Tiger Woods gallery on 18 … for a practice round. pic.twitter.com/EHWp7VXwO3
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 6, 2022
This is just a personal thing, but I think most Canadians will agree with me.
Whenever I think of Tiger Woods, I think of Bobby Orr, although No. 4 won’t be in the picture if Woods does the unthinkable and wins his sixth Green Jacket on Sunday.
However, that will only be temporary as the patrons at Augusta National cheer, television announcers launch their superlatives and headlines extol the importance of his 16th major championship, making him the greatest of all time, at least in many people’s minds.
Win or not this week, Tiger already holds the greatest of all time title for so many, just as Orr does in hockey, but that’s not the only similarity.
The greatness in their accomplishments speaks for itself, but it doesn’t tell the entire story of what could have been had injuries not plagued both.
Orr revolutionized the role of the defenceman, using his smooth skating and attack style to set records, win awards and Stanley Cups for the Boston Bruins, but after more than a dozen procedures on his damaged knees, his exit from the game was premature. At age 31, he is still the youngest person inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Tiger has had at least five back surgeries, including spinal-fusion surgery and his left leg has been operated on five times, but it’s the injuries he sustained in a car car crash last year that has created the drama unfolding this week at Augusta.
He told the media on Tuesday that, at that point, he intended to play the Masters, but it remains a last minute decision. He’s scheduled to tee it up at 10:34 a.m. local time in Augusta.
At that point, we will know he is able to play. The next question is how will he fare? When asked on Thursday if he thought he could win, he replied, “I do.”
We’ll get a better idea as the Masters progresses, but a year ago, we weren’t even sure we’d ever see Tiger compete again. To have this opportunity, given the seriousness of his injuries, just adds to the greatness of Tiger Woods.
Even if his injuries and prolonged absences over the years prevent us from knowing how great he might have been.