Sports

Tiger Woods: Road to Recovery

In 2014 is when everyone thought that his career was over until he got one of the best comeback wins in history.

Tiger Woods recently won the Golf Masters with his incredible comeback to the game he loves to play. This is one of Tiger’s biggest moments, after seeing that his career was almost over and coming back one year after his back surgery. At the age of 43, he is once again in incredible condition.

Tiger Woods was once at the top of the golf world: 5 Masters wins, 4 PGA Championships, 3 U.S. Opens and 3 The Open Championship. But then he fell off in golf and it went downhill from there. In July of 2010 Tiger’s wife, Elin Nordegren filed a divorce on him for cheating on her with multiple women. In August  of 2010, the case was settled: they would both share custody of the children. During the month of May 2017, Tiger Woods was arrested for having marijuana and having 5 different drugs in his system. The 5 different drugs consisted of painkillers, sleep medication, Xanax, and marijuana. The police found him sleeping in his car and when the officer woke him up he was confused and dazed. Police claim, “his language was very slurred, his reaction time was very slow and he did not know where he was.” In October of 2017 he was also charged with reckless driving. Tiger was dealing with a lot of stress during this time because of his back problems. Between 2010 and 2018, the all-time great won no championships.

Tiger Woods has gone through many injuries, including to his knees, back, neck, both of his legs, and an elbow, but two years ago, he suffered a lower back injury that almost ended his career. In April 2017 he underwent lumbar spinal fusion injury to remove a large portion of a degenerated disk and replace it with a bone graft. The surgery, performed by Dr. Richard Guyer, a world-renowned expert in spinal surgery, was successful. Tiger said “I could barely walk, couldn’t sit, couldn’t lay down, couldn’t do much of anything. Luckily, I had the procedure on my back which gave me a chance at having a normal life, but then I realized I could also swing a golf club again.”

Woods had to change a lot of different things about his life like dieting, working out, changing his swing, and treating his body right in order to cause less back pain. He challenged himself to rebuild his strength and flexibility. When he couldn’t sleep at night, he would go downstairs to his home gym and start exercising throughout the night.

His coach, Chris Como, wanted to rebuild his physique and wanted to help him find a swing that took pressure off his back. When Tiger swings now he doesn’t twist his body, he puts more pressure on the higher part of his back and a taller finish when he swings. PGA pro Dan Whittaker says, “He has more of a hybrid swing now, right in between his swing around 2000 and when he first came on tour in ‘97. Long and loose, staying in his posture, arms higher at the top.”

Tiger Woods has an insane workout plan for a golfer at his age. He starts out the day with a morning 4-mile jog. After his jog, into the gym he goes. He starts out by stretching out his muscles and joints for 30-40 minutes and then after his stretch he does high rep weight training–often 25-50 reps.

He balances his workout with a high protein diet full of carbs and fat. He eats 7 meals a day to keep up his weight. After his surgery, he has become more strict about what he eats every day and has changed his diet to stay more fit.  As Tiger ages more he wants his body to be healthy and to be more careful to his body after all of his injuries he has been through.

Tiger Woods’ career has been up and down. His win at the Masters really turned things around for him, as it was definitely one of the greatest moments of his career. “There’s no sense in going to a tournament if you don’t believe that you can win it. And that is the belief I have always had, and that is not going to change.” People now are ranking Tiger to be at the top of the list once again.

Image credit: Keith Allison

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