It has been a very long time since we were talking about Tiger Woods’ golf game being back to its best. But now, 870 long days since he lost his world number one spot, he is very close to reclaiming his position as the best in the business.
His career has been defined by major success, the youngest player to win all four majors, the biggest earner in golfing history, but along his journey to sporting greatness he lost it all over the space of a few months.
Since he collided with a fire hydrant in October 2010, and details of his sordid extra-curricular activities became known to the public, Tiger lost his flair, on the course at least.
His divorce, lost sponsorships and flailing fans left Woods in a terrible state. When he returned to the golf course, it was not the same Tiger the fans had come to know and look up to so much. He even dropped out of the top 50 in the world and he looked a man that would never find the form that had earned him so much in the past.
But Woods has yet again surpassed all expectations, and is perhaps about to make the greatest comeback in sporting history. He has the incredible opportunity to reclaim his berth as the best golfer on the planet, and not many of us thought that would ever happen again.
If Woods manages to win this weekend’s Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament at Bay Hill, he will supplant his friend Rory McIlroy at the top of the Golfing world once more, and with it he will give everyone who lost faith in their hero, a cause to admire the star once more.
This week, he posted a Facebook snap of him with his new partner, skier Lindsey Vonn. Things are finally falling back into place for Woods after watching his world crumble around him.
On the course, those who watch him report seeing a different man, a more calm and confident character, a happy Woods, which is really saying something. Even when Woods was at the top of his game he looked sullen and unhappy to be playing. Now you could even hazard to say he is enjoying the game.
His rise to the top has not happened by luck or chance, or a poor field. It has come with the hard work and dedication that we were not used to seeing from Woods, even when he was on top. He is hungry, he has a desire to once again be the best he can be.
The hard work has started in the gym as much as on the course, lifting weights, strengthening his legs and back. On the course, he has reinvented his swing, to put less pressure on his knee and hip joints which have been damaged over the years. He has even found a putting game that is hard to beat. The rest of the field fear the Tiger once more rather than looking past him as he failed to make cut after cut.
It would have been easier to call it a day and walk away from the game for good. His name was already cemented in golfing history and he had his money made. But to show this amount of work and dedication deserves so much credit. He deserves the world number one tag which he held for 12 years, again.
To be so far away from the top, to reinvent yourself in front of the world, watching your every step, Woods has managed to pull off one of the best comebacks in sporting history. If he wins on Sunday, it will be his biggest achievement to date.