Tiger Woods has been on top of the world and he’s seen rock bottom. He’s won the Masters Tournament five times and he’s been involved in an infidelity scandal that threw his personal life well into the spotlight. He’s had time to digest it all. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, he’s found a way to make the best of a tough situation.
What’s left for Tiger Woods to prove on the golf course?
Is Tiger Woods already the best golfer of all time? He’s three major victories away from tying Jack Nicklaus’ total of 18. Woods is still relatively young at 44 and that goal is well within reach. Injuries have plagued Woods during the last few years of his career, but a couple of bounce-back years could end all debate.
Woods turned pro at the age of 20 in 1996. By April of 1997, he had already claimed three PGA Tour events and the 1997 Masters Tournament. In June of 1997, Woods had already reached No. 1 in the world golf rankings. He became the most dominant golfer in the world. During a stretch between 1999 and 2004, Woods was ranked No. 1 in the world for 264 weeks.
For his career, Woods has captured 15 golf majors, including five Masters Tournaments. He also has four PGA Championship wins under his belt. Woods has been named PGA Player of the Year 11 times. He’s the youngest to ever capture golf’s career Grand Slam. He’s claimed the career Grand Slam three times. Woods has 82 career PGA Tour victories, tying him for first place.
Woods’ career interrupted by injuries and personal issues
The first decade of Tiger Woods’ pro golf career was as good as it gets. After that, it was all downhill. In 2009, Woods was in the news for all the wrong reasons. A story was published about Woods having an affair, he was involved in a car accident outside his home. Days later, more reports emerged about Woods being involved with different women.
Woods then issued a statement regarding the matter. “I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart,” Woods’ statement, in part, read in early December of 2009. “I’ve not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.” Woods later announced he would be taking a break from golf to focus his attention on his family.
Between 2014 and 2017, Woods underwent four back surgeries. Between August of 2015 and January of 2018, Woods competed in just one tournament. He bounced back in 2019, winning his fifth Masters Tournament.
Woods making the most of tough times
While much of the sports world has been shut down at some point by COVID-19, Tiger Woods put the downtime to good use. He spent a lot of quality time with his son, 11-year-old Charlie. The two are teaming up in the PNC Championship, a two-day exhibition formerly known as the Father-Son Challenge. The tourney is expected to begin on Dec. 19.
With the world on hold, Woods and Charlie were able to spend quality time together as Woods would often do with his father. “Because everything was shut down, the only thing that was available to us was golf,” Woods said, according to Golf Digest. “He started to pick up golf, but this pandemic allowed us to play more golf and be with one another.
“And we just started playing a lot, and he started getting the bug for it. And so did I. It kept me competitive, kept me in it when we didn’t have any tournaments. But I had a tournament every day with him, and that was the fun part. Was just like me growing up with my dad.”