ST. LOUIS – Tiger Forest entered the arena at Bellerive Country Club on Sunday He struggled like a man who already knew he would shoot a 64 in the 2018 PGA Championship finals in the next six hours and frighten the 28-year-old Brooks Koepka.

Why else would a 42-year-old man rock a hat and sunglasses that made him look like he was playing the 5300-yard course instead of the 7,300-yard course? Woods stalked with his TW logo in front and the hidden Nike check into the clubhouse, a reminder to future champion Kopeka that even though they share a mark, only one of them gets its own logo on their clothes.

Two hours after his arrival Woods made his way to the first tee and sweated like a golfer who had already finished what he wanted to achieve on Sunday. Caddy Joe LaCava, however, had plenty of shirts in his pocket. Tiger would press the Refresh button several times during the following four-hour roller coaster ride.

As we strapped in for the ride and Woods jumped on one of the roller coasters, he pictured the walkers in the running group behind the first tee. I always laugh when he says, "Hello, I'm Tiger," as if these people did not pay five figures to get a seat in the front row for the best show of 2018.

Woods put his first three approach strokes of the day on a combined 12-foot, 11-inch, taking down from the third green at 10, straight in the tournament. He played the next four in 1, but Birdied the eighth with a sharp up and down. Then came the ninth, which kicked off all questions of drama in the second half of the course.

He pulled his tee and missed his seventh straight fairway on the front. That's, well, all of them. He has not hit a single fairway over the first nine holes. A t-shirt change in the portable bathroom behind the ninth tee gave the fans and media time to gather around his ball hanging on the left side of the hole next to the cart path.

When Woods climbed, I could not even see how he addressed his ball, and I was on the ropes! The galleries were deep in Bellerive, but I'm not sure if I've ever been to a golf tournament where the media were in rows.

LaCava dropped the bag and the sweaty shirt from Woods, who had seen three birdies in the first eight holes. His new one was about to be 1 to 1. Woods struck a ridiculous hook iron that he and LaCava urged as pandemonium erupted around them. It somehow stopped 10 feet from the mug, and Tiger interrupted the next dash and front 32 (four birdies, one bogey, all without a single hit fairway!) With a hearty, "F — yeah!" when he started the first of several right hooks over the last few holes of the event.

Whatever you imagine, when you think of the archetypal amount of golf – you know, the two-finger clapping and nodding and newsboy hats – that was the complete and absolute opposite of it. There were marshals that kept kids from running to the square, millennials scaling trees – probably after "scaling a tree" on YouTube – and fans of all ages living digitally digitally on their $ 800 Have recorded phones. Of course for posterity.

I saw a child on the shoulders of his father (with an iPhone, on which the record button was pressed). I witnessed how Michael Phelps chased Tiger on the ropes, enchanted by the whole moment. I saw hundreds of people running, only watching him for a few seconds from a distance. You know how, 20 years after a big event, 100 times the number of people actually present say they are there? When they speak of Bellerive on Sunday, they will all tell the truth.

Tiger found his first fairway from the tenth tee, but hit an ambivalent approach and two putts for Par. Another half-inch short on # 11 led to another par. The hot front nine felt like it was ice-cold. The tournament rocked. But gambling partner Gary Woodland broke the trophy with his approach to No. 12, and after a long delay, both golfer made birdie.

Then it began to feel historical.

Woods raised his putter to the sky and walked in a 10-foot to No. 13. A specter on # 14 was followed by an approach to 1 foot on # 15, which would have caused an earthquake if it had moved. Woods threw his iron into the lawn of Bellerive, presumably annoyed that it did not fall from a distance of 164 meters. That was the moment I wondered if this could really happen: a backless and no-back man who defeated his 15th major and posted a stunning leaderboard with more weight than Koepka's Saturday squat racket.

But then Woods missed a birdie in 16th place and lost the tournament in 17th place.

