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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 244
If rising from a personal and PR disaster like this – watching himself humiliated on CNN, ESPN, Fox News and each and every social media feed you can find – can’t get him motivated again, nothing will. We revelled in the skeletons that poured out of the closet post hitting that fire hydrant in ’09, yet now golf fans have to be better than that. He needs support. After all, Woods gave us “hello world”, and red shirts. Fist-pumps, passion, and whirlwind tours like the Tiger Slam of ’00 and ’01. Hell, he even gave us 16 video games that will probably be the closest many of us come to playing the world’s most elite and exclusive courses. And while his competitiveness sometimes proved a little too in-your-face for the country club purists, who can forget the dignified end of the 2003 Presidents Cup in South Africa, where his Cup-deciding battle with Ernie Els went so long into darkness that captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player got together, called a truce and sparked life into the Presidents Cup. Without that signature moment, Australians might not be able to taste Ryder Cup-like competition anymore. Six Aussies competed in Player’s 12-man team that year. The most heroic victory of all, of course, was his 2008 US Open win on a broken leg and torn ACL. He hobbled around Torrey Pines, battled Rocco Mediate – a singular moment that vaulted Mediate to near mainstream stardom – and made a massive putt on the 72nd hole that forced play on Monday. And just as he always owned Sunday, Woods proved he could also own Monday – regardless of injury or poor old Rocco. We should have known the run was over then, but instead of thinking, ‘Tiger’s body is breaking down’, we collectively thought, ‘Wow, this guy can do anything’. But that was the magic of Tiger. Someone whose father could compare him to Gandhi and we didn’t even think it was that strange. He did come back, too, to reach world No.1 in 2013 and probably deserved to win the Masters that year, if not for his ball careering of the flagstick on the Fire Thorn hole and ricocheting into the water. His cause was not helped when he was also issued another penalty for an incorrect drop. Adam Scott would take out the green jacket that year – and that may be yet another thing to thank Woods for. No, he is never going to catch Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors and have his own ‘Yes-sir’ moment as he wins a golf major in his 40s. In fact, Woods may never even play golf again. But if a mentally reformed Woods can simply stare back into the camera, look something like his old self and give us a ‘hello world’ once more, that will be enough. E
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