In the game of golf, the greats only require one name: Jack, Arnie, Bobby, Sam… Tiger. They transcend the sport and their fame reaches international recognition. On Sunday afternoon, East Lake Golf Club was bursting at the seams ready to explode in jubilation for one of golf’s favored sons.
As Tiger made his way up the final fairway, his masses, thousands upon thousands, followed behind like disciples, to catch a glimpse of their hero accomplishing what once was considered next to impossible. What we saw on Sunday coming up the 18th fairway, the 72nd hole of the Tour Championship, was nothing short of transcendent.
Tiger Woods is back pic.twitter.com/3INaCH9oph
— Brian Wacker (@brianwacker1) September 23, 2018
Tiger Woods is back and he’s the 2018 Tour Championship winner.
It was only a matter of time for the 2018 PGA Championship runner up to capture his first victory in five years. A wire to wire winner, Tiger led or had a share of the lead after every round this week. Visibly holding back tears as he tapped in for par on the 72nd hole, Tiger lifted his arms to the sky in triumph and great relief.
I think it is safe to say, there are a lot of young players on the Tour today who have never experienced what it is like when Tiger has the lead on Sunday and playing at the top of the game. For Tiger, it was 1876 days between victories 79 and 80.
In a classy move, many of the younger players were right there to congratulate him as he walked towards the scorer’s tent. Justin Rose summed it up best when he was interviewed about holding off Tiger for the FedEx Cup Championship, “I’m sorry, I know a lot of you were pulling for one guy this week…It’s nice to see the old guys win for a change.”
His trials and tribulations are well documented. The pain and agony he played in during the past 5 years was visible. The life struggles he experienced were real and something not even a giant could shoulder alone. Through it all, he never gave up, he never took his eyes off the prize, and his hard work, dedication and determination proved his believers right and his doubters and haters wrong.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 23, 2018
Whatever you think of the man as a person is beside the point. Watching that crowd follow him up the 18th fairway, there is no denying he is the biggest star this game has ever seen, and golf needs him in the game for as long as he can physically manage.
He should be revered for his legacy in the game of golf and we should marvel at the memories he’s created for all golf fans throughout his career. Just 2 wins away from Sam Snead’s all-time record of 82 wins, Tiger looks poised to pick up those wins as early as next season. His swing looks good, his body is as good as it’s been since going through for operations on his back and mentally he looks engaged and full of confidence.
Here’s a look at what’s in the bag he used at the 2018 Tour Championship for his historic 80th career victory:
WITB: Tiger Woods at the 2018 Tour Championship
Driver: TaylorMade M3 460 (Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana D+ White Board 73TX shaft), 9.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M3 (Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana D+ White Board 83TX shaft), 13 degrees
5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana D+ White Board 83TX shaft), 19 degrees
Irons: TaylorMade TW Phase1 Prototype (3-PW; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts)
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind Wedges (56 and 60 degrees; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS
Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS