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Breaking Angles

Breaking Angles: Tiger Returns, Wins PGA Championship

1,875 days ago, Tiger Woods won his last PGA Tournament. On Sunday, that number turned into 0. Tiger Woods won the 2018 PGA Tournament. Tiger is back.

Tiger Woods Drives by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY SA-2.0

Breaking Angles: Tiger Returns, Wins PGA Championship

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

This week the Cleveland Browns won their first NFL Game in almost 635 days. The city breathed a collective sigh of relief and then ran for Budweiser’s coolers full of free beer. The win was significant, but it was not the most significant win of the week.

Coming into Sunday, Tiger Woods had gone 1,875 days without winning a PGA tournament. The drought began back in August of 2013 for Woods, who came into Sunday with a 3 stroke lead over Justin Rose and Rory McIllroy. As he approached the 18th hole Tiger knew he was close to victory, close to redemption, close to the final stage of his return.

Heading into the 18th hole with a 2-shot lead over Billy Horschel and a 4-shot lead over Dustin Johnson. After hitting a 348-yard drive off the 18th tee. As he makes his way towards his ball, Justin Rose birdies 18 to become the projected and eventual FedEx Cup winner.

Tiger’s second shot skips into the bunker. And then something magical happens.

As Tiger made his final approach to the 18th green droves of fans followed, swarming the golf megastar, seemingly carrying him to victory. 

“I was having a hard time not crying on that last hole,” Tiger said to NBC. “I said, ‘Hey, I could still hit this thing out of bounds. Let’s just suck it up and hit some shots here.”

If there was any moment where Tiger needed the support of golf fans around the world it was this one. After missing time after several back surgeries over the last few years, sometimes leading to pain so bad that getting out of bed seemed to be a task of Herculean proportions. The big question has been: is Tiger back, and will he ever come back?

The question on the approach to 18 wasn’t is Tiger back, but who has Tiger’s back? The answer was every single golf fan across the globe. 

After getting out of the sand and to within 8 feet of the flag, Tiger would two put for the win. 1,875 days turned into 0. Tiger had won the PGA Tournament. Tiger is back. 

Sure it would seem like the 43-year-old former golf phenom is in the twilight of his career, but it’s moments like this that remind you what Tiger did for the sport of Golf. To see Tiger hit 80 wins, a feat only done by one other golfer is something extraordinary. Then to pair that accomplishment with the long-awaited return to the top of the leaderboard, this PGA Tour Championship win is more than just a number, it’s a statement. 

“It’s been tough. I’ve had it not so easy the last couple of years,” Tiger said after the win. “I’ve worked my way back and couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone around me. Some of the players that I saw after out on the 18th green here, some knew what I was struggling with. It was really special to see them there. It’s just hard to believe I won the Tour Championship.”

It’s not hard to believe, it’s 100% believable. Tiger’s back, but you should have known that when he showed up today in his Sunday Red.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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