Fourteen months after a serious car accident that shattered his leg, Tiger Woods returned to Augusta, Georgia to play the 86th Masters golf tournament last week.
“It’s been a tough road, and one that I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to be able to grind through it. A lot of different things could have happened, but after 14 months, I’m able to tee it up and play in the Masters.”
In February 2021, Tiger’s SUV struck the center median and crossed into the opposing lane of traffic in Los Angeles—hitting the curb and a tree and then rolled over several times. Tiger had to be pulled from the wreck with the “jaws of life.”
He was left with multiple open fractures in the tibia and fibula in his right leg and several injuries to his right foot and ankle. The injuries required multiple surgeries to repair. A rod was used to stabilize the fractures in the tibia, and screws and pins were inserted in his foot and ankle. He also needed surgery to repair soft-tissue injuries.
“My right leg does not look like my left, put it that way,” the Hall of Fame golfer once said.
He also told reporters, “I’m lucky to be alive and to still have the limb. I’m very grateful that someone upstairs was taking care of me … [amputation] was on the table.”
It seems fitting that this year, 2022, is the Year of the Tiger—symbolizing resilience and strength.
Who could have imagined that just 14 months after his accident, Tiger would be out of his wheelchair and walking—much less competing in golf’s most prestigious tournament?
Sure, Tiger Woods limped to the finish of the Masters. From a strictly golfing viewpoint, this was hardly the Tiger that so many remembered. The guy who’s won five green jackets, the last of them just three years ago. This Tiger, the one hobbling on a rebuilt right leg that he could’ve lost in that car crash, closed with back-to-back 78s that were the worst scores of his Masters career.
He did not bring home a sixth green jacket or top the leaderboard. But his appearance at the Masters was about more than what happened on the course, and showed that winning is more than just about trophies.
It is about overcoming adversity, grit, and determination.
It showed the world that Tiger is back.