The Big Cat is BACK

Tiger holding his trophy after his win at the 2018 Tour Championship

Tiger holding his trophy after his win at the 2018 Tour Championship

It has been a long time coming. Tiger Woods last won a golf tournament in 2013 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Tiger’s recent victory at the Tour Championship makes a total of eighty wins on the PGA tour. Only two wins behind having the most wins in PGA tour history. This win was more than just an athletic comeback. It was more than just an injury comeback. It was a personal comeback, and it was truly spectacular to watch the series of events unfold on September 23.

Tiger fans have been waiting on this moment for a long time. For the past several years there has been a glimpse of a possible return that is usually shut down before the weekend is even over. This year, fans saw him come in second place by only a stroke at the 2018 Valspar Championship. Tiger was a contender at both the British Open and PGA Championship chasing that 15th major championship. It was all leading up to the last event of the year and his -11 finish brought tears to fans’ eyes.

I can personally say that I felt something deep when he tapped in that putt of the eighteenth green. I grew up watching Tiger on Sundays in the basement with my dad. I would see videos of his swing and try to imitate it on the driving range. Tiger has completely changed the sport of golf. This year you see a totally different Tiger. Smiling and enjoying the spectators more than usually. I remember this time a year ago thinking that I don’t care if he ever picks up a club again I just want him to be happy. To see him where he is now. Nobody thought that this was in the horizon and it has shocked me as well.

Tiger Woods being back this year has been a treasure to golf. The economic trickle down effect of this guy is unheard of. I spoke with a bartender at my local golf club. She told me that both the Sunday of the 2018 Valspar Championship when Tiger lost by one stroke and the Sunday when Tiger actually won the Tour Championship were big. She told me that she made more money off of tips and was busier than ever with half of the membership in the bar watching Tiger. The Valspar championship saw nearly seven million views per minute. Sunday was rated nearly a 4.5 which was more than all major championships of 2017. Tiger is not only changing himself, he is changing the game. When popular Golf Channel sportscaster Brandel Chamblee was asked if Tiger could keep up with and compete with the young cats like Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka, Chamblee said absolutely not. Int he Tour Championship Tiger beat Thomas by 6 strokes and Koepka by 15 strokes. Maybe Chamblee can change his mind and realize Tiger is back and he isn’t afraid of playing with any of these younger guys.

I relate to Tiger because of the adversity in his life that he has felt. I too have brought on my own adversity. It was one of the biggest aspects to my maturation by coming back stronger from that and I know Tiger must feel the same way. People are always going to hate. But I will and always have thought that Tiger Woods is one of the most dominant athletes of a sport in history. I can only imagine the damage that Tiger is going to do to the leader board in the 2019 season. Its amazing to have him back.

Julian Miller