Tiger’s triumph and its place in history

By Mark Paulette,

Tiger Woods has won The Masters. This is not tales of years past. This was not a dream, nor a scenario played out on a now-defunct video game franchise. It’s a sentence many thought would never be spoken again. Now, Tiger donning a 5th green jacket has happened, and one cannot undersell the magnitude of its reality.

No matter how you feel about the individual, those feelings must be set aside in order to recognize this as one of the biggest events in the history of sports.

Yes, the nature of Tiger’s downfall left a sour taste in the mouth of many. I cannot argue with those who refuse to root for him due to the addictions and infidelity. I can only plead that those who feel that way do not take for granted what we have witnessed.

It may be the greatest comeback in sport’s history, or if that word doesn’t sit well with you, as you feel his undoing was self-induced, than call it a turnaround. Either way, it’s unlike anything we have seen before.

From the most dominant athlete of the 21st century, to a broken and publicly spiraling mess of his former self, and now back to his sport’s summit. Tiger’s 15th major victory is a moment that will live in golf and sports lore for the rest of time.

I did not watch a single pitch in the Red Sox game vs. the Orioles Sunday afternoon, nor did I catch a second of the Celtics’ playoffs opener vs. Indiana. I was enthralled by the history unfolding on the back nine at Augusta National.

11 years had passed since his last major championship. 14 since his last Masters, and a litany of injuries to fill in the gap. An ACL tear in 2008 and a neck injury in ’10. A sprained MCL and Achilles in ’11, followed by another Achilles injury in 2012. Then there were the highly publicized back surgeries of 2014, ’15 and ’17, which some expected he would never recover from. Yet watching yesterday was like watching vintage Tiger. When he needed a shot, he hit it. When he needed to shape the ball, he shaped it. If a putt had to be sunk, he sank it.

I don’t know if this is the start of a new run of glory for the greatest golfer we’ve ever seen, or if it was a magical four-day bubble where the stars aligned. Is he back? Will he catch Jack? Frankly, none of it matters. This was the step we all thought to be an unreachable leap. This was the day that his fans still hoped was around the corner. This was Tiger’s greatest triumph.

Sunday, April 14, 2019, was undeniably one of the most monumental days in the history of sports.

Mark Paulette is the executive producer of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine