This one really was unlike any other

The first 14 times I saw Tiger Woods win a major championship I always knew there’s be another one. The first 13 times it happened pretty quickly. But in the years and surgeries and off-the-course problems Tiger has had since his last major win (the 2008 U.S. Open), it became more and more unreasonable to think that it could ever happen again.

Oh, it would be glorious if it ever did happened again though. But it could never happen, right?

Enter Sunday at the 2019 Masters, and one of the greatest sports moments any of us has ever witnessed.

Yeah, that was Tiger Woods, age 43, more than twice as old as he was when he won his first Masters at the age of 21. That was 1997, and I was a freshman in high school, totally obsessed with the game of golf after seeing Tiger’s victory at the 1996 U.S. Amateur and subsequent ascent through the pro ranks. Here was this guy, barely older than I was, barely bigger than I was, beating grown men at a grown man’s game. The grown men didn’t necessarily like the upstart back then. Now the old men dig him because, well, he’s one of the old men. So am I, I guess.

Tiger Woods got me interested in golf when I was 14 years old. I think he’s making it happen all over again. Funny how Tiger and I still aren’t that different. He’s still just a little bit older than I am, and he has kids and a bad hairline just like me. True he does have 15 more major championships that I do (and a few more million dollars), but the first person he wants to hug after he finishes a round of golf is his son.

Me too.

Thanks, Tiger, for making me feel young again. (Or maybe making me feel old.) Thanks for getting me interested in the game, thanks for the past 23 years, and thanks for the thrill of seeing a win.

I know there’ll be another one.

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About moc

My name is Mike O'Connell. I am 36 years old and live in Northern Virginia. I am a teacher, a musician, and an enthusiast of all things American.

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