The Tiger and the GOAT
The greatest Masters Sunday. The greatest sporting comeback. The Greatest Of All Time. As Tiger Woods made the turn on Sunday at Augusta, a fifth Green Jacket and fifteenth Major felt simultaneously inevitable and impossible.
It will go down not only in golf history, but in sports history, as the ultimate comeback. However, it wasn’t just a comeback; it was a return to greatness. It was a new start to a never-ending story, and there are sure to be more chapters written; more records broken. Tiger Woods is now one PGA Tour win away from Sam Snead’s record of 82, one Green Jacket away from Jack Nicklaus’ record of 6 and three Major Championships away from Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18. This guy is not done.
If cats have nine lives, The Big Cat intends to use every single one.
I called it the greatest Masters Sunday, and I stand by that. Sure, it had a fairy-tale ending, but it also had all the twists and turns of a great thriller. With four holes to play, FIVE players were tied for the lead. FIVE! That is about as good as golf gets. Three of those men (Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Kopeka) finished tied for second on -12, having totalled eight birdies and an eagle on the back nine.
The course was set up for the truest test of golf, especially over the weekend; inviting low scores on Saturday and demanding a tough grind on Sunday. Saturday saw three rounds of 8-under 64 from Tony Finau, Webb Simpson and Patrick Cantlay and a 66 from Francesco Molinari which sent the Italian two clear at the top on -13. But the Open Champion is undoubtedly best when chasing a lead, and he snapped a 49-hole bogey-free streak at the seventh before falling victim to the infamous 12th hole. He wasn’t the first and he sure as hell won’t be the last man to trade a Green Jacket for a wet golf ball in Rae’s Creek, but that didn’t make it any less painful. Still, it was on the fifteenth, when his approach clipped a pine cone hanging from a branch and found the water, that his chances were well and truly over.
You know that you’re guaranteed history at every single Masters Tournament, but this is perhaps the most historic one yet.
Good for Golf
You can decide for yourself how you feel about junior golfers walking the course in red mock-turtlenecks and chewing gum, but the most important thing is that they are walking the course. The sentiment of Woods celebrating with his son as he had with his father in ’97 was not lost on all the parents who would celebrate with their children in the way their parents had with them all those years ago. Tiger’s enduring excellence has inspired generation after generation, and now another generation can be added to that list. His legacy is such that he found himself battling past world class golfers who were inspired by his previous Masters victories.
Whether watching on TV, making a first trip to the local pitch-and-putt or winning the PGA Championship next month, Tiger’s return will impact everybody in golf.
Tiger Woods is back.
Tiger Woods – What’s in the Bag?
Driver: TaylorMade M5
3-Wood: TaylorMade M5
5-Wood: TaylorMade M3
Irons: TaylorMade P-7TW
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (Raw)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2
Written by Joe Carabini