There is an old adage that says, “A setback is a setup for a comeback.” While the origin of the quote is debatable, it was proven true once again as Tiger Woods captured his fifth Masters title on Sunday. Woods, who established himself as a golf phenomenon, experienced a decade of struggles on and off the green. At the age of 43 he has become the second oldest Masters winner.
Woods expressed post-victory, “It’s unreal for me to experience this. It was one of the hardest I’ve ever had to win just because of what’s transpired the last couple of years.”
The stretch of setbacks began truly with the devastating loss of his father Earl Woods who passed away from prostate cancer in 2006. In 2008 Woods had Arthroscopic knee surgery. He already had two previous surgeries on the same knee. Later that same year, Woods had ACL surgery performed on his left knee. Then, there was of course the infamous 2009 “car accident” in which his personal life struggles were exposed. Most likely as a result of the bad press in 2010, Woods lost a few endorsement deals. He suffered knee and Achilles tendon injuries in 2011 and later on that year ended a 12-year relationship with his caddie. He received back surgery in 2014 that was followed up in 2015 with his third micro-discectomy. 2016 marked the first time in his career that he missed every major championship due to back surgery recovery. In 2017 Woods was arrested for DUI on Memorial Day. After pleading guilty to reckless driving he sought help and completed all the necessary programs. Finally, in 2018, Woods experienced both highs and lows with narrow defeats on his journey back to the number 1 spot.
There was a moment after Woods sunk the final putt in which he embraced his son in the same fashion that he and his father had embraced 14 years earlier when he won his first Masters.
“I did the same thing to my dad and now I’m the dad with my son doing the same thing,” he explained. “It’s amazing how life evolves, changes.”
Woods went on to say, “That was 22 years ago, when my dad was there and then now my son’s there, my daughter was there, my mom’s there. My mom was there 22 years ago and the fact that she’s still around, still kicking, still fighting, goes to show you her resiliency.
“It’s hard to comprehend right now. I mean, honestly it’s only been a few hours out of winning the tournament. I’m still trying to enjoy it and figure out that I actually won it.
“I know I have the green jacket on but it’s just, it’s still, I think it’s going to take a little bit of time to sink in.”