Monday, June 16, 2008

Best. Tournament. Ever.

Three months ago, I tapped out a post in which I declared Tiger Woods to be the most amazing sports figure I've ever witnessed.

This week's events at the U.S. Open, golf's second major of the year, did nothing to change that opinion.

Dragging a surgically repaired knee around Torrey Pines for five days, Woods produced a half-dozen "are you kidding me?-type moments and survived a 19-hole playoff today to defeat hearty journeyman Rocco Mediate on the tournament's 91st hole.

The win gives Woods 14 professional majors, just four behind the legendary Jack Nicklaus.

Not only was Tiger Woods recovering from April surgery to remove cartilage in his left knee, he was also playing with (1) a ruptured left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that he injured in summer 2007 and (2) a double stress fracture of the tibia, which he incurred in May, while rehabbing from the knee surgery.

What's amazing about the ACL situation is that Woods says today on his website that he injured it while running at home following the British Open last summer.

He decided to forego surgegy, and then managed to win five of his next six tournaments in 2007 -- tying for second in the one that he didn't win -- and led the U.S. to victory in the President's Cup.

He won his first four tournaments of 2008, finished fifth at the WGC-CA Championship and second at the Masters before having the cartilage surgery in April.

He then suffers the double-stress fracture of the tibia during his rehab, which is discovered in May, causing him to drop out of the Memorial.

He returns to golf at the U.S. Open, wins, and then is finally forced to shut it down for the year to have reconstructive surgery on the left knee's ACL.

Amazing. Anyway, here's hoping he comes back healthier than ever.

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