By Tom Leonard, for the Daily Mail
Within six minutes of his winning attempt at the American Masters, the sportswear giant Nike had released an advertisement celebrating Tiger Woods.
The song of & # 39; Tiger! Tiger! & # 39; From fans along the green in Augusta, Georgia, the tinkling of cash machines soon drowned out, as delighted sponsors and golf industry bosses happily saved their future earnings.
The professional golf pedestrian world was once again & # 39; The Tiger Woods Show & # 39; – much more exciting for advertisers, target groups and potential players.
Woods, who became the first billions of sportsmen in the world in 2009, earned a fortune for himself and for so many others.
Tiger feat: Woods and son Charlie celebrate his amazing Masters victory in matching Nike gear
Nike – who had been sponsoring Woods for 23 years – earned an estimated $ 22.5 million (£ 17.2 million) simply because of the association with his Sunday win.
The & # 39; swoosh & # 39; logo was not only plastered about Woods – on his hat, shirt, pants and shoes – but about his son, Charlie, who dutifully wore a Nike T-shirt and cap.
Charlie, ten, was next to the green with his sister Sam, 11, and grandmother Kultida, plus golfer's girlfriend Erica Herman, to cuddle Woods while the cameras roamed around.
Amid the euphoria, it had apparently been forgotten that the last time Woods had draped himself in his family, ten years ago portrayed himself as a dedicated young father and husband, it turned out to be a huge fraud.
His personal life and career imploded in 2009 after it turned out that he had deceived his beautiful Swedish wife Elin Nordegren, the mother of his children, with a sloppy army of strippers, pornstars and nightclub hostesses.
Pictured: police mugshot of 2017
The man greeted by some as the greatest athlete of the modern age dropped as spectacularly as he had stood up, his shortcomings aggravated by a later arrest for & # 39; drunk driving & # 39 ;. He had not won a big win since 2008.
Last year, a scorching and exhaustively researched biography twisted the knife and painted Woods as one of the most detestable men in sports history – a rightful, arrogant egoist who treated almost everyone like dirt.
But Americans love a winner, especially someone who returns as spectacularly as Woods. And the American media did their best to emphasize the positive about him, breathlessly speaking out the 43-year chances of Jack Nicklaus & # 39; s record of 18 major wins and the incredible power of & # 39; redemption & # 39; defeat.
His ugly past became, if it was mentioned, as & # 39; personal misery & # 39; and & # 39; a painful period in his life & # 39; ashamed as the & # 39; lost son & # 39 ;. Nike could not have done better with the forgiving mood than in a particularly cynical marketing slogan devised for Woods in a previous comeback attempt: & # 39; Winning takes care of everything & # 39 ;. It seems to have done that – supporters believe that if he keeps playing like this, he can still earn a billion dollars.
Yet the re-ignited love affair with Woods is not entirely altruistic. A large part of the golf world has struggled for a comeback. Although he was now a young, attractive and fascinating player, balding among the Nike cap, he single-handedly changed the unathletic image of the sport and strengthened his fortune.
When Woods is on the leaderboard, there is interest in golf, participation in tournaments and television ratings.
Nike has set a new record for sports sponsorship in 2000 when Woods received a five-year contract with $ 105 million. By having him supported when other sponsors withdrew, it signed a new deal in 2013 for $ 200 million.
The American company has an honorable record for the reputation of unreliable athletes, including the American sprinter Justin Gatlin who was caught on illegal performance enhancing drugs and an American football player who turned out to have a dogfight ring.
Nike was congratulated yesterday in the sports and marketing world.
The company's latest advertisement, a montage of old images of the golf boy wondering like a child and an adult, claims: & # 39; It's crazy to think of a 43-year-old who has been through every high and every low and has just won his 15th major pursues the same dream as a three-year-old. & # 39;
Tiger Woods pictured last year with girlfriend Erica Herman
Some might say it is one thing to acknowledge a remarkable sporting return, another to hold Woods as a hero.
A lot has changed in his life, but Woods doesn't seem to have gotten much more humility.
He revealed that after his last victory he had told his children that he hoped they were proud of how he fought. And he certainly sounded his old self-satisfied self when he wore the victor's green jacket for the fifth time and noticed: & # 39; It fits. & # 39;
There was a time when the last golf club associated with Woods seemed to be the one used by his furious wife when she was chasing his car one night in 2009.
When she hit the vehicle outside their Florida home, he lost control behind the wheel and crashed into a tree. Woods was later seen lying on his back on the floor, without shoes and unconscious of a sedative against insomnia.
The night before, Nordegren had checked his cell phone messages and discovered that he had lied when he openly claimed that he had an affair with New York's nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel.
It turned out that she was only one of at least 15 women (estimates of the total rose to 120) with whom he had cheated his wife.
Several of them said that the golfer, who was suffering from insomnia, would stay awake all night to have sex. A New York lady claimed that Woods had repeatedly used her services, sometimes hired two prostitutes at once, and once paid $ 15,000 (£ 11,400) for a call girl.
His marriage collapsed and, as he was plagued by back injuries, his wave did too. However, his many friends and admirers in the sport have never lost hope that he would regain his form and restore his reputation.
Tiger Woods reacts if he wins the Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 14, 2019
It was not a done deal. In 2017, Woods took another knock when the police dropped him to sleep one night at 2 o'clock in the morning at the wheel of his £ 180,000 Mercedes outside his Florida home. He told them he thought he was in California.
