(By: Xavier Eeswaran)
On August 4th, 2013, 11-time PGA player of the year Tiger Woods won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, his 79th tour win.
In the five following years, Tiger would go winless, endure multiple back surgeries and would drop as low as 1,199th ranked in the world. Many thought he’d never win again.
On September 23rd, 2018, 1,874 days and four back surgeries later, Woods defied the odds, capturing his 80th PGA Tour win at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, GA.
“It was a grind out there,” Woods said in his championship interview on the 18th green. “I loved every bit of it. The fight and the grind and the tough conditions, just had to suck it up and hit shots, and I loved every bit of it.”
Woods scored a 1-over-par 71 to secure the win at the season ending tournament, bringing him a step closer to surpassing Sam Snead’s record 82 PGA Tour wins.
Woods performed well all weekend, culminating to what seemed like a presidential inauguration crowd following him to the 18th and final hole where he would secure victory with a tap-in.
Wow. 🐅 pic.twitter.com/klf7PLfVv9
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 23, 2018
The 42-year-old has had quite the comeback year, finishing in the top 10 of seven tournaments. With Sunday’s win, Tiger is expected to move up to No. 13 in the world.
The road to recovery had a lot of bumps along the way. 18 months ago, Woods was struggling to get out of bed and focused simply on having the mobility to play with his two children.
Woods spoke of the questions that would run through his head during rehabilitation during the post-tournament press conference.
“Am I going to be able to sit, stand, walk, lay down, without feeling the pain that I was in?”
Woods, a champion once again says he believes he would not have appreciated this win as much if it had come without the struggle.
“It means a lot more to me now in that sense because I didn’t know if I’d ever be out here playing again, doing this again.”
(Header: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)