Tiger Woods Gets Another Green Jacket
Green is the color of money. For Tiger Woods, it is also the color of success at The Masters, where he has now claimed four green jackets. It is also the color that returned him to the number one ranking in the world.
However, the color of success for Woods has not come without blemishes. After a historic 2001, Woods was perched at the top of the golf world with little else to prove. He was, simultaneously, the defending champ of the four majors that year and by 2002 he already owned three green jackets – the most prized possession on the pro circuit. At age 25 he was being mentioned in the same breath as Gary Player and Arnold Palmer and was the youngest person to ever win seven PGA majors. There was no stopping the Woods juggernaut.
However, by 2004, people began to cast Woods in the shadows of golf’s yesteryear. He won no majors last year, but ironically became the highest earning golfer in the history of the game. He was not the same Tiger though. A remodeled swing, different clubs and the emergence of both Sri Lanka’s Vijay Singh and the beloved “Lefty” Phil Mickleson all pointed toward a less productive season. Tiger was still playing golf at an incredible standard but was not winning by the margins that the public had come to expect.
The roar had gone away.
However, a misty Sunday morning at Augusta National seemed to herald the golf gods. Tiger hadn’t won in the last ten majors on the PGA Tour. With light cascading through the trees to the right of the 18th fairway, Tiger swept toward a record seven straight birdies and within less than an hour, he skipped from three shots behind leader Chris DiMarco to the head of the leader board. It was a mad scamper to the top, perfectly set for a damp Sunday showered by golden light.
Then Woods stepped into his Sunday red and the fourth round of the tournament. His trademark rouge Nike polo was in stark contrast to the stoic black shirt that he wore during the morning’s foggy play. Out of necessity, most players had to finish up their third rounds on Sunday as well as playing the fourth round due to the rain stoppages over the first few days. The result: Tiger hit his groove.
His run on Sunday afternoon seemed to culminate with his chip out of the rough on the 16th hole. It has already been called one of the greatest shots in the history of the Masters and almost seemed to signal the second coming of the Tiger. In a chip that left the ball some almost twenty feet away from the pin, Woods had plotted the contours of the green with such precision that the ball broke to its right, continued towards the hole, stopped for about three seconds on the edge of the hole, and then fell. Woods’ fist punched the air and DiMarco was left bewildered in a sea of cheers.
Although the end wasn’t vintage Woods and he eventually beat DiMarco in a playoff, the Tiger showed up this weekend. In fact, he even showed up with some emotion and a teary-eyed champ noted that it was the first time his father wasn’t there to congratulate him. Although Earl Woods is resting himself back to full health, his son dedicated the win to him.
Tiger knows his father will be back. Earl knows Tiger is back already.