Tiger Woods took a mass bath in Augusta, last April. 408 days after his serious car accident, which caused an open fracture of the tibia and fibula in his right leg, the winner of 15 majors miraculously returned. He had been seen before, in December, at the PNC Championship in Orlando, along with his son, but competing in a big seemed like a special category port.
Even for him. "I still have a long way to go," he admitted. He shortened it and deluded. Above all, on a first day in which he started with five pars in a row and unleashed the madness with his first birdie, on the sixth hole.
He finished the day under par and confirmed it: the tiger was roaring again. In Georgia, hundreds of people accompanied Woods, hole by hole, on his return; in Southern Hills, the entourage, of other faces, was still present and when his withdrawal from the PGA Championship was confirmed, he gave him a huge applause.
Tiger, who had never retired from a major playing as a professional (he did at the 1995 US Open, as an amateur) signed his worst round in the US tournament (79 hits), but it was the least important thing. In the second big one after his return, the pain, enormous and present again, became his honor.
Despite the worst round and despite a string of data that, for any other player, would be interpreted differently.
Tiger Woods, Pga
Before the announcement of the president of the PGA of America, Jim Richerson ("Tiger Woods has informed us that he is withdrawing from the PGA Championship 2022"), the American legend signed five consecutive bogeys in a 'major' for the second time in his career.
. To find the first, he has to go back to 1996, to the opening day of the US Open. In the computation of all his participations in majors, the 79 strokes, in addition, represented his third worst round in tournaments of said entity, only behind the 81 of the British Open of 2002 and the 80 of the US Open of 2015.
According to data from ESPN Stats & Information, going further, Woods has played 321 rounds in 'majors' from 1995 to 2020, with only five scores of 78 strokes or worse; three of them have occurred in seven rounds this year.
Data and data that are diluted between respect. "I'm in pain, that's a fact," Woods admitted when ending his participation. The weather conditions, with rain and a lot of wind, further punished a player who, beyond the accident, has had five knee operations and as many back operations.
"You feel sorry for him having to go through this. But then again, you also see the kind of person he is, who overcomes everything and works through the pain. It's not easy to see someone like him having to go through this and fight like this," praised his colleague Shaun Norris.
And Tiger is ready to keep fighting. After Augusta, he confirmed his presence for the US Open (June 16-19). He is still standing.