Last weeks Hero World Challenge marked the one-year anniversary of Tiger Woods' return to professional golf. It is without a doubt a year that surpassed the expectations of fans, critics and even Woods himself. In a year, we saw Woods start as the 1,199 ranked professional golfer in the world and finish as the 13th. We saw Woods take the lead in the final day of a major championship. We saw Woods gain his swagger and confidence back on the golf course. And above all, we saw that he could win again.
That being said, for anyone who was upset or disappointed with his 17th place finish in a competitive field of 18 players last week needs to relax, take a deep breath and acknowledge where our man's golfing capabilities are right now. Inevitably because he is Tiger Woods, if he does not win in any tournament he plays in then he has failed. It's simply the attention he brings to golf that warrants those feelings of failure when we see him come up short. However, I am telling all Tiger fanatics out there that these feelings have to be mitigated or even abolished entirely.
Woods will be 43 at the end of this month and after undergoing four surgeries on his back, he is an athlete in unchartered waters. No professional sports player has endured the injuries and treatments he has. There is no blueprint to follow, he is simply scripting his own recovery story. That being said, as fans who love watching Woods win, we have to reassure ourselves that in time it will come. But more importantly, we should love watching him compete. We should admire that he still possesses that drive and passion to demolish any competitor in his path. And we should cherish the time we have with him on the golf course because a year ago, we didn't know if we would ever see him play at the caliber he has gotten back to again.
In 2019, the Tiger Woods fan base should have a new perspective when watching him play. We shouldn't be devastated with a top-10 performance rather than a win, nor should we be upset when he is ranked in the top-5 for a certain playing statistic rather than leading out front. Instead, we should be amazed to see that after 20 years of pure dominance in a sport that requires so much from you, Tiger is still out there grinding.
I do think Woods will win again in 2019. Actually, I think he will win more than a few times. I even think he will win another major next year given the courses which they are being played at and Tiger's overall comfortability at them. But, if he comes up just short. I won't hang my head and pout. Rather, I'll be thrilled just knowing that Woods was in the hunt battling down the final stretch. For me, that's the Tiger Woods of 2019 that I look forward to watching and so too should you.