Tiger Woods has a chance to become one of the better comeback stories in recent years. He’s one of the favorites at the Masters.
Woods, 42, is finally healthy after a series of back surgeries and is expected to make a run for a fifth green jacket.
But Woods is a student of the game and understands his story would join a long list of comeback stories in sports. In fact, Woods mentioned Fort Worth legend Ben Hogan as the best comeback story during a news conference Tuesday.
“One of the greatest comebacks in all of sports is the gentleman who won here, Mr. Hogan,” Woods said. “I mean, he got hit by a bus and came back and won major championships. The pain he had to endure, the things he had to do just to play, the wrapping of the leg, all the hot tubs, and just how hard it was for him to walk, period. … One of the greatest comebacks there is and it happens to be in our sport.”
As a refresher, Hogan and his wife were involved in a near-fatal car collision with a Greyhound bus near Van Horn, Texas, on a foggy night in February 1949. He had won three major championships up to that point, but his career was in jeopardy after the horrific accident.
Hogan fractured his left collarbone, suffered a double fracture of his pelvis, a broken ankle and a chipped rib. Hogan then sustained life-threatening blood clots and spent weeks in the hospital.
Hogan eventually returned home, but it took months to get his golf game back. He was too weak to swing a golf club and became exhausted on short walks.
A little more than a year later, though, Hogan found himself back at the top of the golfing world. He won the 1950 U.S. Open, the first of six majors he’d win post-accident. Hogan won a pair of Masters in 1951 and 1953.
Now, Woods is hoping to become another comeback story in the sport. He hasn’t played in a major since 2015 and hasn’t won one in a decade (2008 U.S. Open). But Woods has always fared well at the Masters throughout his career.
Woods has missed just one cut in 20 career starts with four wins, two seconds, one third and 17 top-25s. But Woods smiled about getting too far ahead.
“Well, I have four rounds to play, so let’s just kind of slow down,” Woods said. “I’ve got to go play and then let the chips fall where they may and hopefully I end up on top. I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then.”