Tiger Woods is back on top

Tiger Woods’ fall from the top since 2009 has been well documented, but on Sunday at the PGA Tour Championship, he won a tournament for the first time in more than five years. DePaul University’s David P. Stein examines how he accomplished this triumph.

This past Sunday at the PGA Tour championship, which was held at the East LAke Golf Club in Atlanta, Tiger Woods accomplished something that he hasn’t been able to in more than a half decade.

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Tiger Woods smiling with the championship trophy at the PGA Tour Championship (This photo belongs to http://www.golf.com)

As has been well-documented since an infamous night of domestic violence in November of 2008 at Woods’ estate in Windermere, Fla., the prolific golfer’s life and professional career have been mired in a rapidly progressing tailspin.

After it came to light that Tiger Woods had been unfaithful to then wife Elin Nordegren, and had in fact been sleeping with a plethora of different women during their marriage, Woods became the laughing stock of news and sports tabloids all over the world.

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Courtesy of the New York Post

Not only did Tiger’s dirty laundry get aired publicly once Nordegren confronted Woods about his marital infidelities, which she learned about by navigating through messages on his phone, the once billionaire golfer was subsequently dropped by many major companies who were sponsoring him at the time including Gatorade and AT & T.

“I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children, I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness,” Woods wrote in an online statement back in December 2009.

In addition to a 100 million dollar divorce settlement agreement with ex wife Elin Nordegren, messy custody agreement negotiations, multiple visits to rehabilitation centers for pills and sex addiction, a DUI, and Tiger’s physical health, the polarizing sports figure’s play on the golf course has been just as tumultuous. And on the heals of a fourth back surgery to remedy recurring symptoms of nerve damages, Woods was arrested when police officers located him sleeping in his running car in Jupiter, Fla.

The below video was taken from the officer’s dash camera the night of the arrest, and shows Woods slurring his words due to an apparent reaction from prescribed medications that he was taking at the time.

“I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved,” Woods announced at the time in a public statement. “What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly,” he added.

The timing could not have been worse for Woods, who had not recorded a victory on tour since he won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Aug. 4 2013.

After pleading guilty to a reckless driving charge on Oct. 27 2017, Woods began a one year probationary program that required him to engage in community service and regular drug testing.

And with Tiger’s one year probationary sentence coming to an end soon, Woods celebrated his first tour championship win in more than five years this past Sunday in dramatic fashion.

Woods shot a one-over par 71 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta to clinch victory for the 80th time on tour, which is the second most of all time.

If Woods can manage to keep moving forward in his life, perhaps there will be more championship trophies in the future that he can add to his illustrious collection. Although there were plenty of cheers for Tiger’s dominance in Georgia this weekend, there isn’t an individual out there who condones Woods’ marital infidelities of the past.

However, there is always the human element when it comes to sports. As humans, we are compelled by great stories.

Woods was down early on in the tournament this weekend and he came back to win it. He’s also been down in numerous other aspects of his life over the years, and just maybe, he’s in the process of authoring an even greater comeback story for the ages.

For now though, until his next tournament at least, Tiger Woods is back on top.

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