How Tiger Woods Won His First Title in 5 Years

All year, Tiger Woods knocked. Tournament after tournament, the 14-time major champion contended for titles. Back in March, he finished tied for second and tied for fifth at the Valspar and Arnold Palmer Invitational, respectively. On the final day of the British Open in July, Woods ascended to the top of the leaderboard before a few hiccups cost him. At the PGA Championship in August, he thrilled in the final round, soaring up the standings despite driving the ball inconsistently. He finished second. Sunday ratings for the season’s last major jumped 69%.

All that was left was the victory.

On Sunday, at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, it came in what was once typical Tiger fashion. His sizzling start on Saturday — six birdies in the first seven holes — gave him a cushion; he entered the final round with a three-shot lead. Dressed in his Sunday red, victory red, Woods struck the fairways he needed. Almost everything went his way. On the 15th hole, his tee shot landed to the right of a water-lined green: his shot stayed out of the drip, barely. Things got a bit jittery on the 17th, as after two straight bogeys his lead had shrunk to two strokes. He faced a potentially disastrous chip shot, in some deepish rough, near the green. A camera distracted him before the shot; he stepped back and snipped. Recomposed, he stuck it to within four feet and saved par.

No one really threatened: Woods could for the most part enjoy a valedictory finish, the love of his stadium-sized galleries. “Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!” the people shouted. Woods won his first tournament in more than five years, the 80th of his career, finishing at 11 under par, two shots clear of Billy Horschel, who finished at 9-under. Justin Rose of Great Britain, on the strength of a 18th hole birdie, won the FedEx Cup playoffs, making him the season-long champion of the PGA Tour. Rose got a $ 10 million bonus for his efforts. Woods finished second in the FedEx Cup, good for $ 3 million.

Sure, the Tour Championship’s not a major, and we mostly remember the majors. But make no mistake: Woods’ win Sunday ranks right up there with other illustrious moments of his singular career.

As recently as April of last year, Woods needed his fourth back surgery in three years. His latest comeback, already tenuous as age and the golf’s wear and tear was catching up with him, hit another snag when, on Memorial Day of 2017, he was arrested for DUI near his home in Jupiter, Fla. Police found him alone and asleep at the wheel. Woods had five different drugs in his system. He later checked into a clinic to help him manage prescription pain medication and a sleep disorder.

Woods said he just wanted his life back. The surgeries made it hard for him to move around and lift his kids. Forget about golf. He never knew what was on the other side of his rehab. The result exceeded everyone’s prognosis, and now create even more fevered expectations.

Start with the Ryder Cup, the biannual international tournament which is being played outside Paris later this week. Woods has earned a spot on Team USA, which is trying to win back-to-back titles over Team Europe for the first time since 1993. Woods has never really starred at the Ryder Cup; for years, one knock on Woods was that he cared more about his individual play during the year than the international team tournaments (though can you blame him? Golf’s quite an individual sport). At his last Ryder Cup, in 2012 in Medinah, Ill., Woods finished 0-3-1 in his matches. His back, however, was bothering him that weekend. Six years later, he’s healthy and coming off one of the most memorable wins of his career. His presence should energize the Americans.

On the 18th hole Sunday in Atlanta, as Woods approached the East Lake Golf Club green with a win all but in hand, he walked beside playing partner Rory McIlroy, with a smile. Pandemonium trailed them, as hundreds of fans poured onto the fairway to witness Woods clinch the victory. They looked like acolytes following their leader. The scene was reminiscent of Tiger’s early days, when he captivated his sport like no one ever will. Who thought we’d see something similar two decades later?

“USA! USA!” some of them chanted, pumping themselves up for the Ryder Cup. “I just didn’t want to get run over,” Woods joked afterwards. He tried not to tear up on the green. He tapped in a par to win it, leaned over the hole to pluck the ball out — gingerly, so as not to tweak that back — and rose both arms into the air. A champion again. With the promise of so much more to come.

Sports – TIME


Tiger Woods Gets a Kiss From Girlfriend As He Wins First Golf Tournament in Five Years: Pic

Winners are grinners. Tiger Woods raised his arms in celebration as he won his first golf tournament in five years on Sunday, September 23, and scored a kiss from his girlfriend, Erica Herman.

The champ, 42, placed first at the 2018 Tour Championship in Atlanta — his 80th PGA title — after leading the field all weekend. It was his first win since 2013 and after several back surgeries, and the moment wasn’t lost on him, or the crowd, which cheered in excitement and loudly chanted his name.

“I had a hard time not crying coming up on that last hole,” he told the Golf Channel.

Tiger Woods and girlfriend Erica Herman
Tiger Woods and his girlfriend Erica Herman celebrate after the final round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia. Stan Badz/PGA TOUR

Later, as he was presented with the Calamity Jane trophy, Woods admitted he had teared up as he lined up his final shot and said, “I can’t believe I’ve pulled this off.”

