One, two, three. It doesn’t seem like much can happen in three seconds does it? John Daly chugging a can of diet coke, sending a Snapchat that you really wish you hadn’t, Stevie G letting the title through his fingers with a slip on the Anfield turf.
But on November 21, a quiet Sunday afternoon, Tiger Woods sent a rare personal tweet, attaching a video of him hitting an iron shot with the tagline ‘making progress’. The video lasted just three seconds, but that’s all it took for the golf, and wider sports world, to go into meltdown.
A mega 7.2 million views later and we’re still trying to digest what this snapshot of progress means for the 15-time major winner. Will he, against all odds, come back again to have a run at another major? Dare we say, will he have one last tilt at Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors?
Making progress pic.twitter.com/sVQkxEHJmq
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) November 21, 2021
Tiger has a storied history of comebacks in his 25-year professional career.
People doubted him in 2003 and 2004 when he went through extensive swing changes after winning seven majors between 1999-2002. But he resurged from 2005-2007, winning five more majors and vindicating the revamp of his game.
Then nursing what he described as a broken leg, he miraculously won a sudden-death playoff against Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines in the 2008 US Open in one of the most legendary performances of all time.
NEW TO PADDY POWER?
At the end of 2009, his well-documented marital infidelities were exposed to the world. For a couple of years, his golf game suffered, until he resurged again in 2012 and rose back to World No.1 in 2013, winning five times that year and being crowned PGA Tour Player of the Year.
From 2014 to 2017 he struggled badly with injuries, having multiple surgeries. For most pundits, Tiger was finished and encouraged to retire from the game to save his body. After numerous failed comebacks, he returned to form in 2018, culminating in his Tour Championship win and victory at the Masters in 2019.
With his legions of fans excited to see him back in action this year, dreadful news of a car crash in February involving Woods broke around the world. With serious leg injuries, he has been rehabbing ever since and there had been scant details of any progress, and despite the numerous examples of Tiger bouncing back from adversity, his latest setback had most people, bar his most loyal followers, sounding the death knell for his career.
But here we are.
It feels like déjà-vu to have Woods throwing his fans some hope for a potential comeback in the new year and a run at the Masters in April.
And you better believe this author is buying into the hype. As major championship schedules go, 2022 is a pretty good one for Tiger – Masters at Augusta (five wins), PGA at Southern Hills (one win from one start there in 2007), US Open at Brookline (site of the USA’s famed comeback in the 1999 Ryder Cup) & the Open Championship at St Andrews (two dominant wins in 2000 & 2005).
The man was born to play golf and win majors. It’ll take a braver person than me to say major number 16 isn’t coming in 2022.
- Paddy Power have BOOSTED the odds on Tiger winning a major in 2022 up from 7/1