Woods Wins Again After 30 Months
Tiger Woods was found walking towards the 18th green on Sunday with one big distinction from the way he did so over the past 30 months of the PGA Tour: with a huge smile on his face.
This time, he had finally succeeded at bringing the buzz back to the exact thing that had made him famous: his victories.
“Pure joy,” was how he described his feelings after the game.
After one more injury scare from two weeks ago, Woods appeared as confident as ever in his bright red shirt, winning the Bay Hill Arnold Palmer Invitational.
This was his very first win on the PGA Tour ever since the sex scandal came out in late 2009 which resulted in one of the greatest sports downfalls.
And given how the Masters is only two weeks away, Woods finally looks like he just might resume his majors challenge of Jack Nicklaus.
For this particular game, Woods ended with a 2-under 70 and claimed the victory by five shots over Graerne McDowell.
McDowell said that Woods just finally made his comeback, and commented that it was a great experience seeing him do what he did best, which was winning tournaments in golf. He also described Woods as “maybe the greatest of all time.”
The last time Woods had posed with a trophy had been 27 tour events and 923 days ago, and his expression confirmed the length of time it had taken.
As he knelt to check his line while waiting to putt on the 18th, Woods barely contained grin was obvious, and it indicated that he knew he was about to put an end to the longest drought of his career in the PGA Tour.
When he managed to putt the ball in for par, he gave a scream, and, clenching his fist, gave his caddie Joe LaCava a big bear hug. From there, he walked off the green waving his black cap.
“It feels really good,” Woods said, though conceding that it was not as if he just won the major championship, downplaying the impact of Sunday’s game. In fact, he pointed out several times that he considered this win as his second ever since the sex scandal, counting last December’s Chevron World Challenge as his first victory.
At that challenge, he had beaten an 18-man field comprised of players in the top-50 with a birdie-birdie.
But the significance of Sunday’s victory was big: it had been a full-field PGA Tour event, and Woods had made such a strong performance that he was not ever challenged on a serious level on the back nine.
Two weeks ago, the question revolved around when he would possibly play again. After this game, the question has evolved to whether Woods would ever get back to ruling golf.
This was also the 16th time in his golfing career wherein he won by a minimum of five shots, and was also the largest victory margin on the PGA Tour ever since the U.S. Open was won by Rory McIlroy with a margin of eight shots.
“I’ve gotten better,” Woods said as the most important thing to him, especially considering how he had been “close” over a few tournaments before this. He explained that he just had to stay patient and keep fine-tuning.
Finally, he reached where he wanted to go, as a start of his journey back to the top.