Tiger Woods Wins 82nd PGA Tour

Aaron Pellican

In all of sports, there is a constant conversation being had in regards to who is the best athlete to ever play in his/her respective sport.  In basketball, while many people may say the greatest to ever do it was Michael Jordan, but others would argue that LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, etc. have Jordan beat.  In football there is a constant debate as well between Tom Brady and other generational quarterbacks such as Joe Montana, John Elway, or Aaron Rodgers. Golf is no different from this norm.  Tiger Woods has had his name heavily embedded in the greatest golfer of all time discussion. Woods is considered by many to be the greatest ever, but many more would argue that Jack Nicklaus holds the crown of golf.  Tiger Woods has been through a lot on and off the golf course and to say it is well documented would be an understatement. But through all of that, Woods earned himself his 82nd PGA tour win the other weekend, tying him with Sam Snead for the all-time record in PGA Tour history.  This win was particularly impressive as it came in Tiger’s first tournament appearance in 11 weeks after undergoing a minor back surgery.  Which is something Tiger has grown far too used to in recent years. This most recent procedure was Tiger’s 5th procedure on his back in 5 years.  This, along with a slew of knee injuries, only chronicles half of the story and only half of the reason why Tiger’s recent reemergence into golf glory has been one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of sports.  

From the moment Tiger Woods made his PGA Tour debut in 1997, it was clear that Woods was something very special.  This was especially clear when in the very same year that he debuted he became the first African American to win the Masters tournament and also set a record for lowest course score at the historical course at the age of 21.  From that moment on, golf became the Tiger Woods show. Woods went on to win 13 more major tournaments putting him on pace to shatter Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major tournament victories. This was all suddenly halted in 2009 when Woods became the center of an affair rumor in which he was accused of being unfaithful to his wife with many other women.  The rumor turned out to be true, and it quickly knocked Woods off of the course to greatness and onto a completely different course full of trials and tribulations that went as far as threatening Woods’ career in golf. While Woods made a return to golf about a year later, it was obvious that he wasn’t the same dominant version of himself that we had grown so used to.  Soon after his return to golf and a return to the Number 1 ranked golfer in the sport, Woods was hit with a series of very serious back injuries which left woods unable to walk on his own on multiple occasions. Woods went through years of rehab and returns to the course which were soon derailed again by more back issues. The severity of Woods’ back reached a point where the golfer claims that retirement seemed to be the obvious answer.  Even after all of this, things only got worse when Woods was arrested for a DUI in 2017. This seemed to be the horrific ending to a career that never saw its true potential. But Woods persevered and this past spring Woods won yet again at Augusta in the Masters Tournament. This was Woods’ first major victory since 2008 and marked the end of an 11 year major tournament drought for Woods which all started with injuries and his cheating scandal.  Woods’ 11 year battle to get back to playing peak competitive golf is nothing short of one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of sports. Now Woods is potentially back on track to give Jack Nicklaus’ major tournament wins record a run for its money, but most importantly, Woods is back to being Tiger Woods and he has the entire world of sports on his side too, rooting for his success. This most recent win deservingly places him at the top of golf record books and certainly further makes the argument that Tiger Woods is simply the best golfer to ever play the game.