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After fourteen years, again The Master

Analysis The victory of Tiger Woods at the Masters there is one there for eternity. The 43-year-old American won his first major since 2008.

After fourteen years, again The Master

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Tiger Woods won Sunday for the first time since 2005, the Masters in Augusta. afp

Analysis The victory of Tiger Woods at the Masters there is one there for eternity. The 43-year-old American won his first major since 2008.

After fourteen years, again The Master

golf

Rogier van ’t Hek

AmsterdamZijn victory last year at the Tour Championship, the slottoernooi of the U.s. PGA Tour, was by some labeled as the biggest sportcomeback of all time. Somewhat exaggerated perhaps, but understandable since golf legend Tiger Woods in september 2018 his first tournament in more than five years time won.

With that victory he made when finally an end to a period full of physical and personal problems. And he took also all the doubt away. No one had in the years before expected that the perhaps best, and in any case most famous golfer ever, would return to the top of the world. Woods himself.

His victory at the Masters, Sunday on the world famous course of Augusta National, can claim a place in sporting history. Woods, 43 years old now, captured his first green jacket since 2005 – his fifth in total – and won his first major since the US Open 2008. At the time, concealed he the pain of a double stress fracture in his left tibia and a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Not for nothing, said the American ever about himself: “I am mentally the strongest golfer.’

Woods gave physically not budge. Gone are the problems to his back

It is for Woods the fifteenth majortitel in his career, the alltime record of compatriot Jack Nicklaus (eighteen majors) is suddenly in sight, and would, in theory, this calendar year can already be matched.

Unprecedented successes

Woods won, as the first black American, 22 years ago, the Masters for the first time. It was the prelude to a succesperiode such as the world of golf that never saw before. Between June 1997 and may 2014, he stood 683 weeks on the first place of the world ranking, of which 281 weeks in a row – both records. His fifth Masters title means his 81st victory on the American Tour, one fewer than Sam Snead, an American golffenomeen from the first half of the last century – the years that golf is still not wereldsport was. A less well-known, but the most telling statistic, which was described in the Tiger Woods – biography, was published last year, unauthorized life story: in 2006, he hits his irons an average of 2,54 meters further than the competition. ‘With 30 inches you distinguish you all from thirty to fifty golfers’, explained an analyst of the Golf Channel in the book.

Especially thanks to Woods, golf has become a global sport. No player has more golf means than he. His fame transcends even the entire sports world. His popularity has not suffered from the sex scandals that him in the 2010 final wedding cost. After his arrest in may 2017 in his home town of Jupiter, Florida, where he is seen cruising with five different drugs in his body, and turned the public has of him. Stronger: they gave to Woods, everyone always at a distance and on the job, always in a kind of trance, seemed to be located, a more human face. The ‘new’ Woods is accessible, as is said.

Tiger-roar

The new version of Woods had to be Sunday earlier than normal the job. Very bad weather had the Masters organization to decide the field in the morning and to turn off to prevent the decision on Monday would be covered. Woods began the fourth round at a shared second place, two strokes behind the Italian leader Francesco Molinari. Never before he won a major as he doesn’t like (shared) leader of the final day began.

In his red shirt and black pants, the outfit that he always wears on the last day of a tournament, played Woods on the first twelve holes of varying; three birdies (one stroke under par) and three bogeys (one above) ensured that he remained on the score that he to the final day began: -11. But from hole 13 began the Tiger-show – and more importantly – given most of the competitors under the most pressure. The pressure that bigger seemed to be as the Tiger roar, the cheers of the audience after a successful putt or other shot from the Woods, louder than ever sounded in Augusta.

Molinari gave as a result two holes, four shots, and missed thereby the chance on a second major victory. It is striking, for it was precisely the cold-blooded Italian who, in the summer of 2018 at the British Open, the immense pressure resisted this Woods always and everywhere surrounds. Also, the American Tony Finau, who is in the final group with Woods and Molinari played, had twelve holes won.

Woods gave physical and sporty and no shrinkage. Gone are the problems to his back, which he four times was operated, and from which, the last time a damaged tussenwervel was removed. And the birdies kept coming: on holes 13, 15, and 16. Therefore, he rose with two holes to play, suddenly two hits for, among others, Brooks Koepka, winner of two of the last three majors, and on Dustin Johnson, the number two of the world.

With his mother, Kutilda, father Earl died in 2006, daughter Sam and son Charlie as spectators on the edge of the eighteenth green, took Woods risk. He hit his third stroke on the par-4 hole at a safe distance from the flag. The battle that, to him, that might cost, he could simply afford. The putt for par went right wrong, but the putt for the most beautiful victory of his career.

Tiger Woods is back.

© NRC Handelsblad

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