11 years ago Tiger Woods was on top of the world. He was the best golfer of his time. Wealthy beyond imagination. A beautiful wife, homes, boats, friends, you name it.
He was also smug, cocky, abrupt and a serial cheater.
Then he got his comeuppance.
When Tiger would swing a golf club the twisting, or torque, was more than his back could endure. It gave out. He would swing a club and literally collapse on the ground. His golf game evaporated as had his marriage.
Conventional wisdom held Tiger would never again make a cut in a golf tournament, much less win again. He was humiliated.
Then his back got worse. He couldn’t sit. Couldn’t walk without pain. Golf? Forget it. Surgery after surgery failed.
Finally one last surgery, back fusion, held hope of a semblance of some quality of life. It worked.
The point of all this is to explain how far the mighty had fallen. Off the charts. Almost off the cliff.
Now the story begins.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Tiger Woods went looking for his way. He found it yesterday in Augusta, Georgia.
Tiger’s victory at the Masters was less about him and more about what it teaches the rest of us.
We are not so callow as a people that we don’t appreciate someone who tries to lift himself back up. Who works very hard to do that. Who never gave up. Never quit.
We believe in second chances. We respect hard work, and what it can accomplish. We acknowledge we’re all human, and that we all make mistakes.
We like it when someone isn’t defined by their mistakes but by what they do after. We like it for the hope it gives us.
Tiger Woods never gave up. He never quit.
That’s what we cheered yesterday.