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Tiger Woods Has First Big Golf Win in 5 Years

Atlanta, Georgia —(Map)

Tiger Woods is one of the best golfers ever, but many people thought he was finished. But on Sunday, Woods won the Tour Championship – his first big golf contest win in five years.

In golf, players try to hit a small ball into a small hole from a long way across an open field. They try to do this with as few hits, or “strokes” as possible. There are usually 18 holes in a game of golf, but a big “tour” game has four rounds of 18. The person with the lowest number of strokes at the end of the game is the winner.

Quicken Loans National 6/27/18
Golfers hit a small ball into a small hole from across an open field.
Players must be strong, and shoot straight.
They have to stay focused even when they are under pressure.
This is Tiger Woods in June, 2018.
(Source: Keith Allison, via Flickr.com.)

Golf is a game in which players must be strong, and shoot straight. But much of the game takes place inside the head of the players, who must stay focused even when they are under a lot of pressure.

Woods learned how to golf when he was just two years old. By the time he was five, his golf skills had gotten him into magazines and onto national TV. Woods went on to win many contests and awards before he turned pro at age 20.

Tiger Woods during his first U.S. Open at Bethesda, Md.'s Congressional Country Club in 1997
Woods won many contests and awards before he turned pro in 1996 at age 20.
Less than a year after turning pro, he became the world’s number one player.
(Source: Tim Hipps, U.S. Army FMWRC Public Affairs, via Wikimedia Commons.)

In 1997, less than a year after turning pro, he became the world’s number one player. Since that time, Woods has won so many contests and championships that it is impossible to list them here. Except for one short break in the middle, Woods was the world’s number one golfer from 1999 to 2010.

As Woods played, more and more people started to watch golf. He had a way of doing hard things and making them look easy. He was fun to watch and made golf popular.

Tiger Woods signs autographs at the Quicken Loans National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club on June 24, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland
As Woods played, more and more people started to watch golf.
He had a way of doing hard things and making them look easy.
(Source: Keith Allison, via Flickr.com.)

But hard times came, starting in 2009. Woods had been amazing on the golf course, but away from the course, he had been making bad choices. His life outside of golf was full of problems and that seemed to affect the way he was playing.

Then, in 2014, he began to have injuries that kept him from playing well. The worst injury was to his back, which caused him a lot of pain. Between 2014 and 2016, Woods had back surgery three times. Each time he tried to play golf after that, it didn’t go well.

Tiger Woods watches the ball after finishing his swing. 2013
Away from the course, Woods had been making bad choices.
Starting in 2009, his life outside of golf seemed to affect the way he was playing.
He also had injuries. Between 2014 and 2017, he had back surgery four times.
This picture shows Woods playing in 2013.
(Source: Omar Rawlings, via Flickr.com.)

Last year, Woods had back surgery for the fourth time. He was in so much pain afterward and taking so much medicine that it didn’t seem likely that he would be playing well again.

In December, 2017, the 42-year-old Woods began playing again. He was ranked #1199 in the world. He slowly started playing better and better. By August, he was ranked #26.

Tiger Woods at the BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club, 2018
In late 2017, Woods began playing again. He was ranked #1199.
He played better and better. By August, he was ranked #26.
This picture shows Woods playing in September, 2018.
(Source: Michael Stokes, via Flickr.com.)

After he won the Tour Championship on Sunday, Woods raised his arms in celebration. The cheering of the fans around him was very loud. Woods had tears in his eyes.

“It’s been tough,” he said. “I’ve had a not-so-easy last couple of years. I’ve worked my way back. I couldn’t have done it without the help of all the people around me.”

Woods is now ranked #13, and it doesn’t look like he’s finished.

Atlanta, Georgia


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