And he thought of quitting golf

Sun.Star Pampanga - - SHOW! -

TWO years ago, Tigers Woods thought of quitting golf. Rea­son? He was in pain from eight surg­eries, in­clud­ing four to fuse his back.

Who said golf is the safest non-con­tact sport to play next to chess?

Did you know that I broke my right el­bow 28 years ago at the Capi­tol Golf Club in Q.C.? But that’s another story.

Two years ago, Woods could hardly climb a stair­way of just three steps. He had once fallen flat on his back, her daugh­ter fetch­ing for help to get him back on his feet.

He had avoided a golf club like the measles plague, the thought of mak­ing a swing trig­ger­ing him to be wheelchair­bound for life.

He had told his best friend Mark O’Meara as well as his swing coach Hank Haney that he was through with golf.

Last year, he came back, led and nearly won the British Open at Carnoustie in Scot­land—his bid de­flected by that tiny Ital­ian named Francesco Moli­nari, whose per­sis­tence and pa­tience re­warded him with a bo­gey-free last round to de­feat Woods.

In­spired by that de­cent ef­fort, Woods con­tin­ued to re­trace his glory that had given him 14 ma­jors since his break­through Mas­ters vic­tory in 1997 that saw him break 20 records—at age 21.

“I see that kid smash­ing more records,” said Jack Nick­laus of Woods then.

Yes­ter­day, Woods birdied the testy par3 16th a se­cond straight day from just a foot away, erased a 2-shot deficit with a round left and be­came a Mas­ters cham­pion. Again.

He’s never won a ma­jor trail­ing af­ter 54 holes, mak­ing the $11-mil­lion Mas­ters another grandeur to re­mem­ber.

It also meant a fifth green jacket even as Woods was singing a tune with not a tinge a vic­tory hymn a day be­fore.

“I’m just thank­ful to be able to come back here and play again,” he said, as though his third-round 67 was some­thing not carved out from his ge­nius of old.

His Sun­day 70 windup was “just” good for a one-shot vic­tory, but it nonethe­less sent a chilling mes­sage to his foes young and old alike: He’s back!

At 43 and with 15 ma­jors to his name, the tiger’s just three off Jack Nick­laus’ all-time high of 18.

At 43, the tiger is prowl­ing. Again. Be­ware.

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