Last Sunday, Tiger Woods added to his legendary comeback by winning the ZOZO Championship in Japan.
It is Woods’ third victory in the past two seasons.
His victory in Japan was a historic one. Woods tied Sam Snead for most all-time wins on the PGA Tour.
It is a remarkable achievement given all the injuries and personal tribulations that Woods has overcome.
It wasn’t a good start to the week for Tiger. He began the tournament by sending a ball into the water hazard on hole number one, and he bogeyed the next three holes.
However, he recovered and never looked back; from the fourth hole on, he shot -22 for the week and was locked in with his irons and putter.
This victory will add to the long-running debate regarding who holds the distinction of the best golfer of all time. Currently, the debate has been a split between Tiger and Jack Nicklaus.
The “Golden Bear” won 72 PGA tour tournaments and won 18 Major Championships (including the most coveted championships in Golf—The Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship.)
Tiger has now won 82 tour tournaments and 15 major championships.
There is one thing that can’t be debated: Tiger in his prime dominated the sport like no other person who has ever played the game.
He was winning major tournaments by double-digit margins and at one point was winning 30% of his tournaments, which is unheard of in golf.
He changed how the game was played; he focused on his fitness to give him a couple more yards off the tee and he made golf look cool with his fist pumps and cool Nike clothes.
There have been very few golfers who have transcended sports like Tiger has.
He is universally recognized and the galleries that follow him on the course are massive.
The television ratings when Tiger plays dwarf those of tournaments in which he is not competing.
Following his classic victory at the Masters in April, Tiger was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom from his friend President Donald Trump.
Tiger’s return to prominence is remarkable given that over a 10-year stretch he had four major knee surgeries and two major back surgeries. The last operation in 2017 required a spinal fusion operation, which led him to develop an addiction to prescription drugs. Woods was arrested for driving under the influence of five different drugs, and his mugshot was distributed and mocked worldwide.
Tiger’s arrest was the low point of his life. His mugshot was the image of a broken man. He had fallen so far.
His good friend and former PGA Tour winner Notah Begay described the severity of Wood’s pain during that low point. He told the Golf Channel:
“We had to go pick his kids up at school, and he asked me to drive him. He was not able to get out of the chair. He was unable to walk to the car under his own power. He put his arm around me and sort of kind of helped shuffle him off into the car. He was unable to sit upright, had to recline the seat back. It was a telling day for me, because the one person who I had kind of looked up to for most of my life—as a friend and as a competitor—was unable to get up out of his chair.”
Now, two years later, Tiger seems to have made an amazing recovery. The man can now not only walk, but win Major Championships.
The legend of Tiger Woods continues to grow.