The 2020 Masters at Augusta, the first major tournament of the golfing calendar and the most famous golfing even on earth, should be just around the corner.

But in light of its indefinite postponement due to the coronavirus, and our inability to currently get out for a round ourselves, we’re looking back at the most remarkable comeback in golfing history, possibly in the history of sport. Either way, it was a pleasure to witness and a day we won’t ever forget.

Every year The Masters provides thrills, surprises and scintillating play. But the 2019 Masters had something special. The resurgence of Tiger Woods, one of golf’s all-time greats and arguably the most famous name in the game, was something that many golf fans never thought would happen. But, against all the odds, after 11 long years spent in the personal and professional doldrums, Tiger Woods claimed an unlikely and magnificent victory.

When Woods won the 2008 US Open, no one could have imagined it would take so long for him to claim another major golfing title. However, no one could have predicted the incredible physical recovery Tiger would have to go through to overcome extensive back injuries that ruled him out of the 2017 and 2018 masters, as well as threatening to permanently draw the curtain on his magnificent career.

 

Tiger Woods: Career in numbers

683 - weeks he has spent at world number one during his career, a record.

15 - career major wins, second only to Jack Nicklaus' 18.

14 - years between Woods' fourth and fifth victories in the Masters.

5 - Woods is one of five players to have won all four major titles.

4 - number of back operations since March 2014.

1 - He is the only player to hold all four major titles at the same time, winning the US Open, Open Championship and US PGA in 2000 and the 2001 Masters

Claiming a 5th Masters victory and adding another one of those fabled green jackets to his collection capped a remarkable return for Woods, 14 years since he last won at Augusta. At 43 years old, and with scandal, surgeries and struggles seeming to have taken their toll on his once flawless game, even as we went into the final day of the championship none of us expected Tiger to turn back the clock and snatch a historic win.

Woods started the day two strokes behind the leader but immediately started showing some of the form that had got him to the top of golf’s totem pole and dropped his deficit to just 1 stroke as he sauntered through the front 9. This being his 22nd Masters Championship, Tiger’s experience really demonstrated its worth on the 12th hole; a treacherous par-3 where any wayward tee shot runs the risk of splashing down in a tricky water hazard.

While the rest of the leading group of golfers found themselves hitting the water, Woods, typically, found the centre of the green. After making the putt for birdie, we were really starting to believe that we might be seeing the impossible achieved before our very eyes. A feeling that only grew as Tiger strode into an outright lead with a birdie on the 15th.

The momentum really swung toward Woods, who seemed hell bent on producing a vintage performance that would become the stuff of legend, when he played the shot of the tournament off the tee on the par-3 16th hole. We were in awe as his opening shot dropped onto the green and leisurely rolled to within four feet of the hole – leaving a putt that Tiger could no doubt make in his sleep to register another birdie and consolidate his grip on the lead.

As we walked towards the 18th hole, there was a sense of inevitability growing amongst the spectators. Tiger was leading in the final throws of a major championship. Surely what was to happen next was a foregone conclusion? It was a feeling that we hadn’t experienced in the golfing world for a long time. It was enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. This was history in the making, and we were here for every swing.

When Woods knocked in the simple putt required on the 18th green to remain one stroke clear and win the championship, the spectators lining the course and surrounding the famous club house roared louder than any golfing crowd we have ever heard. Tiger threw up his arms in elation, roaring with us as he released more than a decade of frustration and retook his place at the pinnacle of the golfing world.

 

To join us in witnessing sporting history in the making on our future tours, contact our Sports Travel Specialists today for a bespoke quote.

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