tiger woods masters 2022, a great who only defined success as winning, inspires by refusing to quit participating in Masters.
Tiger Woods got down of the golf cart that had taken him from the tournament practise area to the front of the world’s most renowned clubhouse and removed his cap as he stepped through the main doors. He limped through the back doors of the same clubhouse and onto the practise putting green adjacent to the first tee a minute later. He paused along the way to embrace his mother, and then the sea of humanity in front of him parted like the Red Sea to make room for the well-known guy dressed in red and black.
On Sunday afternoon at the 2022 Masters, Tiger Woods fired a second consecutive 6-over 78, a number that is only a footnote to one of the most remarkable four-round streaks we’ve ever seen at a major event from someone who didn’t win.
As the week progressed, Woods grew progressively comatose. By Sunday afternoon, his hitch had developed into a full-fledged limp. This was not surprising for someone who, at this time last year, was watching the event from a remote-controlled bed.
While it was difficult to witness this proud and powerful champion, a five-time green jacket winner, four-putt and struggle his way to 301 shots (+13) over four days at Augusta National, it also demonstrated his unquenchable desire to compete and thankfulness for the opportunity to do so over 72 holes.
“I had the same doubts [about my ability to finish four rounds].” After walking off the course on Sunday, Woods told CBS, “It was a wonderful feeling to simply have the people and the support out there.” “I wasn’t playing my best out there, but to just have the support — an appreciation from all the fans — I don’t think words can really convey it considering where I was a little over a year ago and what my chances were.”
“I didn’t think I’d make it to this point and be able to play all four rounds even a month ago.” It was, in my opinion, a positive. I have some work to do, and I’m excited about it.”
This “I’m going to find out how to defeat you without my best stuff” mindset is becoming more unusual in the Trackman age, when players are concerned with dialling in their swings like instruments on a spacecraft.
Tiger did defeat a large number of opponents. He defeated eight of the world’s top 12 players on Thursday. On Friday, he made the Masters cut for the 22nd time in a row, in his first professional competition in 17 months, while 39 of his peers withdrew early. His week wasn’t without its share of golf highlights; they simply weren’t the most essential part of it.
In a week filled with enough micro-moments to fill an entire book, two events stick out. The first occurred on Thursday, when Woods was asked what a great week at Augusta meant to him. His one-word response was full of humility and revealed the whole tale of the trip he’d taken… without ever articulating it in any detail.
– Tiger, I understand you only have one definition of triumph, and that is winning the event, but do you consider simply coming there and competing like you did to be a victory?
“Yes,” says Tiger Woods.
It was as cold, windy, and unpleasant in Augusta on Saturday afternoon as it has been since Zach Johnson won the 2007 Masters. For a guy whose right leg may contain more metal than his golf bag, these aren’t exactly idyllic circumstances. Tiger was not having a good day. He was 4 over for the day and proceeded to the 12th, where he made a ten in the last round of the 2020 Masters, his final competitive round before returning to Augusta this week.
This is the second time Woods has made a two. On an uncommonly calm Saturday, the noise from that hole was possibly the loudest. He waved back at the crowds watching him play his way around Amen Corner, and it seemed to me that the most astonishing aspect of Tiger’s week has been his refusal to pull the rip cord despite enormous suffering and several chances to do so. Above all of his incredible abilities, his reluctance to fold out of respect for himself and the game shines out.
“Never surrender. When asked what he thinks people will take away from his Masters performance, Woods stated this week, “Always strive after your ambitions.” “I struggle every every day.” Every day presents a new challenge. Every day brings with it its own set of problems for everyone of us. “When I wake up, the battle begins all over again.”
That was tougher to detect when he was 24 and hitting every shot imaginable on command because, although his intelligence and ability to bend reality in his favour helped him accomplish many of those 82 victories, they were far from dominant. Who cares about anything else when you hit it further than anybody has ever seen it, while exhibiting Seve Ballesteros’ touch and Lee Trevino’s art?
Now when his physical abilities have waned and his body no longer allows him to hit all of the shots that made him a five-time winner of this event, he insists on being great.
This is identical to what we witnessed last year from Phil Mickelson. On the Tuesday before the Masters, I watched him smash flop shots alone in a secluded part of Augusta National. Even if he didn’t have anything to grind for other than his love of the game and desire for excellence, he was grinding. He won the PGA Championship a month later.
I’m not sure Tiger has another big championship victory in him, and if his body continues to deteriorate, he almost likely won’t. Woods, on the other hand, demonstrated this week that he’ll keep coming up.
When you take away everything else about Tiger Woods — the popularity, the excitement, the victories, and the many misadventures he’s had — you’re left with a guy who is obsessed with one thing.
Tiger Woods is more motivated by the desire to compete than by the desire to win. When he says he can win his sixth green jacket on Tuesday, what he actually means is that he feels he can fight for one.
As proven throughout Tiger’s career, competing and winning have been mostly synonymous for him. Woods’ dilemma is that they won’t be able to go ahead because his shattered body will begin to separate those realities.
What we witnessed at Augusta National this week was maybe the rarest thing in sports: an all-time winner who would rather be back in the stadium, even if it was half-full, than standing outside admiring his achievements.
On Sunday, their great champion — maybe the greatest champion — brought himself to an embarrassing finish, at least on the leaderboard, as the monster crowd stood and yelled at the 72nd hole while the leaders walked off the first tee right behind them all.
Nobody cared about Tiger Woods’ score, thus no one was looking at it. Instead, they were ecstatic — just as he was ecstatic — that Tiger Woods was allowed to return to the arena one more time to do what he does best than anybody in history: compete, after 14 months of misery with no end in sight.