A year ago, Tiger Woods didn’t know what his golf future held.
The legendary golfer recently had undergone spinal fusion surgery and had been arrested for a DUI over Memorial Day weekend. Woods made his return to golf in December in the Hero World Challenge, and he planned to play a conservative schedule not knowing how his body would hold up under the rigors of a PGA Tour schedule.
But the 14-time major winner showed his surgically-repaired back was better than it had been in years and his game rounded into form quickly. Woods carded three top-12 finishes by March. After recording top-15s at The Players and The Quicken Loans, Woods had the lead on Sunday at The British Open, eventually faltering and finishing tied for sixth.
He followed that up with an electrifying second place finish at the PGA Championship, showing everyone that it’s no longer a question of if he will win another major (or four), but when.
When asked about his emotions following a second straight top-six finish at a major championship, Woods responded with a sobering answer.
“Oh God,” Woods said Sunday evening, via ESPN. “I didn’t even know if I was going to play golf again.
“And so at the beginning of the year, if you would say, yeah, I would have a legit chance to win the last two major championships, I — with what swing? I didn’t have a swing at the time. I had no speed. I didn’t have a golf swing. I didn’t have — my short game wasn’t quite there yet. My putting was OK. But God, I hadn’t played in two years. So it’s been a hell of a process, for sure.”
Woods had his chances to win the 100th PGA Championship, but despite the second place finish, he still punctured the air with his signature fist pump when he holed a birdie on his final hole of the championship.
He knows — as does everyone else — the Big Cat is back.
Thumbnail photo via Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports Images