Life is a game of Snakes and Ladders; sometimes you move up and sometimes you are back to square one in the most brutal fashion. But the secret lies in learning from your failures to rewrite your success. This particular strength of character was shown by none other than the controversial golfer Tiger Woods, who made a prolific comeback to the top of the pile, over the weekend.
He ended his 11-year major title drought by winning his fifth Masters title at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday. A valiant two-under 70 clinched a one-shot victory over Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele that earned the veteran the glory.
The story of Woods, who hugged his father Earl after his long-due win, is nothing short of dramatic. He also cherished the opportunity to scoop his son Charlie into his arms after winning his 'Fifth Green Jacket' almost 14 years after his last.April 14, 2019
"Prior to this comeback", Woods had said, "they only knew that golf caused me a lot of pain".
The 43-year-old champion has been broken in so many ways but a moment with Charlie, the ensuing embrace of his mother Kultida and then of Sam, was telling of the soulful eventual glory.
Astonishingly, when Woods won his 14 major championships - changing golf as he did so - his son wasn't even born, and his daughter was less than a year old for the last. And now, when he broke through for a historic 15th, they joined him, ecstatic, on a Sunday that reshaped golf again.
In his professional career of 23 years, Woods has been through a whole lot of controversies. Beginning in 2005, when he started having knee troubles, to later being accused of having an extra-marital affair with a nightclub worker, it was just where the tide began to turn.
Later in February 2010, the golfer lost many promotion deals, including those of General Motors and Gatorade. He made an apology, not only to his wife (whom he divorced earlier in the year) but to the world following this incident. “I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to,” he stated. “I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me.”
“I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have far – didn't have to go far to find them. I was wrong. I was foolish.” He also stated that he enrolled in therapy programs to address such issues.
With his back against the wall, Woods was just an inch away from one thing, and that was going to jail, which he later did when he was involved in a car accident in November 2009.
Following a spinal surgery, in 2017, Woods was on a heavy dose of medications which made him drowsy the entire day. Later that year, Woods was arrested again for driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs. Woods told the police that he was in recovery from the surgery.
When the police arrested him, the golfer was allegedly asleep, with the car's engine running and standing still in the middle of traffic. Woods said that he did not realise that the prescription drugs he was taking would affect his sleep patterns. However, he later agreed to complete the out-of-state intensive program that addressed his ways of handling his pain and his medications.
Despite going through all the ups and downs in his life, pure determination brought Woods back into the limelight and placed him where he is today.
This triumph brought back the talks of Woods making a run at Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 majors. And especially, after a beaming Woods slipped on his fifth Green Jacket, he will be aware that Sunday's win has brought him tantalisingly close to another Nicklaus record – that of six Augusta titles.
With a hope that the Tiger roars again, we wish that he achieves all the glory forthcoming his way.