BETHPAGE: Tiger Woods chases more golf history in next week’s 101st PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, the same public course where the 15-time major winner captured the 2002 US Open.
The 43-year-old American superstar completed one of the great comebacks in sports history last month with a dramatic victory at the Masters for his fifth green jacket and first major triumph since the 2008 US Open.
“One of the biggest wins I’ve ever had for sure,” Woods said. “It’s something I will never, ever forget.”
An 11-year major drought saw him endure an infamous sex scandal as well as years of knee and back injuries that left him uncertain of a normal life until a 2017 spinal fusion operation enabled him to return to golf at an elite level.
“You could compare it to maybe the biggest, if not one of the biggest, moments in the history of golf,” said 20th-ranked Webb Simpson. “From where he was, not knowing if he would ever play again. To come from feeling that way to winning the Masters is pretty amazing.”
Sixth-ranked Woods will arrive at the Long Island layout three major wins shy of the career record 18 set by Jack Nicklaus and one win shy of the US PGA overall win mark of 82 set by Sam Snead.
“For me to be competing against him when he’s coming back is a lot of fun,” top-ranked Masters co-runner-up Dustin Johnson said. “He’s still a great player. I grew up watching him and kind of idolizing him so to get to play against him, it has been great.”
Woods, who had never before won a major when trailing after 54 holes, has electrified the sports world much as he did by winning his first major at the 1997 Masters, accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom this week at the White House.