For many sports fans today, Tiger Woods has been part of the landscape of national media for as long as we can remember. Many of us don’t remember turning on our favorites highlight show and seeing a golf story that didn’t mention Tiger Woods. From red polos and fist pumps on Sunday afternoons to a fall from grace for the ages, the Tiger Woods era has been both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
The Beginning of a New Era
Tiger Woods joined the PGA Tour in 1996. His unmatched run of dominance began at the Las Vegas Invitational and would continue for most of the next 13 years which would see him win a jaw-dropping 14 majors. Everywhere you looked, Tiger Woods was raising another trophy and changing the face of professional golf. In every way imaginable, from the way he looked to the way that he carried himself, Woods was anything but the prototypical PGA golfer. In a time where the world’s top golfers were middle-aged men who would rarely show any emotion, a confident, often brash 20-something year old who would pump his fist and scream with enthusiasm was unheard of. And with that, Tiger brought a new breath into the world of professional golfing.
The Beginning of the End
Tiger’s run that began in 1996 didn’t seem to be coming to an end. While he won “only” 1 major in 2008, a major victory is nothing to diminish. However, 2009 would see the unraveling of one of the world’s greatest athletes. A scandal that involved an extra-marital affair being leaked to the tabloids culminated in an arrest in late November of 2009. For ten years, Tiger, the man who the world watched grow up on the golf course faced criticism in both his personal and professional life.
A New Beginning
That criticism would give way to optimism as sports fans from around the globe rallied behind Tiger as he took a lead into the last round of the 2019 Masters. The hallowed fairways of the legendary Augusta Golf Club were the perfect stage for Woods to carry a lead into the last 3 holes. Even with a bogey on the 18th, Tiger clinched his 5th career Masters victory. A meteoric rise and an infamous fall from grace blended into the background with a legendary resurrection back to the top of the golfing world.
Is the Tiger Woods era of dominance back? It’s hard to say. But we are back to the days of discussing Tiger Woods in every tournament.