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COMMENTARY: Might have died. Practically misplaced a leg. Tiger Woods enjoying Masters means he has already gained – InForum


MIAMI — Twenty-five years in the past he launched himself to America with spectacular, historic dominance, profitable the Masters by a document 12 strokes. It was epic. We watched with an consciousness we have been witnessing one thing far larger than only a golf match. He was lifting hundreds of thousands, altering a sport.

What Tiger Woods is trying this week is almost as spectacular.

It is perhaps extra so, as a result of now he’s combating time, and every thing else.

He is 46. Less than 14 months in the past his automobile careened down a steep embankment close to Los Angeles in a single-car accident that would have killed him. His proper leg and foot have been gruesomely mangled. Doctors have been near amputating.

“It’s altered,” Woods described it six weeks in the past. “My right leg does not look like my left leg, let’s put it that way.”

That his comeback is occurring this week within the Masters, again at Augusta, appears surreal, nearly unattainable. And but possible.

It was solely in February that Woods appeared pissed off with the inching progress of his arduous rehabilitation, and when that may discover him again on the PGA Tour.

“I wish I could tell you when I’m playing again,” he stated then. “I want to know, but I don’t. My golf activity has been very limited. I can chip and putt really well and hit my short irons very well, but I haven’t done any long stuff seriously. And I’m still working on the walking part. What’s frustrating is it’s not on my timetable. You add in the age factor, too. You just don’t quite heal as fast.”

Now, although, he is set to tee off Thursday at Augusta. He performed a current follow spherical there together with his son Charlie and golf professional and shut good friend Justin Thomas. He was seen hitting seven drives on the vary, all estimated between 280 and 310 yards.

“For him to hopefully be playing — and I think he is — we’re all giddy about it,” says fellow professional Billy Horschel.

Said Rory McIlroy final week: “For golf, for the Masters and for everyone, to have Tiger there would be phenomenal. It would be awesome.”

It is kind of unimaginable, however not shocking — that Woods, at 46 and nicely previous his prime, nonetheless would have this energy over his sport. Still be the most important factor in it. Even when not profitable. Even when not enjoying.

That is the magnetic pull of a generational celebrity.

A 12 months in the past I believe most of us puzzled if Tiger would ever play competitively once more.

Now we are able to’t assist however recall the 2008 U.S. Open, which Woods gained whereas enjoying with two stress fractures in his tibia and a torn ACL in his left knee, accidents he solely later admitted.

We recall the 2019 Masters, his most up-to-date main win and his first in 11 years, in his first match after a protracted layoff as a result of knee and again surgical procedures.

Dare we dream Woods would possibly be capable of really win a sixteenth main this week? Barely a 12 months after almost shedding a leg?

Dare we dream for a rekindling of his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors? A pursuit that appeared lifeless within the water after that accident?

The Masters

Tiger Woods fist pumps his caddie throughout a follow spherical Wednesday, April 6, 2022, as Fred Couples appears to be like at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Doubting Tiger Woods is hard, isn’t it?

So is the concept of claiming goodbye.

Across sports activities, the icons go away us however we maintain on.

Mike Krzyzeweki, Coach Ok, simply left school basketball after 42 seasons, simply wanting how he wished to.

We cheered Tom Brady’s popping out of his temporary retirement, at the same time as we puzzled logically if he actually ought to, turning 45 by the point the approaching NFL season begins.

We surprise if Serena Williams, 40 and struggling to regain her well being, will ever win one other tennis match, not to mention one other main.

We see LeBron James, seemingly nonetheless atop his sport at 37, however for the way for much longer? And now mired in a disappointing season that may discover the Lakers not even making the playoffs.

And now comes Eldrick Tont Woods, 25 years previous the child who mesmerized America, seemingly able to tackle the demanding size and sloping terrain of our most hallowed golf cathedral. Seemingly able to problem time, and his physique and his delight, and see if he will be what he as soon as was, yet one more time, in any case of this.

It is sort of sufficient to make one imagine in miracles.

The scorecard would possibly say completely different by the weekend, however when Tiger Woods tees off Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club, he has already gained.

©2022 Miami Herald. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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