Even two years ago, this seemed impossible.
Tiger Woods was ranked No. 898 (seriously) in the world and there were legitimate doubts over whether arguably the greatest golfer to play the game would ever get back on the course.
Two years later, Woods defied all the odds, winning the Masters for the fifth time, surging as the hours droned on. This was his 15th major and 81st win overall.
Finally, after years of positive thinking from the golf community, it actually happened.
Tiger Woods’ Masters wins:— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) April 14, 2019
April 13, 1997
April 8, 2001
April 14, 2002
April 10, 2005
April 14, 2019
14 years is the longest gap from one Masters victory to the next. pic.twitter.com/tGY2SKRVEo
We have never seen an individual comeback like this. The reasoning is twofold.
First, Woods was on the fringe of retirement. After all of the scandals leaked in the late 2000s, Woods' career was immediately thrown into the tank. He went 107 matches without a win before taking home the Chevron World Challenge in 2011.
We, as a whole, were resigned to the fact that the fist-pumping machine who once set courses across the country on fire was gone, replaced with a stock-standard golfer who would win the occasional minor event here or there. The GOAT was gone, until now.
Second, his return could be the catalyst for the rebirth of the sport of golf. Following Tiger's initial decline, ratings plummeted, and interest in the sport, especially with younger fans, was decreasing by the day. Tiger's win, and a hopeful permanent return to the pinnacle of the sport, could rekindle interest that had long lied dormant. Not too many athletes can move the needle for an entire sport.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 14, 2019
@TigerWoods now has 81 PGA TOUR wins.
He's one shy of Sam Snead's all-time record.#LiveUnderPar pic.twitter.com/lAT9SCAh2C
Given the totality of the circumstances and the impact his performance had around the sport, there hasn't been anything close to Tiger's comeback. It's almost storybook, capped by winning the biggest prize in his game. Soak it all in; this is a moment that will live forever in the history of golf.
Remember exactly where you were.