The Return to Glory
Written by Dr Jim Tunney on May 6, 2019
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS May 6, 2019, #742 The Return to Glory After further review… While he won by only one-stroke (he won the 1997 Masters by 12 strokes), his comeback from surgeries and personal transgressions, perhaps is the most incredible sports story of 2019.
When Eldrick Tont, AKA Tiger, Woods came onto the golf scene as a youth – his father Earl introduced him to the game at age 2 – he shot a 48 on the 9-hole Navy course in Cypress, California, where Earl (a retired military) was a member. He defeated his father, a single-digit handicap, at the tender age of eleven. In Tiger’s early youth he appeared on the Mike Douglas TV show being pitted against comedian Bob Hope. Fans fell in love with him immediately!
He was the most dominant junior ever, winning three straight U.S. Junior Amateurs and three straight U.S. Amateurs before turning professional in 1996 where he was “Rookie of the Year”. Fans loved him – and still do. When he won his 14th major championship, many could see him eclipsing the 18 majors of Jack Nicklaus.
Then, personal transgressions occurred. He had tragic events in his marriage to Elin Nordegren, much of his own causing. His personal life overtook his accomplishments on the golf course, physical problems followed. In 2014 he dropped to #58 in world rankings. During the years 2014 and 2017, he had four back surgeries, along with four knee surgeries. His comeback was painful and not immediate. Yet, whenever he appeared on the golf course, he was admired by both fans and fellow competitors.
Linda Tunney, former Executive Director of the AT&T Pebble Beach Junior Golf Association said, “It was Tiger’s influence that many young kids took up the game of golf.” That remains true today with his comeback at this 2019 Masters as it will again influence young golfers.
As CBS announcer Jim Nantz, broadcasting his 34th Masters said, “This is the best event I’ve ever covered. It’s Tiger’s return to glory.”
Tiger today is a more humane Tiger. However, his intense focus on winning remains. Perhaps his quote following that Masters victory explains his comeback and his humanity:“I can’t thank my family, friends, and fans enough for their support. Having my family by my side today is something I will never forget. To not only be able to play again, but to be able to win again is something I will forever be grateful for. This jacket sure is comfortable.” It was his 5th!
Will you remember who helped you recover from a setback?
To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.