The long-running Tiger Woods saga has been saturated with more drama than your average soap opera. Woods, once a superstar golfer, lost everything in a flash and is now on his journey to claiming back not only his status on the course but his reputation off it.
|Tiger's first Masters victory|
We have witnessed Wood’s rapid rise to stardom with success at a young age, a battle with career threatening injuries, a scandal that rocked the world, repentance of the highest order and acknowledgment of previous faults, which leaves only one missing scenario. The bittersweet ending.
Tiger, one of America’s most famous embodiments of the American Dream, must now seek to emulate his initial rise to greatness once again and this resurgence mission gathered great pace on Sunday.
Shooting a 13-under par 275 at Bay Hill to claim victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational by a 5-shot margin, Woods claimed his first PGA Tour victory since September 2009 at the BMW Championship, to draw a line under what has been the lowest point of his career.
It all began when he crashed his Escalade outside his home in November 2009, but got worse with numerous reports of infidelity, a high profile divorce, public defamation by former caddie Steve Williams and a damning description of events in former coach Hank Hanley’s recently published novel.
|Doomed to fail|
Woods hit rock bottom in sensational fashion with arguably the biggest public fall from grace of any superstar past or present. But, he is determined to prove that his troubled times are over and that such misdemeanours are a thing of the past.
Tiger Wood’s attempts to bring himself full circle in an unbelievable restoration of faith and fortune is the sequel to his incident-filled first episode and the setting for his latest chapter is Augusta.
The Masters is a modern representation of a reality show, incorporating drama and comedy in an action-filled adventure towards the capture of the romanticised green jacket. Taking the stage, Woods, who has, up until last weekend’s victory, been considered unlikely of success, will enter the tournament as 3/1 favourite.
He will understand that he has much improved competition at The Masters, especially in the form of Rory McIlroy, who won the U.S. Open last year, the youngest player to do so since Bobby Jones in 1923. McIlroy boasts a longer stretch of form and recently held off Tiger’s dramatic surge of a last round 62, to claim victory at the Honda Classic in Florida.
At the other end of the scale, 41-year-old veteran and psoriatic arthritis sufferer Phil Mickelson will also pursue Woods. Mickelson, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last year, is a three-time Masters champion, who claimed his 40th PGA Tour victory last month in the ATT Pebble Beach Pro-Am and knows Augusta inside-out.
|McIlroy will be biggest threat|
The Tiger Woods show lacks traditional themes, for he is no hero and does not chase villains, but is by far the most eagerly anticipated programme on the PGA’s listings and Woods’ recent victory has sent media speculation into overdrive.
Whether Woods manages to secure his fifth green jacket at Augusta or not, The Masters will benefit just from his presence. When he missed the 2011 U.S. Open in Bethesda, Maryland due to injury, ratings fell by a staggering 26%, illustrating just how influential his appearance is on spectatorship.
So as the viewing public prepares to witness the next chapter of the Tiger Woods chronicle, there are two main schools of thought amongst the audience.
Some brand Woods as a golfing genius who must be given the plaudits he deserves for his achievements on the golf course, because this is the reason people grew to love him and his ‘private’ life is none of our business.
|Is this how it ends?|
Others see a man who betrayed not only his wife but the public who gave him so much adoration, helping him to become the iconic figure that he was and feel a person so morally bankrupt as he appears to be, should not be given any respect after such brutal transgression.
Whether you see the good in a man who has trodden a long journey of repentance to seek forgiveness for his sins, or the evil in a man who committed crimes so drastic they cannot be forgiven, one fact remains.
Golf with Tiger Woods is a must-see event.
Written by Dom Wallace
Written by Dom Wallace