Another emotional moment came after he played his winning shot and he headed to the clubhouse. He was greeted by his girlfriend, who wrapped her arms around him for a long hug followed by a kiss. He could be heard thanking Herman and saying “love you” before their liplock.

USA Today reports that Herman is the general manager of Woods’ restaurant in Jupiter, Florida, and the pair have been dating since October. They were previously spotted sharing a kiss as he went to turn in his scorecard after a PGA Championship tournament in August.

She was also seen watching Wood play alongside his kids, Sam and Charlie, with ex-wife Elin Nordegren in July. Woods and Nordegren split in 2009 after reports emerged that he had been having affairs with several women. He subsequently sought treatment for sex addiction.

Us Weekly


‘You Have to Respect the Office.’ Tiger Woods Deflects Questions About His Friendship with Trump

Tiger Woods on Sunday deflected questions about his relationship with President Donald Trump, telling a reporter that “you have to respect the office” of the President regardless of personal opinions.

Woods, who appeared at a news conference after tying for 40th place at the Northern Trust, avoided going into specifics when a reporter asked about his friendship with Trump. However, he did note that he has known the President “for a number of years,” Sports Illustrated reports.

“Well, he’s the President of the United States,” Woods reportedly added. “You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”

Woods, who has golfed with a number of former presidents, said Sunday that his relationship with Trump began before he took office, and has continued into his presidency. Last year, for example, the duo played a round together at Trump International Golf Club in Florida, which Woods looked upon favorably at the time, according to USA Today.

“What most impressed me was how far he hits the ball at 70 years old. He takes a pretty good lash,” Woods reportedly wrote on his website. “Our discussion topics were wide-ranging; it was fun. We both enjoyed the bantering, bickering and needling.”

Trump commented on the matter Monday, criticizing “the fake news media” for asking Tiger about the President.

Woods stayed circumspect on other topics as well. When a reporter asked about race relations during the news conference, Woods declined to comment because he had “just finished 72 holes” and was “really hungry,” according to Sports Illustrated.

Sports – TIME


Tiger Woods, fist pumping once again, places second at PGA Championship for best major finish since 2009

The fist pump for the birdie at the 18th was demonstrative, but didn’t have the same ferocity as the celebration a decade ago at Torrey Pines.

The result was not a major triumph, but a significant step in an extraordinary comeback.

Tiger Woods didn’t win the PGA Championship on Sunday, but it sure…

Sports – New York Daily News


With Tiger Woods in contention last Sunday, TV ratings soared for British Open’s final round

With Tiger on the prowl in the British Open final round, television ratings soared.

NBC averaged 6.48 million viewers for its Sunday telecast of the Open at Carnoustie, tying for the biggest Open audience since 2000. That bump can largely be attributed to Tiger Woods’ resurgence on Saturday and…

Sports – New York Daily News


How Tiger Woods Keeps Knocking on the Door

Francesco Molinari, of Italy, won the 147th British Open in Carnoustie, Scotland on Sunday. Molinari, 35, certainly earned his Claret Jug, playing almost flawless golf on a gusty day off the eastern Scottish coast. As superstars like Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy all lurked around the leaderboard, Molinari refused to wilt. He didn’t bogey a single hole, and scored two birdies, good enough to finish the tournament eight under par. Molinari becomes the first Italian-born golfer to ever win a major championship.

Congrats to Molinari, who’s been one of the hottest players on the PGA Tour; he’s now won three of his last six starts. But this being golf, all attention must turn to Woods.

As long as Woods, at 42, keeps chasing his elusive 15th major championship, his quest will loom over the sport. Woods made a charge on Saturday, shooting a five-under-par 66 to begin the day just four strokes back of the lead. Then Woods made two birdies on the front nine and shared the lead. On the tenth hole, an aggressive shot out of a fairway pot bunker landed near the edge of the green. Suddenly, Tiger Woods, after the scandals and injuries and last years’s DUI that stemmed from a struggle with pain medication, sat atop a leaderboard, alone, at a major for the first time since the 2011 Masters.

For Tiger, major victories were once inevitable. Given his downfall over the decade since he won his last one, the 2008 U.S., they now seem near impossible. But here Tiger was, just eight holes away from completing one of the more momentous comebacks in sports.

In his prime, Woods could never be called the most endearing champion. A generation of golf fans, however, don’t care. They only watched golf because of Tiger. They only spent hours, on beautiful spring and summer days, rapt by their televisions, thanks to Tiger. For them, he is the sport. Only one more major can complete the Tiger Woods saga. They could taste it.

But golf rounds turn sour, fast. With a wayward tee shot on 11, and a second that caromed off a spectator, Woods double bogeyed the 11th. He bogeyed 12. One birdie on 14 got him back to five under; Rory McIlroy had eagled that hole to get to six under and grab a share of the lead. Could golf’s three biggest names — Woods, Spieth, McIlroy — all wind up in a playoff? It never hurts to dream.

