Whether Tiger Woods’ decision to declare himself fit to take his 33/1-rated chance at the USPGA Championships is rewarded with victory or not, he’s to be commended for his competitive zeal.
Yet, while his injury-marred 2014 campaign is certainly no boon to his chances, golf is a sport where the great players have shrugged off fragility to win at the highest level in the past, as the man from Cypress knows only too well.
Here are a trio of news.bwin.com/en/’s favourite injury-addled major victories to offer Eldrick Tont and his backers inspiration on the fairways of Valhalla.
Himself winning the U.S Open in 2008
Knee surgery and subsequent recovery time saw Woods miss two months of the tour before the Torrey Pines tournament, where he went in without a warm-up.
To make things worse he was five shots back from the leaders by the end of the first round.
Cue a second–round 68 that catapulted him back into contention and on to a play-off victory over Rocco Mediate, secured despite limping so heavily that Kenny Perry remarked in awe afterwards “he beat everybody on one leg.”
Jose Maria Olazabal winning the Masters in 1999
A Masters winner in 1994, by the time 1996 came around ‘Olly’ had not hit a ball on tour for the best part of a year, so badly was he suffering from the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
Just three victories followed in the five years between his maiden Major success and 1999 when the dark days he endured in the mid-nineties were superseded by the joys of a second Augusta success.
Lee Trevino winning the USPGA Championship in 1984
‘Supermex’ landed five majors in the six years between 1968 and 1974, before a freak accident at the 1975 Western Open threatened to derail his career.
Trevino was struck by lightning, causing him spinal injuries that continued to hamper his play for some time.
By 1980 he’d got his game firmly back on track with a second-place finish to Tom Watson at the Open Championship, yet Major top-tens had been thin on the ground since that incident in Illinois.
That was until the year George Orwell wrote about, when his return from that smiting by the creator reached it’s zenith with glory in the final Major of the season, when he became the first player ever to hit under 70 in all four rounds at the tournament.