Every April, golf’s greatest players meet at Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia to compete on the most majestic course this country has to offer. In other words, the Masters tournament will be played this weekend, and the favorite to win it all is none other than Tiger Woods.
Last week Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the sixth time in the past nine years. It was a come-from-behind victory in vintage Woods fashion as he birdied the final hole to win by one stroke. A routine victory by Woods standards except for one thing: He had his torn ACL repaired only nine months earlier.
Before the 2008 US Open Championship back in June, it was revealed that Tiger Woods had a torn ACL and a fractured shinbone. Woods decided he still wanted to compete in the Open, which led to one of the greatest performances in the history of golf.
Woods spent the entire tournament favoring his left knee, often using various clubs as a walking cane as he limped the course. Woods also altered his swing to keep weight off his knee and was seen doubled over in pain throughout the competition.
During the last round of the Open, Woods birdied the final hole tying with Rocco Mediate. This forced the pair to play another 18 holes of golf the next day as a playoff. When the pair finished their round Monday evening, they remained tied, which forced a one-hole sudden death playoff. Woods made his par putt while Mediate missed his, giving Woods the victory at dusk.
“This guy does things that are just not normal by any stretch of the imagination,” said an exhausted Mediate. ‘Epic’ is the word that most people used to describe Wood’s performance that day while Woods himself stated that it was his “greatest ever championship.” Golfer Kenny Perry noted that, “He beat everybody on one leg.”
That win gave Woods his 14th major championship of his career, which is four behind the record held by Jack Nicklaus. Comparing a golf “major championship” win next to a regular tournament win like the Arnold Palmer Invitational, is like comparing the Super Bowl win to a regular season football win.
It’s no wonder that Tiger Woods is favored yet again to win the Masters. What else would you expect? This is the guy that may one day be remembered as the greatest golfer the game has ever seen.