The incredible true story of Tiger Woods’s dramatic return to glory at the 2019 Masters following his humbling and very public personal, physical, and professional setbacks.
One publicly imploded marriage. Two car accidents. Eight surgeries. And now, a miracle of hard work and storied talent: five Masters wins. Once hailed as “the greatest closer in history” before he fell further than any beloved athlete in America’s memory, Tiger swung at the world’s wildest expectations and beat the skeptics with his April 2019 championship. Roaring Back traces his road to Augusta and the improbable, phenomenal comeback of one of the greatest golfers in history.
New York Times bestselling author Curt Sampson details the highs and lows of Woods’s career in three gripping acts. From his startling loss at the 2009 PGA Championship, detrimental obsession with his swing, and that infamous night involving an ex-wife and a nine-iron…to adoring fans and lucrative sponsors turning their backs, exclusive interviews with past instructors and PGA tour peers, and an arrest complete with a toxicology report…finally to Tiger coming from behind for his fifth green jacket as the crowd rumbled in Georgia, and how his comeback rivals those of the most dramatic in his sport.
Sampson also places Woods’s defeats and triumphs in the context of historic comebacks by other notable golfers like Ben Hogan, Skip Alexander, Aaron Silton, and Charlie Beljan, finding the forty-three-year-old alone on the green for his trajectory of victory against all odds. As this enthralling book reveals, Tiger never doubted the perseverance of the winner in the mirror.
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as October 31st 2019 if you haven’t yet please subscribe and all our channels YouTube periscope and night scenes for the latest and greatest in sports today we have a special guest we don’t usually interview authors but this is our first interview with an author a sports author and his name is Kurt Sampson he’s reason he’s written a book about it’s called rolling back the fall and rise of Tiger Woods and of course a lot of our viewers and listeners are huge fans of Tiger Woods but Kurt Sampson welcome back to the sports guys oh it’s a pleasure to be again thank you no problem so Kurt obviously you’ve written some New York Times bestsellers and everything else but I Keith tells a little bit about yourself well I’m about golf pro basically mmm let me see if I give you danced bio after I failed as a club and touring professional I sold widgets for a little less than a decade but I’ve been a full-time freelance writer for 30 years now roaring back the Fallen rise of Tiger Woods is my 18th book yes and what other books have you written about besides wood Tiger Woods well my biography of Ben Hogan entitled Hogan a very daring title that that has done really well it was a best-seller did oh my book of bastards with another crazy title the Masters also a success for me but more on point this book the current one roaring back is my second Tiger Woods book in 2001 a tiger book entitled chasing tiger wasn’t a very satisfactory chase for me in that subject of the book after agreeing to full cooperation decided to give me zero cooperation so that’s my birth my attitude toward tiger a little bit at least I’m upfront about it nukkie gives a brief synopsis about what the book what the book is all about it’s more or less instant nostalgia people were so excited about Tigers went at Augusta in April the broadcast broke all kinds of TV ratings records there’s such an outpouring of support and emotion for for Tiger after this comeback when that is recreation of the events leading up to that that crazy Sunday that’s the that’s the heart of the book but maybe it has a couple of hearts I compared Tigers come back from all his various troubles to other great comebacks in golf some you will have heard of such as Ben Hogan’s recovery from being crushed in a car accident in which a Greyhound bus flattened him and some you haven’t for example skip Alexander was a very good golf pro and from seventy years ago a Ryder Cup player who in the midst of a second Ryder Cup campaign that is regular season in which he would qualify for the team was in a light plane crash in which the other three passengers died and he was burned over 70% of his body how this guy came back to play in the next Ryder Cup is an amazing story I think people are going to enjoy reading about that yeah you know obviously I’ve been following Tiger Woods here and there for the past couple years and I and I would have to say had a Oh like couple few instances in the past would you say that this is one of the greatest comebacks if you could say comeback is like the right word of any sports star you’ve ever seen you know it I would say short simple answer yes it wasn’t like Hogan’s come back from broken bones and internal bleeding or skip alexander from burns or dave Didrikson Zaharias from cancer Tigers comeback had a different flavor and I’m not really referring to the surgeries or the DUI but mostly to how the guy after his let’s call it the revelations of misconduct during his marriage it was an absolute laughingstock I’m sure you remember every late-night comedian was leading off the the monologue with well we see Tiger has another mistress what’s that 15 you know on and on if you’ve ever been ridiculed or made fun over laughed at you know how debilitating that can be and yet Tiger he has some some reserves that are just incredible to me he never lost focus he always saw a golf champion in the mirror and the the the jeering and laughter seems to have just rolled off his back it’s extraordinary now obviously he won the Masters back in April before then were you able to foreshadow maybe a couple months before maybe a year before that you think he’ll reach to that comeback moment you know I should have I didn’t Tiger after a long victory drought won the Tour Championship in Atlanta in November of 2018 and I thought surely this is the the guy had had his a couple of vertebra and his lower back fused together after all and a pretty serious operation but he played great there at Eastlake and won incidentally or not not incidentally winning back a lot of hearts and minds with the aftermath of his win in which there were lots of hugs by the 18th green with with his with his kids and his girlfriend so I maybe I should have seen it coming other people did I didn’t I was just amazed at how well he played and it must be said how lucky he was to win yeah for sure I think a lot of people were waiting for that moment cuz you know you saw spurts of of him you know doing well at a certain tournament but not winning it you know how big was this for her and like to win the Masters I mean do you think he was I in this tournament for a long time just to win oh it certainly that the majors generally and the Masters in particular our points of focus for for Tiger it’s it’s the tournament he could he could win again I counted up the number of competitive rounds he’s had there it’s 86 now that is a lot of times to be under the gun on a golf course I’m not counting practice rounds and casual rounds here so this guy knows the golf course better I think better than any competitor in the field I I don’t think anyone else has played this event more than Tiger and course knowledge is very important there to know you know how a north wind effects a putts on the back right of the second green for example or the subtle breaks on the 17th green or where to position your tee ball with various winds and so on Tigers got a real advantage there and as he ages and loses a bit of flexibility and distance off the tee which is inevitable I think he’s still going to be competitive at Augusta National how many more years you think I know he’s only 43 but how long can he stretch all 44 yeah he’ll be 44 in December I’m sorry I interrupt it’s okay how much I mean obviously he’s still young I guess in like the golf world and we see Jack Nicholson compete at a very older age how much do you think he can stretch his career I know he has a bad back but how much longer do you think he can last in golf you know I my answer two weeks ago would be different two weeks ago I would have said this may have been his last hurrah that this was the the final you know victory of his career but then darned if he didn’t win in Japan last weekend so Jesus every time I think I know what I’m saying regarding a prediction about Tiger I’m wrong certainly that his competitive fires still burning bright eye it’s Justin no one is exempt from the aging process he’s up to nine surgeries now and this last one was know that he’s had a knee surgery but the big one the the back surgery it was so serious and so likely to reduce his flexibility as I said arthritis is in his future for sure what’s up a work end dodging the question oh it’s okay no it’s okay because you know like it’s like you were saying you know he’s full of surprises you know he’s in golf especially in golf because other sports like basketball you can only play to like your mid late thirties and football like the very same thing most sports are like that but golf is so unpredictable that you know you could take a year off you know you could think you’re off emplacing like rest of your life yeah I don’t know – you’re a golfer Brett you our times when the Angels decide to sit on your shoulders and you can do no wrong your tea balls find the fairway your second shots find the green the hole gets in the way of your golf ball it can happen that was more or less the scenario when Nicklaus won the Masters at age 46 that was a quite a bit from out of nowhere his form had been there he was he was getting old but like Tiger he was one of these you know longtime competitors in the event who knew the courts very well knew how to control his emotions with each every day no matter what the circumstance I you know in Tiger so exciting I hope he’s competitive for years to come now you’ve told me that you wrote written two books about Tiger right already yeah the second one he tell the audience was the difference between like the first one and this one I’m sorry Santiago I say that again yeah he told the audience what will they find on the first book and what I yeah my first book on tiger called chasing tiger devolved as I said the promise cooperation didn’t in the end happen I was looking forward to asking him about the role of Buddhism and the Baptist Church in his childhood detail the insider questions like that I didn’t get a chance to ask those the first book was wound up being a lot about the other people in the chase of Tiger he was back then he was so light years beyond the other players winning a US Open by 12th shots for example just crazy stuff fast forward 17 years 2 or 18 years I guess to this book Tiger has changed his fans have changed and he’s not the dominant player he used to be still very good but you know I can name a bunch of guys in their 20s or