When news broke this week that Tiger Woods was in another automobile accident, there were immediate questions for many fans. Sports fans were concerned about his condition, why he was driving himself, and how it would affect his ability to pad his legacy as one of, if not the greatest, golfer of all time.
Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods is tied with PGA legend Sam Snead for first in PGA Tour wins, ranks second in men’s major championships, three behind the great Jack Nicklaus. Throughout most of Tiger’s unparalleled career, it seemed like only a matter of time before he would break both of these records.
But a series of back injuries and subsequent surgeries slowed that assault on the PGA records of 82 tour victories and 16 Major tournaments won. In an attempt to impress his doting father, Tiger took on the task of United States Navy Seals training, according to reports. The physical demand on his body coupled with swinging a golf club thousands of times took a toll on Tiger’s back.
Yet, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, a determined Tiger Woods reworked his swing and fought back against the idea that his career was over. Eldrick was even able to overcome a very public divorce and a DUI charge due to his medications from his surgeries.
In 2019, Tiger won the Master’s Tournament to get within striking distance of Nickaus’ lauded record of 18 Majors. He so with a reworked swing, but the same determination that made him a household name. Tiger was getting ready for the 2021 Master’s Tournament to try to post his 16th major when this accident occurred this week.
I have gotten the privilege of seeing Tiger Woods in person, and he is the greatest to swing a club, in my opinion. But I never rooted for him. When he would play a tournament, the gallery was different and much more significant. I found his fans to be dismissive and sometimes downright rude to the other PGA golfers. The reverence they showed Tiger was replaced with chatter or movement as the nomadic crowd would simply shadow their hero. Nonetheless, I always marveled at his ability and maintained deep respect. I was there on the Island-17th hole of the Player’s Championship (the 5th Major?) when Tiger put on quite the show more than one time.
Now I am rooting for Tiger Woods! I surely hope that his pursuit of the iconic PGA records doesn’t fall short because of this car accident. I hope he earns immortality, or doesn’t, on the golf course. Tiger, I hope you get your game on again, and I will see you on the Island 17 in the future!
Be safe, everyone!