For the first time since the Bridgestone Invitational in 2013, Eldrick “Tiger” Woods has won a PGA event with a victory in the PGA Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club with a score of -11.
Woods was in control from the beginning of the tournament until the very end. He shot a 65 on both Thursday and Saturday, a 68 on Friday and a 71 on Sunday.
Even though he dominated the tournament like the Tiger from five-plus years ago, it didn’t look or feel the same. He donned his iconic red Nike golf shirt and black cap with the Tiger Woods insignia. But the look in his eye wasn’t that of the confident and fiery young competitor that he used to be. Instead, his old and grizzled face had the look of somebody with something to prove.
Yes, THE Tiger Woods had a chip on his shoulder. 14 major championships, 11 time PGA Player of the Year, two-time FedEx Cup champion and now 8-time winner of a PGA event, and Woods still had to prove to everybody that he could win in a field of the world’s 30 best golfers.
When Woods had his off-the-course problems as well as multiple back surgeries, there was a plethora of naysayers that claimed Tiger’s reign had come to an end. It was time to give way to the young up-and-comers like Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, then a few years later Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
So, this win meant a great amount to Woods’ fans that kept faith when it looked like he wouldn’t be able to play golf competitively again. As much as it meant to Tiger stans like myself, it meant immeasurably more to Woods himself. Woods was moved to tears when he was presented the Calamity Jane trophy.
“It’s been tough. I’ve had a very not-so-easy last couple of years and I’ve worked my way back,” Woods said. “Some of the players that I saw after on the 18th green here, some of them knew what I was struggling with and it was really special to see them there. It’s just hard to believe that I won the Tour Championship.”
With the win, Woods finished in second on the FedEx Cup leaderboard to world No. 1 Justin Rose, who finished T-4 in the Tour Championship.
Rose, who was steady and consistent all season long, won two tournaments, had 11 top 10s and missed only one cut. He also had nothing but praise for Woods and how much he means to golf.
“Sorry to rain on the parade guys, I know there was one guy here that you were mainly rooting for,” Rose said at his FedEx Cup trophy ceremony.“Honestly, I want to take this moment to congratulate Tiger. I think the world of golf is very proud of you right now, and super excited about your game, and also the way the game of golf is going. There are so many great, young players, and it’s actually great for us old guys to get a moment in the sun.”
Both of these “old guys” worked hard all season to receive the trophies that they were given on Sunday afternoon, and it was great to watch remarkable performances from two of the greatest golfers of my lifetime.
Sean Janos is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.