Its been a very long two years for Tiger Woods, but on Sunday he secured his first win since the Australian Masters in 2009. Dropping his 8-foot birdie putt on 18 and shooting 10 under for the weekend, he took the trophy at the Chevron World Challenge by one stroke over Zach Johnson. Lets take a look back at to see why this win is so important.
It had been a downward spiral for Tiger these last two years ever since the National Inquirer broke the story about his alleged marriage infidelity on November 25, 2009. Two days later his crashed his SUV on the street in front of his home, and although the events of that night were shrouded in silence, the gashes on his face weren’t so subtle.
Public suspicion that things were amiss were confirmed on December 11th, 2009 when Tiger announced his indefinite hiatus from the sport. Accenture, Tag Heuer and AT&T eventually dropped sponsorship of the second wealthiest African American in America. After five years of marriage, amid all the scandal, Tiger and Elin finally divorced on August 23, 2010.
With a winless 2010, Tiger has gone through numerous changes, which have affected every facet of his game. During the summer of 2010 Hank Haney stepped down as Woods’ coach and Sean Foley stepped in to refine Tiger’s swing. He also ditched the standard golf shoe for a Nike prototype, which is based on a cross-trainer for added comfort.
Perhaps the most noticeable change is that long time caddie, Stevie Williams was fired and replaced with Dustin Johnson’s caddie Joe LaCava. Stevie seemed to have been caught off guard by the decision and made several heated remarks towards Woods.
With all these changes and dismal results, we were left wondering if Tiger would ever come back at all? Was his career over? Was he the shining star that peaked to early and would never recover? This win at the Chevron World Challenge is the triumph we’ve all been waiting for. Sure it’s not a Major, but a win to get over the past and back to the Tiger we all know.
Love him or hate him, Tiger has been instrumental is shaping golf into the game it is today. He has brought an entirely new group of spectators to the sport, temping them with the opportunity to see history in the making and the greatest golfer of our generation, if not ever. It’s great to see Tiger back winning and we’re looking forward to the start of the 2012 season.