When Tiger Woods was involved in a serious car crash just over a year ago, there were serious doubts as to whether he would be able to walk normally again due to the leg injuries he suffered. Playing professional golf again certainly seemed unlikely.
Yet here we are 14 months later, with Woods sitting in the top ten after the first day of play at one of the sport's majors.
It is a miraculous turnaround and one very few people could have predicted. The galleries were desperate to get a glimpse of the American in the first round at The Masters and they would have been thrilled to see how he performed. His -1 opening round leaves him four shots off the summit of the leaderboard and very much in contention at this early stage.
The reception he got on the 18th green spoke volumes.
"A round we NEVER thought we'd witness!" 🐅
Tiger Woods putts in at the 18th to finish his opening round at the Masters just 3 shots off the lead ⛳ pic.twitter.com/F2eLnl7cVT
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) April 7, 2022
There is still a long way to go in this tournament, but we already know that Woods will be the story of the week regardless of how the remaining three rounds play out.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the 46-year old summed up just how much work had gone in to reaching this point.
🗣 "People have no idea how hard we worked each and every day, I've alluded to this before, we've never taken a day off"
After not playing top level golf for 508 days, Tiger Woods is back 🔥👇 pic.twitter.com/3PPUY9ZSHX
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) April 8, 2022
I'm proud of my whole team, we worked so hard. People have no idea how hard we worked each and every day.
I've alluded to this before, but we've never taken a day off. Once I got out of the bed after those three months, there were no days off. Granted, there were easier days than others if my leg didn't work that well that day and we did upper body.
We did something every single day. That led me to this opportunity to go and play in The Masters. Lo and behold here we are, and right now I'm only three back.
We've got a long way to go, this is a marathon and a lot of things can happen, the weather is going to change and the golf course is going to dry out which will make things interesting. It's nice to be off to a positive start.
Woods will be in one of the final pairings in today's second round, teeing off at 6:41pm Irish time.