Tiger Woods Wins First Tournament Since 2013, Fans Go Nuts
Tiger won the Tour Championship at East Lake and nearly came in first in the FedEx Cup as well.
Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE
Tiger Woods earned his 80th career win on the PGA tour this weekend, after a stretch of five years struggling with a host of personal and professional problems, including injuries and chronic pain to his knee and back that required multiple surgeries, a DUI arrest thanks a cocktail of pain meds and sleeping pills, and a general sense that he would never be able to put it all back together again.
It's been a very weird, and very long journey even going back to 2009, when we all learned about his lurid sexcapades, and fans had been dying to see the Old Tiger come back. Tiger hadn't won a tournament since the 2013 WGC Bridgestone International, but when he finally did put it all together, finishing -11 in a wire-to-wire win at the Tour Championship in East Lake yesterday, the gallery went absolutely mad. The scenes on the course as Tiger made his way back to clubhouse looked like a Mardi Gras parade with people hooting and hollering behind him, slinging beers, and just reveling in the possibility of Tiger really being back:
Tiger is now two tour wins away from tying Sam Snead on all-time PGA wins list, but the next real big hurdle is whether he can win another major. Woods has made no secret of his desire to pass Jack Nicklaus on the all-time Majors leaderboard and, before this lengthy dry spell, it felt like a stone-cold lock that Tiger would. With 14 Major tournament victories, he still trails Nicklaus all-time record by four—and he's been in that position for a decade.
Tiger's last win at a Major was the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, where he forced an 18-hole playoff against Rocco Mediate by hitting a dramatic birdie putt on the 18th hole, all while on a bum knee (he had surgery two days later). Woods led after three rounds at the Open Championship this year, but just could not seal deal, and finished three strokes off the lead.
We may never see the kind of intimidating dominance that we grew accustomed to with Early Tiger—the feeling that if Tiger entered Sunday with a lead, he was leaving with a win—but Comeback Tiger is pretty satisfying to watch, too. Seriously, look at that crowd!