Tiger Woods Proves His Haters Wrong
By: George Burkert
After a decade of controversy and a declining image, Tiger Woods has once again impressed everyone and won the Masters. This is the first championship Woods has won since 2008 when he won the U.S. Open.
At the Masters, the crowd was on his side chanting his name. He got to participate and wore the green jacket again with support from the fans and media.
Before his recent win, Woods was already considered one of the greatest golfers of all time. He won his first Masters back in 1997 and also won the Masters in 2001, 2002, and 2005.
After the success he enjoyed, things started going downhill for the golfer. In 2009, the National Enquirer revealed Woods had an affair.
Around this time, Woods got into a car accident and received a ticket for reckless driving. Woods eventually confessed to the affair and apologized.
Woods lost many advertising and sponsorship deals in the aftermath, such as Gatorade and General Motors. Some either suspended their deals or chose not to renew them.
A few like Nike and Electronic Arts stayed with him. Woods would continuously apologize to everyone for his mistakes.
At a certain point during all of this, Woods did not know if he would return to golf. He began receiving therapy because he felt the fame was getting to him before eventually deciding to compete in the 2010 Masters. In 2010, Woods officially divorced his wife, Elin.
In 2013, Woods was ranked third on Forbes’, “Most Disliked Athletes.” His approval rating was only 19 percent.
Then on May 29, 2017, Woods got arrested for driving under the influence. Woods would plead guilty and serve one year of probation, received a $250 fine, and serve 50 hours of community service.
Despite all of this, Woods did not give up. He didn’t let the controversies get in the way of winning again after so long.
His fans also didn’t give up on him. They still rooted for him and hoped he could become successful again.
Outside of the game of golf, Woods has gained the praise of other athletes. NBA legend Michael Jordan, who also likes to play golf, called the win the greatest comeback he has ever seen.
Another athlete calling it the greatest comeback of all time was NBA star, Stephen Curry. Tennis star, Serena Williams, and football star, Tom Brady, also offered praise and congratulations.
Woods’ win also got praise and congratulations from former President Barack Obama and current President Donald Trump, who has golfed with Woods in the past. President Trump also said on Twitter he will give Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contribution to golf, which has only been given to three other golfers.
The media themselves have fallen back in love with Woods. On April 17, it was announced that Woods was listed as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2019.
The victory has encouraged former golfer John Peterson to come out of retirement, according to ESPN. Peterson retired last year after an injury.
Right after the victory, Nike, who stayed with Woods throughout all the lows the past ten years, released a new ad called, “Tiger Woods: Same Dream”, showing footage of his highs and lows and when he was a kid. The tagline of the ad is, “Never stop chasing your crazy dreams.”
Another great thing about the victory is Woods was able to celebrate with his son, Charlie, similarly to when Woods celebrated with his father when he won the 1997 Masters. His son had gotten the opportunity to see why many consider his father to be one of the greatest golfers of all time.
The 43-year-old golfer is not done yet. He still has a lot of golf left in the tank and will continue to try and win championships.
According to ESPN, Woods has recently committed to playing the ZOZO Championship in Japan this fall. Woods will also play an exhibition match in Asia as part of an agreement he made with GolfTV last year.
Whether this will be Woods’ last championship or not, many will remember this victory as one of, if not, the greatest comeback in the history of sports. If he wins more, none of them will be as meaningful as this one.
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