Tiger woods is ready for the 15. Major title

Tiger Woods is ready for the 15. Major title

Eleven years ago, Tiger Woods triumphed for the last time at a major tournament. Since winning the US Open in 2008, a lot has gone wrong in the life of the superstar: Private problems and protracted injuries dominated the headlines for years.

But the most famous golfer in history has never lost his appeal and charisma. At the 83. Masters Woods is back in the spotlight. At the legendary Augusta National Golf Club, the Californian is on the hunt for his 15. Major titles.

In 1997 Woods started his unique career at the most important golf tournament in the world with his first Masters victory. But the big question remains: Can a 43-year-old who has already had four back surgeries really triumph again at Magnolia Lane? Woods answered this question clearly for himself: "I have the feeling that I can win," he said at the press conference in Augusta. A challenge to the competition. It would be Woods’ fifth Masters title.

Just two years ago, this was an absurd idea. Woods struggled with knee and back problems for years. The one-time dominator in golf slipped out of the top 1000 in the world rankings. It wasn’t until his fourth back surgery in April 2017 that he was able to alleviate the pain that had paralyzed his game for so long. Form was slow to return for the man who was world number one for 683 weeks. In comeback last year, Woods enraptured golf fans by winning Tour Championship in Atlanta. It was his first tournament win since 2013 and also his 80th. Success on the US Tour.

Now Woods feels fit and strong again: He wants to reach his 15th birthday. Major victory. "I have improved enormously in the last twelve, 14 months," he explained. He proved to himself and everyone else that he could play at a very high level again and win tournaments, he said. A win at the Masters would bring him closer to US legend Jack Nicklaus’ 18 Major titles.

Woods’ one-time archrival Phil Mickelson believes the latter could still crack Nicklaus’ 18 major victories. "I think he still has the greatness in him. I would never write him off," warns Mickelson, a three-time Masters winner.

Top favorite for the Masters title, however, is Northern Ireland’s golf star Rory McIlroy. The multiple Major winners Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka (both USA) as well as the world number one Justin Rose (England) are also among the hot title contenders. World number nine Rickie Fowler (USA) is considered an insider tip in Augusta.

With Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer, two Germans are also back at Magnolia Lane. Langer, already 61 years old, bats for 36th time in a row. Time off at the Masters. As a former champion (1985 and 1993), the native of Anhausen enjoys lifetime entry rights to the major tournament. Kaymer is at the start for the twelfth time. Like Langer, however, the 34-year-old from Mettmann is not one of the favorites.

If Tiger Woods does put on the green winner’s jacket on Sunday, then the success in Augusta would perhaps be his greatest Major triumph – after all the injuries and personal problems that have burdened his career over the past decade. Woods was often in the headlines not because of his spectacular performances on the golf course, but because of the turmoil in his private life: The divorce from his wife Elin, the two-year love affair with U.S. ski star Lindsey Vonn or the arrest for driving under the influence of drugs.

Now Woods’ focus is fully back on golf. In Augusta, he will look to add another major title to his four Masters, three U.S. Open, four PGA Championship and three British Open victories.

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