Growing up as a kid in a golfing family and watching the Masters, I would think of the greats like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. But there is one name I idolized the most: Tiger Woods. I remember watching the 1997 Masters highlights of Tiger Woods dominating and winning the Masters by a record 12 shots. In the process, Woods became the first African-American and youngest winner of the Masters. Following that win, Woods went on to win three more Masters in 2001, 2002, and 2005 to go along with 11 other majors and 78 tournaments over the next 15 years. Even though Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of all time, his reign is officially over. The game of golf is in good hands with great young players like Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
Throughout Woods’ career, he fought through adversity, made the putts he needed to win and maintained tremendous focus. Woods does not have that ability anymore. In 2008, Tiger Woods was able to fight through pain and win the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines on a broken leg and won in a playoff against Rocco Mediate. In order to get into the playoff he had to make a 15-foot birdie in the fourth round on the final hole. He showed incredible fire and desire to win. He had surgery and missed several months. I thought he would come back and be the same Tiger, but unfortunately, this was the last major championship Woods won.
A year later in 2009, the news broke that Tiger Woods cheated on his wife with a number of different women. It was rumored that Woods started cheating on his wife several years earlier. This was the beginning of his downfall.
In 2013, Woods had the worst finish he has ever had in a major in which he made a cut in at the U.S. Open at Merion. Woods finished at 13 over par which was 14 shots behind eventual winner Justin Rose. After a slow start in 2014, Woods was forced to withdraw from the Honda Classic citing back pain and was forced to withdraw from the Masters in 2014. This forced Woods to also miss the rest of the 2014 season.
In February 2015 Woods tried to make another comeback but was forced to withdraw from the 2015 Farmers Insurance Championship at Torrey Pines. He came back to play in the Masters in 2015 but in the final round of the tournament he injured his wrist. That caused him to miss the cut in the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA for the first time in his career. The Wyndham Championship in August 2015 was the last tournament Woods made a cut in and was the last full-field event he finished.
Even though Woods is one of best golfers of all time, he is officially done playing competitive golf. Woods needs to focus on the next chapter of his life, which is his family.