Was Tiger Woods’s Masters win the greatest comeback in sport record? | Andy Bull
Sport is not short of great personal comebacks but Tiger Woodss Masters victory on Sunday may overshadow them all, including Muhammad Ali, Niki Lauda and Monica Seles
In the spring of 2014 Tiger Woods was at work on the scope around the back of his house, performing his short game like always. Daylights earlier he had shot a 78 on the final day of the Cadillac Championship, the worst fourth-round score of their own lives. His back had been spasming but he felt he had to get out and rehearsal. He stroked a flop kill over a bunker and the minute he had finished the change he fell into flat on his back, overcome with a agony so serious that he could hardly breathe, let alone get back on his foot. He was out of hearing distance and he did not have his mobile phone on him, so there was nothing he could do but lie there and wait for someone to come.
It was his seven-year-old daughter, Sam, who found him.
“Daddy,” she said, what are you doing lying on the ground ?”
” Sam, thank goodness you’re here ,” he informed her.” Can you go tell the guys inside to try to get the cart out to help me back up ?”
” My back’s not doing very good .”
” Yes again, Sam, can you please get get those guys ?”
There are an horrific slew of Lumbers stories but this one, which is in the excellent biography Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian published last year, always seemed one of the most revealing because it speaks to the pain he has braved, the humiliation he has suffered and the way in which it has all been laid out for the rest of us to see. Here is Lumbers, the great athlete, helpless as an upturned imperfection; Timbers, the proud champ, pleading with his kid to make someone who can get him back on his feet; Timbers, a guy so intensely private that he used to refuse to tell people where he would be playing the very next month, having that helplessness picked over in time detail by parties like me in publish and on TV.