As Tiger Woods coated his face in victory, so too did so many others in defeat
Tiger Woods didn’t need us to see.
That’s what I bear in mind about being there ultimately with all the opposite members of the media, on that early Sunday night at Augusta Nationwide in 2001, with the shadows rising lengthy after Woods holed that final 18-foot birdie putt to shut out his Masters’ victory. He pulled his cap over his face to cowl the feelings speeding by means of him.
He didn’t need us to see, however we gained’t overlook what couldn’t be hidden within the brilliance of that second.
All of us knew we have been seeing the best run within the historical past of golf, however it felt even grander than that, whether or not you have been calling it a Grand Slam or not.
BY John Antonini
— February 1, 2020 at 9:40 AM
Tiger Woods produced the best golf in historical past throughout his Tiger Slam run. It was so unimaginable that it measures as much as the best accomplishments in sports activities.
All of us knew we have been witness to one thing we’d by no means see once more with Woods profitable his fourth consecutive skilled main championship, the final three of the 2000 season and the primary of ‘01.
We puzzled if anybody may very well be extra dominant than he was on this run.
Sure, it was simply Woods’ sixth main championship, with Jack Nicklaus nonetheless towering so formidably together with his 18 majors, however the domination Woods was exhibiting made you marvel if anybody was ever higher.
This was Ruthian domination, the Celtics within the ‘60s and Secretariat in ’73.
Woods won’t have buried David Duval and Phil Mickelson by profitable the Masters that day, however he was burying everybody in that period within the bigger sense of golf competitors. It was his third victory in a row that season, a robust begin on the heels of his 9 victories in 2000.
He was simply 25, however he left Augusta Nationwide that day having claimed his 27th title in 98 profession PGA Tour begins.
That’s an absurd profitable proportion.
I bear in mind questioning if any run would ever be grander, not whether or not it was a Grand Slam or a Tiger Slam, as a result of it actually didn’t matter what we referred to as profitable 4 majors in a row over two seasons.
I bear in mind what Augusta Nationwide Chairman Hootie Johnson mentioned early within the week about Woods’ historic quest:
“I believe we’re speaking an excessive amount of about what it won’t be, versus what it is going to be,” Johnson mentioned.
Photographs from all of Tiger Woods’ 82 PGA Tour profession victories as he’s tied with Sam Snead on the all-time wins listing.
And I bear in mind what he mentioned simply earlier than Vijay Singh slipped the inexperienced jacket on Woods in entrance of the Masters’ patrons at Sunday’s finish:
“Tiger, we’re honored to have you ever as our champion, and you’re the best,” Johnson mentioned.
I additionally bear in mind questioning about that technology of golfers, about Duval, Mickelson and the remainder of that period. It appeared like such a concurrently wondrous and terrible time to be a participant, as a result of Woods solid such a suffocating shadow over all of them.
Singh would have his run at No. 1 within the Woods’ period, Mickelson would carve 5 majors from it and Els add to his majors, too. Duval and Padraig Harrington would make their marks, however a lot of that technology can be remembered for failing to step up, when possibly they by no means actually had an opportunity.
Principally, that’s what I bear in mind on the finish of the 2001 Masters, how Woods may make us really feel like no person had an actual likelihood when he was on a leaderboard late on a Sunday.