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Golf: Tiger Woods, the Unlikely and Incredible Comeback

American golfer Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship Sunday in Atlanta. An incredible comeback after four disastrous seasons.

A time lost for golf , Tiger Woods found Sunday at 42 years his place at the top: after four disastrous seasons leaded by unbearable back pain, he signed one of the most unlikely comebacks in history , by winning the prestigious Tour Championship.

Competition between the top 30 American players

As often in his career – and even in his life – Woods did not do things by halves: to put an end to a scarcity of five years, he offered himself in Atlanta probably the highest test of the year, since it opposes the thirty best players of the American professional circuit (PGA).

His 80th PGA title in his pocket, a record length of his compatriot Sam Snead, he will quickly fly to Paris where he will be the trump card of the United States team to keep the Ryder Cup, a feat which has not been realized American side for 25 years

Tiger Woods, winner of the Tour Championship, his first title in five years, September 23, 2018 in Atlanta.
Tiger Woods, winner of the Tour Championship, his first title in five years, September 23, 2018 in Atlanta. (© GETTY / AFP / Kevin C. Cox)

Only nine months ago, such a scenario seemed impossible, even for the most enthusiastic of its supporters. And maybe even for the principal concerned.

When he returned to the greens in January 2018, after several failed attempts and four back operations, including an arthrodesis, a painful fusion of vertebrae, the one who is considered the greatest golfer in history is in limbo.

“I was so apprehensive when I hit the ball and give it all. My doctors told me that everything was OK, but I had to regain my confidence, it took time, because I did not want to hurt myself anymore, I did not want to feel the pain anymore, “he said recently. Explain.

Outstanding interest

He will quickly find his marks, finishing in particular 2nd of the Valspar Championship in March. He became the “Tiger” again this summer, leading the British Open, finishing 6th, then failing two-time compatriot Brooks Koepka in the PGA Championship in August.

Even before his victory on Sunday, he had presented 2018 as “one of (his) best seasons”.

“What I achieved is remarkable, returning from an operation as a merger, few people thought it was possible. Even in dreams, I did not think I could find myself in my current situation.”

Another feat for Woods, a sportsman decidedly apart.

He is the one who has changed the size of golf alone. One of these very rare athletes, like Roger Federer in tennis, who embody their discipline alone, with an aura beyond the hushed golf.

When he arrives on the planet golf in the mid-90s, it gives rise to an extraordinary interest from the beginning. Young, mixed-race (born from a black father and an Asian mother), he dusts his sport.

His game, more aggressive, his physical approach to a discipline still reticent to gym, his passion he does not hesitate to express … A cocktail that immediately electrifies and fascinates. And above all, he wins, fast and a lot.

Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship, September 23, 2018 in Atlanta
Tiger Woods at the Tour Championship, September 23, 2018 in Atlanta. (© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP / Kevin C. Cox)

Desert crossing




Between 1996 and 2008, he dominated his sport outrageously, pocketing 14 Grand Slam titles, leaving him four miles behind another golf legend Jack Nicklaus, and taking golf to another planet. Hers.

Then the machine jams. In 2009, the revelation of his many connections disarms the one that was believed at the time unshakeable. He separates from his wife, the Swedish model Elin Nordegren, with whom he had two children.

Forced by his sponsors to make a public apology, his image crumbles seriously. His career knows a first stop. He falls, but does not give up. It will take four years to find the N.1 world chair and, in 2013, manages to become again the highest paid sportsman in the world according to the Forbes economic magazine which estimates at 1.5 billion dollars the total of its gains since its Professional debut in 1996.

It is then his physique that abandons him. Touched on the back, he was operated for the first time in 2014, but his swing disintegrated, his mind wavers, and his level worried.

He re-lives the news item by being arrested, asleep driving his car, under the influence of a cocktail of drugs and anti-depressants one evening in May 2017 in Florida.

Now that his back is finally giving him a break, he only needs to win a new Grand Slam tournament to complete his comeback, his next goal he’s already thinking about.

“The future is bright for me,” he notes, before launching as a warning for 2019: “I did not really get physically ready for this 2018 season, I was just trying to play, I know now what I have to do, it will be different. “

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