The PGA (Professional Golf Association) plays about forty-nine tournaments a year, but there are only four major tournaments. These are the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA Championships. Many professional golfers would love to win one of these four major tournaments but only few succeed. However, Tiger Woods has already won thirteen of these major tournaments, putting him in hot pursuit of breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record of winning eighteen majors.
Unfortunately, Woods had severe cartilage damage and he had to have arthroscopic knee surgery on April 15, 2008. Woods decided to temporarily end his recovery to make adjustments in his golf swing due to his knee problem. It was unexpected for Woods to compete in the U.S. Open because of his surgery and his lack of recovery time. But on June 12, 2008, at Torrey Pines, Tiger Woods was there and prepared for another victory.
Golf analyzers did not know what to expect from Woods because of his surgery. Many of them believed that his game would be greatly affected and although he had made adjustments the odds of him winning the major tournament were against him.
The crowds roared when Woods limped to the tee box to hit his first shot, they roared even louder when he was in the top five on the scoreboard by the third day of the tournament. At this point many golf analyzers were very surprised at how well he was doing. Unfortunately, the pain in Woods’ leg built up and by the last day his knee was not in good condition. His pain was clear every time he hit a shot. He would limp from shot to shot and even use his golf clubs to support his standing. Often when Woods would swing, his leg would collapse from under him. It was clear that he had to make more adjustments if he wanted to win.
Meanwhile a golfer named Rocco Mediate was dominating. He was in first place and Woods was right behind him by the final day of the tournament. On the final hole, Mediate finished one stroke better than his competition and Woods lined up his putt and slowly brought the club back and forth. It was dead silent as the ball slowly rolled towards the hole and the crowd roared when the ball landed straight in the hole. Mediate later confessed he was sure Woods would make the long putt to tie.
The next day the two faced off head to head in a playoff round. Despite his knee injury, Woods ended by winning the round and taking home the trophy for his fourteenth major tournament win.
Freddy Luna is an eighth-grader at Schenectady Christian School in Schenectady