He continued to be a top draw, a global icon, even as he grimaced through season after season, age and injury taking an ever-steeper toll. At one point, he was ranked 1,119th in the world. But then came April 2019, and the Masters. Summoning every remnant of his former self, he surged to victory, legions celebrating his fifth champion’s green jacket.
Nobody who watched that tournament will forget it. Not just the stirring comeback, but the sight of Woods wrapping his son, Charlie, and his daughter, Sam, in his arms as he walked from the final green. It called to mind the embrace given by Woods’s father, Earl, after the Masters win in 1997. It spoke, too, of poignant change in the face of time. Woods was no longer the soaring young champion, but he could still reach the highest peaks, if only in short bursts.