Tuesday 23 April 2019

The remarkable road to recovery for superstar Tiger Woods

A police shot of Woods’ car after the incident. Photo: Florida Highway Patrol via Getty Images
A police shot of Woods’ car after the incident. Photo: Florida Highway Patrol via Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Tiger Woods has won his fifth Masters title and first Major in 11 years after victory in Augusta yesterday.

It has been a long road back for the American, who has suffered numerous injuries and off-course problems.

 

Meltdown

On November 27, 2009, reports emerged that Woods had been injured in a car accident near his Florida home after colliding with a fire hydrant and a tree.

A statement confirmed that was true and over the next days and weeks the reasons behind the crash became clearer, with Woods pulling out of charity tournaments, then admitting he had "let his family down" with "transgressions" and ultimately announcing an indefinite break from golf.

Tiger Woods’ Florida mugshot. Photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS
Tiger Woods’ Florida mugshot. Photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS

He lost major sponsors, including Gatorade and Gillette, over the revelations of multiple infidelities and in August 2010 he and his wife Elin Nordegren divorced.

 

Phoenix not rising

Woods, determined to return to the pinnacle of golf following his years in the wilderness, recorded the worst round of his career in January 2015 as he shot an 11-over 82 in Arizona.

His second-round performance at the Waste Management Phoenix Open left him 13-over and last in a 132-man field. He had six bogeys, two double bogeys, a triple bogey and two birdies, and missed the cut. Woods told reporters afterwards: "It's golf, we all have days like this."

 

Don't call it a comeback

In June 2016 he announced he was unable to compete at the US Open having been sidelined since the preceding August following two back operations in the space of six weeks.

He ended a 15-month absence from the game in November, but in January 2017 he missed the cut in his first PGA Tour event in almost 18 months, exiting the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines after finishing his first two rounds on four over par.

 

Master misses the Masters

The latest in a string of back problems meant the former world number one was unable to contest the 2017 Masters.

The chance to compete at Augusta 20 years since he first won the green jacket was denied to Woods, who, despite "trying everything" to be fit, continued to suffer from nerve pain which had required three operations in the space of 19 months. It was the third time in four years he missed out.

 

Under the influence?

In May 2017 Woods was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in the early hours of Memorial Day.

He released a statement claiming alcohol was not involved, instead blaming "an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications" following his arrest in Florida. He received a year of probation after pleading guilty to reckless driving and was ordered to undergo 50 hours of community service.

 

Victory again

In September 2018 Woods shot a one-over 71 for a two-shot victory at the Tour Championship in Atlanta - the 80th victory of his PGA Tour career and his first in more than five years.

It capped a comeback which sometimes never looked on the cards.

Coming Soon: Independent.ie's new GAA newsletter. Sign up here

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: The James Lowe dilemma, Munster's tough task and Croke Park classic revisited

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport