whether or not you had moisture dripping from your face Sunday afternoon, you’d be lying to yourself if you didn’t feel some sort of jubilation in what is quite possibly the greatest sporting moment of the past decade. For one day, we all were Tiger riding the ups and downs of round four at Augusta National today, 4/14/19.
Today’s special moment on the 18th hole was much more than Tigers’ fifteenth major title. It was the culmination of so much physical, mental and emotional turmoil that has plagued tiger since his last major title over that past 11 years. That last major was at the 2008 U.S. open. Everyone from your next door neighbor to your secretary is aware of the TMZ wet dream that manifested on 11/25/2009, nearly a decade ago. Somehow Tiger has recovered nicely from that scandal and has everyone rooting for him.
A Decade of Injuries
Woods had more than just personal life drama, he had injuries to overcome. As someone who has had the exact same back surgery as Tiger, he is an inspiration for me. I’ve been rooting for him ever since my surgery. Unless you have had a pinched spinal nerve, it is difficult to understand how hard it is to deal with to perform normal daily functions, let alone be a world class golfer. Here is a brief rundown of Tiger’s injuries and surgeries:
2008: Arthroscopic knee surgery. Two days after finishing second at the 2008 Masters, Woods had arthroscopic knee surgery to clean out cartilage. He was set to recover in four to six weeks. He made his return to the course at the U.S. Open. The result? He won.
2008: ACL repair. Woods has reconstructive surgery on the damaged ACL and missed the remainder of the 2008 season. In addition to the ACL problem, Woods also has a double stress fracture in his left tibia as a result of preparations for the 2008 U.S. Open.
2008-09: Torn right Achilles tendon. At the 2010 Masters, Woods revealed that he tore his right Achilles tendon in 2008, and reinjured the tendon several times in 2009, yet continued to play.
2010: Apparent neck injury. Woods is forced to withdraw from the Players Championship during the final round with a neck injury. An MRI reveals that Woods has an inflamed facet joint in his neck.
April 26, 2011: Left MCL sprain, strained left Achilles tendon. Tiger Woods announces he will miss the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina. Woods suffered a Grade 1 mild MCL sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon while hitting a difficult and awkward second shot from the pine straw under the Eisenhower tree left of the fairway at No. 17 during the third round of the Masters. Woods was able to continue playing at Augusta and then later decided to seek a medical evaluation.
May 12, 2011: Knee, Achilles act up. Woods withdraws from The Players Championship with apparent injuries after nine holes (shot 42). “The knee acted up, and then the Achilles followed after that, and then the calf started cramping up. Everything started getting tight,” he said. Woods didn’t play again until WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August 2011.
March 11, 2012: Injury to left Achilles tendon. Woods withdraws from final round of WGC-Cadillac Championship.
March 2, 2014: Back issues. Woods withdraws from the final round of The Honda Classic.
March 18, 2014: Back spasms. Woods announces he won’t play Arnold Palmer Invitational, citing lingering pain.
April 1, 2014: Back surgery. Woods announces he will miss the Masters after undergoing a procedure, called a microdiscectomy, for a pinched nerve, which has been hurting him for several months. Woods said he will return to golf “sometime this summer,” which he did in late June at the Quicken Loans National
Sept. 16, 2015: Back surgery. After missing the cut in three of the four majors of 2015 but posting his best finish of the year in his final start, in August, Woods underwent a second microdiscectomy surgery and hopes to return in “early 2016.”
On a day that is being touted as “Game of Thrones Day” we all witnessed something that even George R. R. Martin couldn’t have scripted. Shortly after Woods gave his famous fist pump and walked off the 18th green victorious he embraced his son, Charlie Woods in a moment full of emotion. This was very reminiscent of the moment Tiger shared with his father in 1997 when he won his first Masters. Tiger would agree to this during his post round interview with Jim Nantz. As I witnessed this I was holding my baby girl and was moved to tears. The pure joy of the moment was intoxicating; a cocktail of bliss. This was a moment that had all of America smiling ear to ear.
Tiger now sits second all time behind Jack Nicklaus for major wins. Nicklaus has 18 wins compared to Woods’ 15. Things could deffinetaly be interesting this year as the next two major’s take place at venue’s where he’s won before. They are at Bethpage, [2002 U.S. Open], and Pebble Beach [2000 U.S. Open].
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