#25 Tiger

This is not the best photo I ever took, mostly because photography wasn’t allowed on the golf course, and I took this on a crappy flip phone back in 2011. Anyways… I’m not the world’s biggest golf fan, but I do enjoy watching Tiger Woods.

In Europe they don’t really show golf on TV, but of course I’d heard of Tiger. Then in 2008 when I was waiting for a work permit/greencard in my first full year, I remember watching Tiger win his last major at the US Open battling Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines. On Saturday and Sunday Tiger hit some pretty improbable shots, came back from behind injured and tied the score on the last possible shot. So on Monday, that meant Tiger and Rocco had to play the 18 hole playoff. And since I was not allowed to work yet, I was able to watch the whole thing. Tiger won of course, and I remember thinking to myself, Tiger is going to be great to follow the next few years. And my new family in the US were big golf fans as well, so that only helped. But then things went downhill for Tiger, personal issues, no more big wins, and then lots and lots of injuries. It got so bad that just two years ago the man thought he’d never play again.

However, even with Tiger not being Tiger these last few years, I still kept following golf. And the Masters are a great even to watch in general. The course is just amazing, the history is rich, the time of year is beautiful, and the idea that it’s almost impossible to even get in as a spectator makes it very special. And this year, Tiger was really back. Not just playing to compete, but actually having a chance to win. Tiger was Tiger again, and today after 11 years of not winning a major, and 14 (!!) years of not winning the Masters – he won again… It was spectacular to watch, similar to watching Federer win again and again in tennis – except Tiger hadn’t done it for almost half of his career.

So I had to post a photo of my only time seeing Tiger live, at the Frys Open in Morgan Hill, CA. I remember following him from hole to hole, along with thousands of other spectators, and just enjoying being so close. That’s the only thing with F1, you just can’t get very close. With cycling and golf, you can see the athletes’ pupils. And I remember one specific hole where we were literally a few feet away, you could hear Tiger talk and think, and then we watched him drive the ball. Everyone watched where the ball was going, but I kept my eye on Tiger to see his reaction, just amazing to watch. I couldn’t get a photo of that moment, instead I took a brain memory photo, but the shot above I was at least able to capture. (October 2011)

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