Comebacks in the face of adversity have always had a special place in the history of sport. Australia II's comeback from 3-1 down against Liberty at the 1983 Americas Cup, the 1996 Australian Open victory of Monica Seles nearly three years after she was stabbed while playing in Germany, Muhammad Ali's return from a guilty verdict to the summit of heavyweight boxing in 1974 – such tales transcend the partisanship of competition to remind us of the human striving at its core.
Even in such lofty company, Tiger Woods' triumph in this year's US Masters stands apart. Nearly a decade has passed since Woods arrived in Australia, lured by a controversial $3 million appearance fee, and swept all before him at the Kingston Heath Golf Club to win the Australian Masters at his first attempt, continuing what seemed an unstoppable march through the game's record books.
But it was during that stay in Melbourne that the scandal emerged which was to derail not only the champion's progress but his entire life. Soon his marriage had ended and his personal reputation was in tatters. For all his achievements – including 14 major titles – he was still only in his early 30s, but now Woods the master golfer gave way to Woods the reality TV show.
It soon became clear that the decline was physical as well as moral. Successive knee and back surgeries sent his career into a downward spiral that seemed to culminate with the miserable spectacle of his arrest in 2017 for driving under the influence of prescription drugs.
The biggest name in golf, a house high on a distant hill, was a ruin. People looked at it with awe and wondered about the amazing deeds once performed there, but few if any believed that great house would ever be restored to the glory it had known.
To rise from such depths – in December 2017, Woods was ranked 1199 in the world – to not only compete but win again at the highest level is extraordinary. So too is the time frame; 22 years after Woods embraced his father, Earl, behind the green at Augusta, a Masters champion for the first time, he ran to the same spot and the arms of his 10-year-old son, Charlie, who was not even born when he last won a major, on a broken leg and a torn ACL at Torrey Pines in 2008.
The comeback wins of Australia II and Seles would also prove to be their swansongs. In Woods'Read More – Source