Tiger Woods. For those of us to be old enough to have followed his career from the start (and yes, I am one of them), the lingering question after this past weekend was, “How far has Tiger fallen??”
Woods finished fifteenth in the Hero World Challenge this past weekend behind winner Hideki Matsuyama in his much-anticipated return to the PGA Tour. Had it been any other golfer returning from a long layoff, the finish would warrant maybe a one-sentence mention.
However, Tiger Woods is not merely “any other golfer.” From the time Earl Woods placed a golf club in young Tiger’s hand, it was clear he was special. The media would use terms like protégé and phenom to describe him in the Amateurs, college and on to the PGA Tour.
Through it all, nothing seemed to faze him. Woods had a steely resolve and uncanny ability to block out all distractions, including the unenviable burden of making the sport popular among an entire race.
Remarkably, Tour veterans would watch in awe as Woods dominated tournaments every week as vary few had before him.
The tabloids would expose Tiger’s weaknesses in ways his fellow tour competitor’s never could. Starting with his divorce from then wife Ellin Nordegren in 2010, his humanness started to seemingly show and off-course life, be it injuries, age, or other interests, derailed him.
With 106 career professional victories, Tiger Woods leaves his fans now asking, “Will Tiger ever dominate again??” Only time will tell.