No longer Basque John Ram. “I’ve never seen so many people around the Greens while he’s training,” the world number two said on Tuesday, two days before the Augusta Masters kicks off. On Sunday, a crowd of enthusiasts gathered in the impressive south of the United States, around the 973rd player on the planet, the 46-year-old.
Despite the undeserved arrangement and a body like Dr. Mabul, Tiger Woods, after more than 13 months of absence, has not lost any of his incredible charisma. Her aura always goes way beyond the competition and even the greens and sky realms.
Nearly had his right leg amputated after a horrific road accident, on February 23, 2021 Prophet (almost) returned as if nothing had happened to his latest miracle scene: In 2019, Woods won his 15th place. The championship title at the legendary Georgia track, eleven, four rematches and a lot of setbacks after the fourteenth.
From Barack Obama to Donald Trump, via Serena Williams, Magic Johnson and Tom Brady, the entire American political and sports elite have praised the astonishing achievement of the California native, who is seriously claiming he is ready to do so again this year. “I don’t come into a tournament if I don’t think I can win it,” Woods said Wednesday at a press conference, when formalizing his Augusta Masters entry.
“If he can continue until age 55 or 60”
No one dared to disobey His Majesty, especially not his colleagues who is mostly the idol of youth. “I find it hard to believe that he will perform, presumably Patrice Barquez on his part. But the fact that he is in Augusta is really great. For golf, he shouldn’t stop. If he can last until 55 or 60, even if he doesn’t shine…”
The founder of events company Golf Consulting has long been an agent for top French professionals (Thomas Levet, Grégory Havret and Victor Dubuisson) for the French branch of IMG, the US agency that oversaw Woods’ career. Over 30 years in the industry, he marked the end of the Jack Nicklaus era, the best record in his major (18 majors spanning the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s), and then witnessed the downfall of UFOs in the mid-1990s.
“He’s the first athlete to reach $1 billion in earnings,” recalls Patrice Barques, 52, who is also a television consultant. With his talent and the color of his skin, he broke all codes and took our discipline out of ourselves. And mathematically speaking, for ten or twelve years he crushed golf despite having good players in return, like Phil Mickelson or Ernie Els. When he’s present at a tournament, everything is different, even on the PGA Tour, the biggest circuit in the world. Once he’s there, even if he doesn’t participate, it’s no longer the same tournament. »
Federer, but without Nadal or Djoko
The 2018 Ryder Cup, in San Quentin-en-Yveline, illustrates these words. The American lost four out of four matches and precipitated the United States’ defeat against Europe. But for three days, the French public and the cameras were only interested in him. His influence may bring him closer to Roger Federer in tennis, except that he has not had opponents of the size of Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic over time.
Another difference is that Robert and Lynette, the parents of the Swiss, have not brought their son on televisions since he was two, in order to reveal his nascent gifts. While Earl Woods (who died in 2006) pulled his son Eldrick Tonet (his real name) aka Tiger on the show The Mike Douglas Show in 1978, with a golf bag too heavy for his weak shoulders at the time.
His father, this harbinger
After 18 years, the prestigious magazine chose this miracle man, who had just turned a professional, the best athlete of the year Sports Illustrated, whose father, a former African American Army lieutenant colonel, had thrown a few sentences of startling blasting. “The tiger will do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity…” Or again, still about his son, his mother of Thai descent: “He is the bridge between East and West. He is the only one chosen. He will have the power to influence nations. The world is just beginning to taste its power.”
Tiger Woods grew up to celebrate history, which Nike’s global commercial power held from the start, would end up falling off his pedestal one night in November 2009, with a car crash and marital breakdown on the back of worldview adultery. He would rise, then fall, and then rise… But, even if he was stuck to the bottom of the pit, his name remained synonymous with his sport.
Too bad for Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka or Colin Morikawa, despite their merits in magazines and specialist websites for the little white ball with holes. “World golf can’t do without Tiger Woods,” says Patrice Barques, who sees the icon’s retirement as a “horrific” moment for the discipline.
“There are good guys out there, but they don’t get close to his ankle. I don’t see a player with the potential to be very charismatic and athletically strong. Even for beginners, Tiger Woods still represents the sport. It’s good that he’s coming back, and he’s going to last a little longer.”
Yes, but for how long, in a discipline where the elite get younger and more athletic, while Robocop Cypress repairs his injured body over and over again? “I love competing, and as long as I can compete at the highest level, I feel I can still win, I will play,” Woods told reporters on Tuesday. But if you feel like I can’t, you won’t see me anymore. »
Niklaus beat Augusta at the same legal age
Another golf legend, Jack Nicklaus, who was like his 46-year-old heir when he donned his sixth and final jacket, added: “I guess he wouldn’t have come without thinking about the idea of winning.” The 1986 Augusta Masters winner. However, victory (unlikely) or not on Sunday, won’t change anything to the footprint already left by “tiger” claws.
“What he has done for the sport is phenomenal, he released his compatriot Justin Thomas (world number 1 in 2018) in early March, relayed by him. Montreal Magazine. It can’t even be translated into words, its impact is absolutely enormous. Words uttered on the occasion of Tiger Woods’ induction into the Golf Hall of Fame, which he is still making headlines more than ever, even toward the end of his career.