Return of the Masters Master

Tiger's finally back, and the sports world is better for it

Tiger Woods. Getty Images.

This is why we love sports.

A dominant athlete becomes a transcendental star and elevates his sport. Then he falls from grace, only to find redemption over a decade later.

The sports world has been begging for Tiger Woods to win another major golf tournament. Woods moves the needle like few athletes, and TV ratings, page views and newspaper sales benefit from it.

Sunday, however, it was all about Woods. It was a story of persistence, redemption and skill, and it brought us one of those sports moments that will be remembered for a long time.

Woods' long road back from a very public divorce, multiple injuries and ineffectiveness came on a magical Sunday afternoon where he made shot after big shot, while younger challengers made their moves and fell off, as Woods won the Masters by one stroke.

It is simply one of the greatest comebacks in sports. With 11 years between majors, Woods is finally all the way back.

Back on track

Woods finished at -13 over the four rounds, getting three birdies on the back nine to close out the win. He won his 15th major title, and his fifth Masters, one fewer than Jack Nicklaus for first all time. Now, the race to catch Nicklaus' 18 major titles is back on. Just 11 years ago, it looked like it would be a lock. Then it looked like it would never happen. Now, every major tournament takes on meaning again. Everyone will pay attention to see what Tiger does next. I am like a lot of people; if Tiger has a chance, I will watch. If not? Just not that interested. He made Sunday more than interesting.

A win for golf

Yes, golf needed this. Tiger made the sport relevant in ways it had never seen before and had not seen since. New golf courses cropped up everywhere. Young athletes chose golf over other sports. Tiger inspired a generation of new players.

And now, he can do it again. This was not the dominant Tiger of the past; this was a player who used his knowledge of the course and experience to pull off an amazing win.

It all turned on No. 12, when leader Francesco Molinari put his tee shot in water. Woods did the smart thing, putting his shot in the middle of the green and taking a two-putt par. From there, he was almost perfect, with only a hiccup on 18 that he had room for thanks to a two-shot lead. It was a clinic in smart golf.

Even he did not see it coming

Even Tiger thought he was done thanks to his back injury. Ten years ago I made a joking prediction that he would never win another major. As the injuries mounted, it looked like that would be the case. But he got healthy, and was close last year in two majors.

Sunday, he broke through in a big way. It was fun to watch, and I was happy to see that failed prediction come crashing down.

All about Tiger

It is an amazing story. Golf is now interesting again. The sports world got what it wanted; Tiger is back in a big way. But in the end, it was not about that. It was about Tiger himself, making history and doing what we have missed all these years - creating a major sports moment.

Welcome back, Tiger. Let's hope there is a lot more to come.

Discover These Pet-friendly Courses And Tips To Keep The Fun While You And Your Dog Are On The Course

Walk and have a tee time with your dog in these pet-friendly golf courses

Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

There aren't many things in life that beat a cool crisp fall or winter round when the grass is freshly cut and the course is ready to play. The only thing that can make it better is walking or playing a round with your dog beside you. These dog-friendly courses bring the best of golf and the company of your dog to a round on the links.

Belgrade Lakes Golf Course - Belgrade Lakes, ME

Located in the wooded areas of central Maine, this course dog-friendly was born out of necessity for golfers. Many of the rentals don't allow unattended dogs on the property.

Well behaved dogs can even stay off-leash! The only time they will need to stay by the cart is when putting, some dogs have been known to dig. Enjoy the lush wooded areas with a scenic round of golf and a long walk with your dog.

The Goodwood Estate - Chichester, United Kingdom

Part of the allure of The Goodwood Estate is the tradition of dogs on golf courses. Since 1697, dogs have been allowed to walk the course with their owners. The two championships eighteen-hole golf courses provide golfers a unique experience.

An emphasis at the golf club makes sure each dog is comfortable. Many of the holes have water and food bowls tended by the club members. After finishing your round on one of the pristine courses, treat your best friend to the clubs restaurant where you both can enjoy a meal simultaneously.

True Blue Golf Club - Pawleys Island, SC

Only a short distance from Myrtle Beach South Carolina lies the 19th century True Blue Golf Course. Located near the beach in the low country of the southeast, this dog-friendly course welcomes golfers to iconic scenery and a one of a kind clubhouse.

Make sure to book your tee time outside of peak season because this area is packed during summer months and your dog won't be able to join you!

Agate Beach Golf Course - Newport, OR

A nine-hole course located near the beach of Newport Oregon, this course challenges golfers and welcomes dogs. Once you and Fido have finished your round, treat yourselves to Agate Beach Golf Course Cafe where you both can enjoy a meal.

After finishing a round and a good meal, enjoy the natural ocean scenery at the nearby Agate Beach State Recreation Site.

Fun Golf Games for Your Dogs

While on the course your dog will likely want to run and play. Here are a few tips to keep them occupied and happy on the course.

Chip and Treat

This is fun to do with any type of hard treat that won't break on impact. Simply have your dog sit away from your swing and take a high lofted club and hit treats up in the air for them to catch.

Long Ball Chase

Using a racquet or tennis ball, have your dog sit near you and hit the ball with middle to long iron and have them chase it downrange.

These golf courses understand the importance of dogs in the lives of their owners. A round of golf is only more enjoyable when you have your best friend following you by your side. The unconditional affection that comes from a dog will make any tee shot or errant shot more enjoyable. To make sure both of you enjoy the tee time, give your dog a nice meal before you both go to the course and hit the ball. You can also find some dog-friendly patios in Houston that you and your dog might enjoy when you visit the city.

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