This Day In Sports: It used to be such a common sight

June 3, 2012, 10 years ago today: It had become a shockingly rare occurrence, but Tiger Woods gets a win in the Memorial Tournament, the popular event hosted by Jack Nicklaus. In the process, Woods tied Nicklaus for second place all-time in PGA Tour wins with 73 (he has since tied Sam Snead for the record with 82 tour victories). Tiger’s charge in the final round included a flop-shot chip-in from the deep rough on the 16th, spurring Nicklaus to call it “the most unbelievable, gutsy shot I’ve ever seen.”

It was only Woods’ second win since 2009, the year his life and his career took a turn. On Thanksgiving weekend, a minor auto accident in his Florida neighborhood turned into a major scandal, as his riled-up wife, Elin Nordegren, helped him out of the car. Bit by bit, the truth came out regarding Tiger’s affairs and an otherwise reckless lifestyle. Less than two months later, Woods was compelled to go on TV and admit a sense of entitlement that he said led him down an unsavory path.

Woods, who spent two five-year stints as the top-ranked golfer in the world, did parlay the 2012 Memorial win into six more victories over the next year and a half, and he actually ascended back to the No. 1 spot in the world golf rankings. But he has only three triumphs since 2013, as a series of four back surgeries took him out of the game from August, 2015 to April, 2018.

One of the wins was a stirring victory in the 2019 Masters. That gave Tiger 15 career victories in majors. He is still chasing Nicklaus’ standard of 18 major titles. But it looks like that ship has sailed, especially after the rollover accident that seriously injured him in February, 2021. His last tour victory came in October, 2019, at the Zozo Championship in Japan. Woods has resumed play occasionally this season and even made the cut in the Masters, but it’s a chore for him to walk 18 holes.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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