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Happy Birthday Tiger Woods!

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The professional golfer turns forty today! He decided to celebrate the day despite the lingering questions about his future career that have been circulating the professional circuit recently.  No one has doubted that Woods has been one of the greatest players of all time, but they do wonder if that spark will ever return to the now middle aged player.

Tiger Woods was once ranked at the number one golfer in the world for around seven hundred weeks. Now, the golfer ranks at number four hundred and fourteen – which is quite the drop. He has not won a major since 2008, and a tournament since 2013. It’s hard to picture that he was once the golfer who won the Master by twelve strokes in 1997. However, in the past couple years, Woods has been plagued by numerous injuries, because of which he has to have various back and knee surgeries. As a result of these surgeries, Wood has moved to a new swing – which he has struggled with.

Besides injuries, Tiger has had to deal with the fall out of his marriage for the past several years. In 2009, Woods dealt with a cheating scandal that rocked the mainstream media and the golf world in a way it had never seen before. He addressed the scandal in an interview with Time magazine recently, along with the idea that “he has reconciled himself to not playing again if it came to that”.  However, that was a vastly different tune then to the PGA Tour blog, where he mentioned how excited he was for a return in 2016.

The golf world has noted that it would be a different feel if he was no longer apart of it. After all, the golfer has broken and held many different records, and changed the face of golf for many Americans.

Speaking to VOA News, Kuan Koa – a commentator for Golf Channel, said ““For us, we’ve been seeing him since he turned pro in 1997, won the Master’s at a very young age of 21. He had really brought the game across the globe pretty much because he’s a mixed race, and a lot of people can associate with him.  I think a lot of Asian people see him as Asian,  African-Americans see him as African-American.  Basically he was such a young prodigy, he brought the game of golf to the young crowd.”

For many, the return of Woods is an exciting idea. We can only wait and see what 2016 will hold for the golfer. In the meantime, once again, Happy Birthday Tiger Woods!

Tiger Woods Addresses Bullying

Although a lot of people may still view Tiger Woods as a bad guy, he has made some improvements and manages to help out where he can. Tiger recently wrote a letter to a troubled teen that has been the victim of bullying.

Golf Digest’s very own Ron Sirak has been working with LPGA touring pro Sophie Gustafson, who battles a severe stutter daily. Gustafson works and mentors people who have the same or similar issue as herself.

Gustafson has been working with a high school student named Dillon, who has been the victim of relentless bullying at school. Dillon’s torment almost drove him to drastic actions a few weeks ago, his mother reported. Gustafson has been in correspondence with Dillon’s mother who wrote this email:

“Wanted to give you update. “Things had been going well for awhile. He played football for the first time this year, however, he was teased about his stuttering and quit the team. He has really been struggling lately, feeling lonely due to the really does not have any close friends. On the week of April 16th, he had a bad week, he had been teased about his stuttering. That evening, he attempted suicide. He yelled downstairs ‘Good bye, I love you.’ Me and my husband immediately ran upstairs, his bedroom door was locked, we busted down the door and he was sitting on the window and was getting ready to jump. We were able to grab him and keep him from going head first onto the concrete below.”

Dillon’s mother told Gustafson that Dillon is still a huge Tiger Woods fan and he loves to watch Tiger play. She asked if there was any way that Tiger could be made aware of Dillon’s love and support for the player, as well as Dillon’s story.