He is alive.
And that is the only thing that matters.
Tiger Woods survived a horrific one-car accident in southern California, which is truly a miracle if you saw his SUV after hurtling down a hill when too much speed caused him to lose control on a dangerous roadway.
Dangerous if you’re driving too fast, for sure. He might have been late to a commercial shoot he was scheduled to do.
Whatever the reason, Woods was extremely fortunate he is still with us.
More important that he is still with his children.
The injuries were severe. Several fractures to his right leg. A rod inserted into his tibia, after lengthy surgery.
There will be immense rehabilitation.
The Tiger Woods story is one for the ages in the sports world.
Filled with monumental achievements on the golf course and jam-packed with physical and personal drama.
You wonder if there has ever been an athlete so dominating and proficient whose physical well-being has been so fragile. and personal life so open and sad.
I guess you can say that while he has been so strong in structure preceding so many breakdowns involving surgery, the fragility has rested in his life as human being.
You can never count Tiger Woods out, but while he trails Jack Nicklaus in the number of major championships won, he has to be regarded as the greatest golfing figure in history.
He drove TV ratings to new highs, and even when he was not a factor in a tournament, everyone wanted to see Tiger play, know how he was doing, and the telecasters wouldn’t let much time go by without talking about Tiger Woods.
His personal life was there for everyone to see, and it wasn’t pretty. The way he conducted himself made him an ogre as much as an athletic hero.
Not everyone liked Tiger Woods, the person.
And what I’ve seen in sports, when athletes mature, and most do, they change.
Football players who are me-first, ego-driven performers, eventually want to become team-first contributors to help their club win a championship. In other words, they grow up.
Golf is not a team sport, but it reveals arrogance just the same as those we’ve see play, who at this point have no clue.
When Woods came back to win the Masters in 2019, it exhibited how marvelous a golfer had been and could still be.
The other question concerned his life as a human. His personal existence, and values.
I had always expressed a hope that he would lose those demons that made him more of a tragic figure than a sports hero.
I believe it’s obvious that Tiger Woods has become a changed man.
There are cynics, I know, who will say it won’t last.
I have to feel that Woods, at age 45, is all about his children, charity, and close friends.
It’s unmistakable in my view.
And I’m delighted.
It’s never too late to turn the page.
But now, in the face of the most horrendous event of his life, Tiger is on the comeback trail again.
This time, it’s all about his life.
The first hope is that he can walk again. The last hope is that he can compete again.
In between, recovering from his accident, to be with his children, maybe play golf with them and his friends, and live as normal a life as Tiger Woods can.
Wouldn’t that be great.
For those who only regard him as a golfer, and what he can still achieve, there will probably be disappointment.
But for those who see him in much broader terms, there is hope for a joyous road for an icon of our times.
Meanwhile, first things first.
He is alive.
That’s the only thing that matters.