On Golf: The Old Tiger Woods Is Gone. His replacement is doing well.

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It all depends on Woods' continuing strength on the job, but now fans of old and new – and the various business interests that make money from golf – see a glimpse of the kind of mania that a dominant Tiger Woods can evoke, an enthusiasm whose history has shown that it is contagious. And come in April, when the Masters tournament starts in Georgia, guess who will be among the favorites to win – if not the favorite? It will be Woods, the quadruple Masters champion.

Woods & Victory Sunday can also revive a debate that brought fans to the game for most of the 2000s: Tiger Jack Nicklaus & # 39; to meet or exceed the record of 18 big championships?

Sports fanatics of any kind love the drama of someone trying to rewrite the record book.

And if nothing else, Woods, at 42, becomes the nimble old-fashioned counterpoint of the herd of young wave guns in the twenties who have crossed the top of the global rankings. By Sunday night, the world rankings of Woods had risen to 13, from 1,193 at the end of 2017.

The big question in the golf world, however, was whether the renewed Tiger would still win.

Here was a former champion, perhaps the greatest in the history of sport, whose career was ruined by an ultrapublic scandal caused by his own personal, libelous indulgences.

Slowly, Woods regained a certain degree of credibility and success only abruptly undone by his own body. All kinds of frightening injuries occurred, leading to four back operations that started in the spring of 2014. Last year, six weeks after the last of those procedures, Woods' arrest signaled a low point. Woods accused the situation of a bad combination of painkillers to process the recovery of his back reconstruction.

From 2015 to 2017, often limping or clearly playing in pain, Woods only entered 12 tournaments and the results were embarrassing. The one-time king of golf, the winner of 14 big championships, plummeted to the bottom of the world rankings.

Chastened, Woods admitted that he might never win another golf tournament. At various points, unable to stand or sit without pain, Woods wondered if he could ever play.

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