It felt like the afternoon was coming down to the 597 yard, Par-5 17th, and it did. After spending an excessive amount of time on the tee and over the ball, Woods pushed his ride over the danger to the right. He was dead there and he knew it. He whipped his bat around because he knew deep inside – he always knew deep inside – that it was over. Koepka stomped after him again and again, and the ledge swelled to three before Tiger was done with the hole. He saved Par.

Then he stood on the 72nd hole of a tournament that nobody would have thought he would play a lot less than a year ago at 13 o'clock under). It was somehow thunderous and muffled at the same time. The silence and the noise. Woods hit his drive 320 yards.

After approaching 19 feet – his 10th (!) Birdie look of 21 feet or closer to the day, though only five entire fairways hit – Woods canned it and unleashed what felt like five years worth of fist pumping and pumping Roar.

He scored a 64. In the last round of a major. He went nine years and four back operations between the top 10 of the PGA Championship. He played his first two holes of this tournament in 3 over and his next 70 in 17 under – in the best field of the season. Yes, it was as remarkable as it seemed on your TV. The 6-under-64, which he posted, was also the lowest final round in a major of his career,

"I never got to the top," Woods said. "I was always behind it, it was a golf course where I could not sit still and do pars and agree, I still had to do birdies … You could see the boys shoot 5, 6 under par today, and with a bunch of boys at 8 o'clock or better who started the day, I had to get it and I tried. "

"He had a lot of putts and they did not go either," Woodland said. "Sixty-four looked pretty straightforward, to be honest, the energy in the crowd, that was the largest amount I've seen, ho-humed today only 64. Can have shot a lot." [lower], "

My lasting images of this championship are twofold. The first happened when Woods strolled from the 10th tea. He and Woodland chatted as the heat hit them. Even if at that moment you felt like 100,000 people, you would have been able to convince me that they were the only two on the property. Clouds of hamburger smoke pierced the thick Missouri air, and the whole thing smelled of something important. It sounds like a crazy thing to say something smelled important. But it did.

The other picture is the fist pump on # 18. My goodness, it brought me back to my childhood. After Woods had presented his complete arsenal of club twirls on Saturday, he moved on Sunday with his characteristic fist pumps. He showed them all. He entered the 18s and pulled him through. It reminded me that he was young once. Me too. We were all there. And now none of us is as young as we used to be, but that does not mean that we're in a bad shape.

It reminded me that Tiger lived a life – some real Life – with his growing children and aging, injured body. That even humanizes the mammoth of superheroes. It reminded me that I did the same thing. I lived a life. The big and the terrible, but above all the routine. When Tiger started off on a regular basis and built a database of solemn fist pumps that outshined everything else in golf history, I was a kid. I do not know if I was 19 or 14 or 12, but I was sure a kid. I am not now. He is neither.

It seems to be a Faustian business to get older. You probably win many things – career, status, money – but you lose your childish wonder. And yet, Wood's year and this part of his career reminds that it's not over yet. It reminds us that perspective and wisdom come with time and age. Win it up, some say. They will change you.

They seem to have changed Woods. Watch him in this interview with Amanda Balionis of CBS Sports. He seems to be suffocated at the beginning. This meant a lot to him. He stayed around to congratulate Koepka. In which former world would that have ever happened?

In the last two main appearances Woods has dealt with both how to teach your children what it means to lose and encouraged her in her fear of going to school. What could possibly be more human?

"I do not want to talk to you [golf] This week, "said Woods. They are not really interested because they are interested in going to school and they are nervous about the school. This has far more priority than me as a major. "

When Woods apparently withdrew his fist into the time at this 72nd hole and it exploded into the present, it made me feel. I bet it made you feel things, too. I know, it made him feel things.

Half an hour later, Koepka busted for victory, while Woods did a small media tour back near the clubhouse. The response of the fans on the 18th green for Koepka's third big win in his last six starts was not as harsh as the Masters for Patrick Reed. It was generous and adequate.

But all who were present and watching on television knew the truth. He did not finish with the lowest score. He did not raise the Wanamaker Trophy. But Tiger Woods won the 2018 PGA Championship.


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