Woods cheerfully rejected his humiliating state as & # 39; an unexpected response to prescription drugs & # 39; but it turned out that two of the five drugs in his system were banned by the board of the golf team, the PGA Tour. He admitted that he was accused of reckless driving, but escaped a more serious driving behavior under the influence.
By 2018, his golf performance had improved and large crowds were seen to play again.
However, he again had a change. A biography, Tiger Woods, stated that he was an even worse person than anyone had assumed.
Written by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian, and based on 250 interviews, the book portrayed Woods as a sociopathic narcissist with no time for even the most basic human skills such as a & # 39; hello & # 39; or & # 39; thank you & # 39 ;.
The authors suggested that Woods & # 39; s controlling, dysfunctional parents earned a lot of the blame. His dominant father, Earl Woods, is credited with carrying in him the relentless drive to win when playing golf – and the new Nike ad shows father and son embracing after Woods first big league win.
New York nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel
But the book revealed Woods Sr. as a compulsive skirt hunter who in his later life had a group of young female servants at home to meet his sexual needs and had shown pornography that appeared constantly on his TV.
Woods, the lonely only child of an African-American father and Thai mother, was painfully unsure of golf and developed a stutter, the authors said. Success has only accentuated its shortcomings, she added.
Even when he was looking for Mrs. Nordegren, a nanny for the children of another player, Woods played the field on lavish Las Vegas outings. He was particularly charmed by a cowardly nightclub where VIP & # 39; s attractive women could choose and have them brought to their table.
The marriage did not change anything and he continued to pull the sailor night clubs of Vegas, New York and Orlando for young conquests. Woods claimed that the book & # 39; was littered with gross errors & # 39 ;.
There was never any reconciliation with his rejected wife, who left him an estimated settlement of £ 76 million. Woods had sex addiction, followed by a succession of girlfriends. He met the newest, Erica Herman, 35, in September 2017. The former manager of a golf-themed restaurant he owned was his loyal public supporter.
The jury is still looking at whether Woods has changed as a person. Critics say he never sang the condolences of the family of Glenn Frey, the singer of Eagles and a close friend when he died in 2016, and that he also had no contact with ex-girlfriend Lindsey Vonn when she sustained a terrible injury .
His fans insist that Woods is now a truly committed father. Even if they are right, it is clear that personal shortcomings in the sports world are of little importance if they are compared to success and money.
Yes, Tiger Woods is flawed, but his courage and spirit can inspire us all
By David Jones for the Daily Mail
If we strive for superlatives that match the amazing comeback of Tiger Woods, comparing him to the other recurring opponents of the sport – from Muhammad Ali to our own James Cracknell – we can also consider the broader implications of his triumph.
Because his redemption is not only a story about reserves of courage and indomitable spirit, it also reminds us of the importance of forgiveness. In the eyes of the public, who honored him until he so shamefully abused his position, the mad forest is finally justified and forgiven for his sins.
To realize that, all you had to do was listen to the eyes of joy from the Augusta crowd as he sunk the winning battle on Sunday night. To see the tension on their faces when he traded high-fives with them on his triumphal strut back to the clubhouse. It was significant that the Sky Sports golf experts failed to mention, even once, the industrial infidelity that caused Woods & # 39; s star career to fall off a cliff almost a decade ago, as well as the more recent chronic spinal cord injury that required reconstruction surgery.
Tiger Woods laughs after awarding the Green Jacket during the Green Jacket Ceremony after winning the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club
While praising him, there were only a few crooked euphemisms about his earlier & # 39; problems & # 39 ;. The only thing that mattered was that Tiger, the genius with more God-given talent than anyone who has ever known the game, was back.
Their euphoria was understandable. Because in his splendor Woods was not only a great golfer. He was so superior to his rivals, so instantly recognizable in every corner of the world, that he was simply his sport.
When he made his entrance in the mid-1990s, golf died slowly – despised by many young and working-class people as a conceited and boring time-consuming pastime for white professional types.
Built like a finely polished athlete, decked out in a stylish crimson shirt and black pants and apparently contemptuous for his less, Tiger made it so cool that the jobs suddenly filled with teenagers.
In fact, the fact that two million people play regularly in the 2,500 clubs in Great Britain and that golf has become a global industry of $ 200 billion, covering designer items and tourism, is not least due to the magnetic charisma from Woods.
That he was an example for less privileged young people has only exacerbated the tragedy of his death. When his debauchery was exposed, he disappointed an entire generation.
So when he removed his sweat-soaked Nike cap to show his now-balding pate after he won the Masters for a fifth time, he couldn't help but be happy with his rebirth. Only the stony hearts could have remained frustrated when Woods joyfully sneaked off the course to embrace his mother, daughter and son, who was not even born when he last won a major tournament.
How different he was for the slightly bent man I saw being humiliated at the Ryder Cup in Paris, only last September. Then he had looked totally, but it had been finished, a little regrettable.
Among transient weekend golfers like me, this change of fortunes is enormously inspiring, because it is a reminder that we can try to improve even with our artificial knees and various ailments. That somewhere in our weak bodies there is still the golden round.
Indeed, the importance of Wood's revival transcends golf. It is proof that age and disability are not insurmountable barriers in any area, but only obstacles that must be overcome. That nobody should be written off as a lost cause.
We do not know what Woods' ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, thinks about his glorious restoration, but after training as a psychologist and making peace with him, it is suspected that this admirable woman will be happy that his years of physical and mental torment are over.
We must also look forward to his fantastic comeback. Because by releasing his redeeming victory, Tiger has not only restored the faith of his fans.
He has unknowingly taught us a powerful lesson: no matter how deeply you sink into life, there is always a glimmer of hope.