Remembering The Masters 2019 - a year on since Tiger Woods’ unbelievable return to the top of the world

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It feels like only yesterday that Tiger Woods set the golfing world alight once again with his inspired win at the 2019 Masters.

The moment that final putt dropped though, was so much more than just another victory for Woods.

It was the culmination of months of back-breaking, pain-staking work to drag himself out of the mire and back to the top of his beloved game.

That iconic fist pump partnered by the mandatory roar of joy were quite easily the sweetest of a career littered with unthinkable and incredible moments. Woods was back, and everyone within earshot of the raucous Augusta crowd knew it.

Rewind a few years though and Woods' startling fall from grace had left the entire sporting world in shock, as the darling of golf plummetted from the top of the world into murky obscurity.

Personal issues, an arrest, and severe back problems categorised a frightfully difficult few years for Woods, as he seemed to lurch from one career-ending crisis to the next.

In fact, many had given up on ever seeing Woods charging to victory on a major Sunday ever again, such were the depths to which he had sunk.

The man who once spent an obscene, record-breaking 683 weeks at the top of the rankings, had crashed down over 1000 places, becoming a name synonymous with a disappointed shake of the head whenever spoken of by fans.

Woods was nowhere, he was going nowhere, and his glory days in the sun were surely now just a bizarre, distant memory.

Or so we thought.

Somewhere, deep in his heart, there was a stirring in Woods. He knew all along that his career was far from over, and, even if no one else believed him, he was going to give everything he had to get it back on track.

It wasn't easy - four back surgeries left Woods having to reinvent his game entirely and it was plain for all to see that there was plenty of work to be done.

Woods kept at it relentlessly though, sometimes dangerously even. As time went on though, he began to show glimpses of the unrivalled genius that had once thrust him into the mythical presence of the golfing gods of old.

Fans began to take notice as well. Muted whisperings began to spread like wildfire through the ranks that maybe, just maybe, Tiger was back.

Crowds began to gather, startled competitors were left shaking in their boots by the thunderclaps of celebrating fans from distant corners of various courses as Tiger began to sink the putts no one else could.

Then came Augusta - the spiritual home of every legendary golfing champion to have gone before.

11 years on from his last major win, fans were simply overjoyed to see Tiger in the running on the final day. Tiger, however, was not there to merely make up the numbers.

As others began to falter and trip over their own feet, Tiger rose above, imperiously making his way around Georgia's famous golfing cauldron as the world began to believe.

The overwhelming tsunami of support that now engulfed his every move only proved to sharpen his focus and, unbelievably, as he marched up the 18th fairway, Tiger was only moments away from immortality.

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An electrified silence fell on the many thousands of furiously beating hearts surrounding a green that had staged some of the game's most iconic moments and then, as if on practice round in the spring, Tiger putted.

The ball seemed to move in slow motion as it nervelessly arrowed towards glory. The gathered hoards drew a collective breath, ready to rip the silence in two with the grandest bellow they could muster.

The ball dropped, the crowd erupted and Tiger?

Well, he fist pumped, and oh did he fist pump like he had never fist pumped before.

Woods had just completed one of the greatest sporting comebacks the world has ever seen and the moment was not lost on anyone.

We may not have a Masters 2020 to enjoy, but thankfully, Woods' 2019 performance might just be enough to get us through.

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