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Tiger Woods comeback: A tale of implausible redemption it is hard to resist

Tiger Woods comeback: A tale of implausible redemption it is hard to resist

Woods' final holes were played out in front of huge galleriesThere was a period, very recently, where the only time you thought about Tiger Woods was to wonder when the official retirement announcement was going to arrive. That was when you thought about him at all. Woods was a distant ghost, a beautiful memory banished - by a combination of injury and self-inflicted scandal - to the peripheries of a sport he had once dominated. He was a man with a body so wrecked that he struggled to bend down to pick his ball up from the cup. He chunked drives, and the yips snagged his pitching wedge and his putter.
The greatest player of all time was fearful of even sitting in a golf cart to watch others play the President's Cup, because the bumps gave him so much pain. And golf cart rides on manicured championship courses are not rollercoasters.And then there he was on Sunday at East Lake in Atlanta, coming down the 18th fairway about to win the Tour Championship with thousands of the faithful stampeding in his wake, dressed in the victory red of old, coming home like some sporting saviour, back from the dead, indomitable once again.Woods is not the messiah. He's been a very naughty boy. As many illicit affairs as a lead guitarist, a man treated for sex addiction and attacked by his wife with one of his own golf clubs.
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Woods embraces his caddie Joe LaCava on the 18th at East Lake on SundayYou'd describe his private life as a car crash, except then it actually became one. Two, in fact - the first into a fire hydrant, sparking the conflagration that would destroy his carefully constructed image; the second on to a lonely verge at a time when elite sportsmen are asleep or about to get up training. Toxicology tests showed the presence in his bloodstream of two painkillers, a sleeping pill, an anti-anxiety drug and the active ingredient in marijuana. A gap of 1,876 days since his last win. Down at one stage to 1,199th in the world. Four operations on his back, the last a spinal fusion. Struggling to get out of bed unaided, hoping only to recover enough to be able to play with his kids.Woods was somewhere between holy relic and washed-up film star. His aura had gone and his hair was following. To watch online clips of him chipping the ball 60 yards with a body frozen where once it had slashed and burned was to be reminded of how quickly sport moves on and how cruel its legacy can be. The Cut: Download the BBC golf podcast
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