I remember where I was when I saw the news that Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash. I remember thinking, no way, this has to be fake news. One of the greatest athletes of this …
I remember where I was when I saw the news that Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash.
I remember thinking, no way, this has to be fake news.
One of the greatest athletes of this generation gone? No. Turned out to be true.
On February 23, 2021, I got the same feeling in my gut when I heard the news about Tiger Woods being in a serious car wreck.
Although alive, it turned out to be a serious wreck with major implications, not just on his professional golf playing career, but his very life.
In the many weeks and months following the near-fatal wreck, the injuries were disclosed and needless to say, they weren’t minor by any stretch.
The man damn near lost his legs.
Forget ever playing golf again, right?
I mean there was talk about him possibly losing a leg and never walking again—golf could never be a tangible thing again for one of the all-time greats.
While I’ll remember the news about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash and Tiger’s car crash, I’ll remember where I was on Thursday, April 7, 2022, too.
I watched a man defy odds and walk the course at Augusta National during The Masters, a place where he a had won five times before, not just playing in the bottom of the field, but competing to a point where he finished one-under par after the first day of competition.
I don’t care what anybody says—this is absolutely remarkable.
One of the greatest, if not the greatest, to ever play the game has defied the odds and is playing some spectacular golf.
Everyone knows his fall from grace with his scandals and the fallout from his divorce, but everyone also knows he came back following a 2017 arrest and won the Masters in 2019.
History has a way of repeating itself.
When everyone had said he was finished following his affairs and substance abuse issues, he came back.
This is nothing new for him.
At the time of this publication, the weekend cut for the Masters had not been made, but it definitely stood a real chance for him to be playing meaningful golf in Augusta on Saturday.
Whether he’s walking up 18 on Sunday, wearing his iconic championship red shirt and black pants, and raising one of his famous Tiger fist pumps, or he’s in the middle of the pack, the sheer fact one of the game’s greatest has overcome a truly traumatic injury and is not just playing golf, but meaningful competition at a high level on the sport’s highest stage, well, that’s something everyone should be proud of.
Whether he’s there at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday or not, I’ll remember where I was and the importance of the 2022 Masters.
Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette. Email him at email@example.com.