Spieth, however, struggled. The 2017 British Open champ shot five over par for the day, finishing at four under, tied for ninth place. And Molinari had other plans.

For Woods to have a chance, he needed to birdie 18, while Molinari bogeyed the hole. Woods’ approach shot stopped 10 feet of the hole. Then Molinari, all day a quiet killer, knocked his approach even closer — effectively knocking Woods out of the tournament. Woods missed his birdie putt. Molinari sunk his, giving him sole possession of the lead at eight under par. American Xander Schauffele bogeyed 17 to fall two shots behind Molinari; Schauffele’s Hail Mary eagle attempt from the fairway fell short on 18, giving Molinari the title.

In all, with so many stars bunched together atop the leaderboard, golf enjoyed a grand day at Carnoustie. Woods, dressed in his signature Sunday red and black, held a major championship lead. His game’s been clicking all year.

Golf’s days could soon be getting better.



Sports – TIME


Hedge fund Tiger Global takes $1 billion stake in Softbank: source

U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global has built a stake worth more than $ 1 billion in Japan’s Softbank Group which it considers to be under-valued, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Reuters: Technology News


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It’s been 10 years since Tiger Woods won at the U.S. Open as he heads to Shinnecock

A decade somehow has passed already since Tiger Woods, on a shredded left knee that would require reconstructive surgery on a torn ACL eight days later, legendarily outlasted Rocco Mediate in a 19-hole playoff at Torrey Pines to capture the 2008 U.S. Open title.

It marked his 14th major championship…

Sports – New York Daily News


Tiger Woods Works to Salvage Disappointing Start in First Round of the Players Championship

Tiger’s 72, which was salvaged thanks to a quality bogey after smothering his tee shot into the water on 18, left him six shots behind a sextet of leaders at six-under.

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Tiger Woods Fell Short of a Miraculous Masters Comeback. But He Gave Himself a Chance

There was Tiger Woods on Thursday at the Augusta National Golf Club, staring into the distance on the 12th hole, looking mighty miffed. He closed his eyes, as if he didn’t want to see what awaited. Woods had just dropped his tee shot into Rae’s creek. After a bogey on the previous hole, in which one of his shots skimmed the gallery, Woods now found himself five strokes behind then-leader Marc Leishman. Having earned a penalty on 12, his round could only get worse. Tiger’s much-hyped comeback was in danger of imploding.

After struggling with debilitating back pain that threatened to shut down his career, Tiger Woods seemed to enter this year’s Masters — his first appearance since 2015 — a happy, rehabilitated man. His game was flourishing. He talked about how he was just happy to be playing. The new Tiger would smile and enjoy the ride.

But Woods is one of the greatest athletic competitors of his generation. If his pissed off looks and his stalking down the fairway alone after a hooked drive proved anything, it’s that he can’t quite extinguish that fire.

Which is probably for the better. Because after making his errors, Woods was able to lock in, like old Tiger, and give himself a chance. He saved a bogey with a tough putt from the edge of the green on 12th. Now three over par, and six shots off the lead, he hit more fans on the 13th hole — he parred it — but then birdied the 14th. His tee-shot struggles continued on the 15th, as he left his drive right. Woods recovered, but his 25-foot birdie attempt fell short. (Woods, who’s shot a remarkable 142-under par on par-5s in his Masters career, played them even on Thursday, a disappointing showing.)

But on 16, the site of his most dramatic Masters moment — the 2005 pitch in the final round that finally fell in after sitting on the lip — Woods rolled an uphill birdie putt home. His swing returned on the final two holes, as he crushed two straight drives into the fairway on the way to back-to-back pars.

Tiger stood on the brink of falling eight shots, or worse, off the lead. But he finished his round one-over, still well within striking distance.

Even with Tiger Woods, 42, thrilling television fans with his play before the Masters, beating 86 of the other best golfers in the world at Augusta was always a difficult proposition. Winning these tournaments is tough, especially with so many younger talented stars who’ve won majors — like Jordan Speith, Justin Thomas, and Rory McIlroy — still in their primes. Woods avoided a Day 1 disaster, unlike defending champ Sergio Garcia, who dumped five balls in the water on 15. He finished with a 13 on the hole, tied for the highest single-hole score in Masters history. The clip will be watched forever.

Meanwhile, Tiger’s score put him in a much better spot on the leaderboard. After Masters Thursday, there’s still hope for Tiger magic on Sunday afternoon. What more can a golf fan ask for?

Sports – TIME


Tiger Woods has ‘wind in his sails’, but sponsors wonder if he can stay healthy and out of trouble

The New York Times discusses whether Tiger Woods' image can rebound the same way off as it has on the course.
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