SportsPulse: Tiger Woods actually did it. He won the Masters. Trysta Krick explains why it’s the greatest comeback story in the history of sports. USA TODAY
It’s impossible to overstate how big Tiger Woods winning the Masters on Sunday was.
Wait, no, it turns out it is possible. Look no further than CBS Sports coverage of the final round for proof.
Don’t get me wrong, I root for Woods, always, for reasons I’ll explain, and this is the biggest sports story imaginable, at least at the moment. It’s huge, without question. I also understand the excitement on the part of CBS — the ratings for Sunday are going to be astronomical.
But once it was clear that Woods was going to win his first major championship in 11 years the CBS coverage became so downright gooey the television screen practically dripped.
After sinking his final putt, the crowd went wild and started shouting, “Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!” To be sure, this is not Masters behavior. This is Phoenix Open behavior. But it was unstoppable. Woods has overcome addictions, injuries and some pretty horrible choices since the last time he won a major, and now he was back.
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He walked off the green and his young son ran to him, at which point CBS analyst Nick Faldo, himself a former Masters champion, said, “That will be the greatest scene in golf forever.”
Dude. It wasn’t even the greatest scene in golf Sunday.
That would have been when that final putt dropped, and Woods gave a small fist pump before retrieving his ball, making you think, my, he’s taking it calmly. And then he thrust his arms in the air and shouted — the celebration was on.
Tiger’s back. That’s good news for golf, it’s good news for sports and it’s great news for CBS.
And yes, watching Woods embrace his family was indeed moving. You can bet that within a couple of minutes someone in the production truck had put together quick snippets of Woods, winning his first major in 1996, embracing his late father, with a cut to Woods embracing his son. Someone give that person a raise.
Of course that wasn’t enough. Jim Nantz, who hosts CBS coverage of the Masters and treats Augusta National Golf Club and the tournament itself as if it were some sort of church and he its most devoted member, went back to it again and again. He even asked Woods about it — not the hugging itself, but the compilation. For Woods’ part, he repeated that he was, in the moment, speechless.
After Brooks Koepka finished his round, and he tied for second, CBS reporter Amanda Balionis conducted the post-match interview. The first thing she asked him was how Woods must be feeling. Imagine what that must be like.
On the other hand, everyone was happy. President Donald Trump tweeted congratulations. Former President Barack Obama tweeted congratulations. Pretty much everyone in sports and pop culture you’ve ever heard of tweeted congratulations.
It was well-deserved. I root for Woods to win because I hope he catches and surpasses the great Jack Nicklaus for most majors won. Nicklaus won 18; this gives Woods 15. It’s still pretty unlikely, as Woods is now 43 years old. But part of the fun of watching sports is seeing things that have never been done before.
Or, on Sunday, seeing things that haven’t been done in a long time. Sometimes the moment stands on its own, and no hyperbole is necessary.
Just don’t tell CBS that.
Follow BIll Goodykoontz on Twitter @goodyk.