The intercourse scandal. The mugshot. The debilitating accidents.
Tiger Woods definitely didn’t plan it this manner.
That solely made his 15th main title all of the extra rewarding.
Or, as Tiger put it not lengthy after tapping in a gimme putt Sunday for a one-stroke victory on the Masters:
For a lot of his life, the define that Woods and his hard-driving father, Earl, had so rigorously laid out went simply as they supposed.
However when Woods captured his fifth victory at Augusta Nationwide — and his first main championship in 11 years that should’ve felt like a number of lifetimes — he let loose a scream that mirrored the depths of his private hell.
A few of it of his personal making, to make certain.
WATCH: Tiger Woods claims 15th main with Masters win
A few of it past his management, in all equity.
All of it resulting in a day that simply didn’t appear attainable, not for the reason that grasp plan fell aside in so some ways.
“Ahh, it matches,” Woods mentioned, beaming as he tugged on that well-known inexperienced jacket for the primary time since 2005, a photograph of Bobby Jones staring down above his left shoulder within the Butler Cabin.
WATCH: Tiger Woods speaks about first Masters win in over a decade, says he’s thrilled his household noticed win
For therefore a few years, all the things match so neatly.
From his astonishing swings on The Mike Douglas Present on the age of two to turning into the primary participant to win three straight U.S. Beginner titles to capturing the Masters not lengthy after his 21st birthday by a whopping 12 strokes, the Tiger Manner was pure perfection, producing thousands and thousands for him and his sponsors.
He married a Swedish mannequin, had two stunning youngsters and saved including one main title after one other, capturing his 14th by his early 30s, on a seemingly unstoppable quest to surpass Jack Nicklaus as the best champion of all of them.
Then, similar to that, all of it fell aside.
His marriage. His repute. His physique.
He had main reconstructive surgical procedure on his left knee shortly after hobbling to what had been his most up-to-date main championship, a playoff victory within the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
WATCH: Tiger Woods dons Inexperienced Jacket at The Masters for 1st time in 14 years
Seems, that was solely a minor prelude to all that agony that was to come back, a lot of it self-inflicted.
Whereas everybody was celebrating the Thanksgiving vacation in 2009, Woods crashed his SUV right into a tree and a hearth hydrant outdoors his Florida residence. That led to reviews of a myriad of extramarital affairs, wrecking the facade he and his father had constructed of the devoted athlete and ideal household man. In a single day, one of many world’s most well-known folks grew to become a punchline.
Woods checked right into a Mississippi clinic for greater than a month, apparently to cope with some form of intercourse dependancy. Most of his main sponsors fled for canopy. Elin Nordegren divorced her dishonest husband.
In Woods’ return to golf on the Masters, he obtained a tongue-lashing from Augusta Nationwide chairman Billy Payne for his lack of ethical scruples and for the poor instance he set for America’s youth.
WATCH: Tiger Woods talks about again damage which just about took him out of golf
A far cry, to make certain, from the greeting he acquired Sunday within the interview room from green-jacketed moderator Craig Heatley, “Welcome again, Tiger. Or extra appropriately, welcome residence.”
If Woods thought issues couldn’t get any worse again in 2010, he was mistaken.
His physique continued to betray him, main to at least one surgical procedure after one other in an try and alleviate the unyielding ache. His again was such a multitude that it grew to become a battle simply to stroll, or sleep, or play together with his children. Woods confronted the very actual risk of by no means enjoying golf once more, not even for enjoyable.
“So the place is the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel?” he requested ruefully in 2015, a number of weeks earlier than Christmas. “I don’t know.”
WATCH: Tiger Woods wins Tour Championship for first victory on PGA Tour in 5 years
At that time, Woods conceded, any additional achievements on the golf course could be mere “gravy.”
The fourth surgical procedure on his again was one thing of a final resort. Positive, he needed to play golf once more on the highest stage, however he in all probability would have settled for a lifting of the ache and the flexibility to guide considerably of a traditional life.
About six weeks later, he sank into one other abyss when police discovered him asleep — or handed out — behind the wheel of his operating automobile in the course of the evening. He was arrested and briefly jailed. His mugshot confirmed the face of a person whose life had seemingly spiralled uncontrolled.
Woods blamed it on a foul mixture of ache treatment, pleaded responsible to reckless driving and entered a diversion program.
Whereas he labored — once more — to revive some order to his private life, Woods started to comprehend that the fusion on his again had resulted in one thing of a medical miracle. His swing acquired stronger and stronger, increasingly more just like the Tiger of previous. He saved dreading a return of the excruciating, piercing ache, nevertheless it stayed away.
Bodily and mentally match, he contended on the final two majors of 2018, claimed a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup workforce and received the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake — his first victory of any type in additional than 5 years, setting off a wild, course-storming celebration from the gallery.
“That confirmed I might nonetheless win out right here in opposition to the most effective gamers,” Woods mentioned. “That gave me a variety of confidence going into this 12 months. I needed to maintain constructing on it. I needed to get my thoughts and physique peaking for Augusta.”
As soon as once more, a plan got here collectively.
WATCH: Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods hype up match with $200okay facet wager
Solely this time, it got here with much more baggage.