early 30s who are his equal on any given day back then when Tiger mania was knew he’d attracted the least knowledgeable now let’s put it another way he attracted people who weren’t really golf fans they didn’t care very much about golf but they cared a lot about tiger I think the his fans now maybe a little more hip to the game and the other players and appreciate the sport I don’t see I think his his fanbase is matured a bit that’s a theory but you know based upon some observation of Tiger through the years yeah definitely I think you know like you were saying about his work I think you know it’s quite different have you ever seen a another golfer like Tiger like the past in terms of in terms of the how hard he works yeah there’s been a couple of guys just insane ball beaters the one that comes to mind immediately is Vijay Singh I don’t remember if I don’t know if you remember Vijay Vijay just lived to hit golf balls his caddies had the had the longest days out there at the same time Vijay was very much a workout person always with the largest entourage on the PGA Tour with a physiotherapist a nutrition person some I think maybe a masseuse as well as his wife and kids other note practicers were Tom Kyte lee trevino just love to stay on the on the practice tee but Tiger takes it to a slightly different level I think in that he’s such a determined workout guy at least up until this the back surgery he a morning workout before getting started with the golf practice was you know standard for him and one at the end of the day with I don’t know if I can’t quite remember if it was before dinner or after lots of weight training he likes heavy weights and a few repetitions with heavy weights versus the normal wisdom of lighter weights and lots of reps yeah Tigers it’s a almost a religion for him the the practice and the workout in your book where would you rate Tiger is in your top greatest golfers of all time top five like how it would you rate them certainly top five it’s a it’s a curious it’s a you know you know the Santiago it like trading baseball players at different eras or basketball players I’ll say this a guy who doesn’t get mentioned in the top five with Nicolas Hogan and Tiger and Bobby Jones is Walter Hagen heyday was in the 1920s recall that the Masters didn’t start the first one was not until 1932 so the Masters wasn’t a big deal for this man Walter Hagen what was the big tournament back then was the Western open it was the equivalent of a major Walter won that a number of times which if you counted as a major would give him 16 which is one more than tiger and only two fewer than Jack Nicklaus so it’s a I don’t know if I’ve answered your question specifically that’s good yeah those those five guys are in my top slides and I’m probably wrong it’s it’s a topic we could talk about when we have a beer between us or a couple of them exactly you know is interesting you know when I saw him winning that win a night the Masters back in April it reminded me of Michael Jordan coming back in 1996 winning that championship against the Sonics you know where he retired for just for two years yes it had a same vibe that’s interesting yeah I was all over that event to the other sport I write about or have been published in as pro basketball one year I embedded with the SuperSonics team this actually was the year before they won or got to the finals against the Bulls that was very involving for me since I had gotten to know Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp and of course the coach George Karl so to see Michael come back that way you know I have to admit I was pulling against him but was incredible to see an aging athlete perform to that level yeah definitely you know to see those athletes come backs and and everything was so emotional and and to be honest I can’t even think of anyone else but Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods I mean I have to go back into like the history books a little bit you know since we’re talking about God a guy that you could put in that same sentence as Ben Hogan on his comeback tournaments after he had had such a severe car crash that really got to people that got you know an apple in the throat and tear in the eye of the people who who witnessed that you know the guy whose determination was such that he was going to he people wouldn’t say die it was so that those three are you are correct our things never to be forgotten exactly um are you currently working on any new books or have any ideas down like a near future that you’ll be releasing I don’t have other than finishing up on a neglected novel my first fiction I’m determined to get that thing out there I’m toying with other ideas what would you think about a phil mickleson biography would that have any interest for you absolutely you see he’s one of the greatest yeah and that hasn’t been done yet and really kind of like to have it his cooperation but if I didn’t get it I could still write the book because I’ve done it before just Tiger because Tiger doesn’t cooperate with me yes I mean I don’t know or heard of anyone that is very close to Tiger I know he’s very private for like the most part but you know most most famous people are so Kurt how can people buy your book it’s on the usual places for book purchase such as Barnes and noble.com and Amazon and it’s the perfect gift for Christmas Santiago I’m sure you’d agree yes it is and you know for any sports fans out there that love golf of course and like Tiger this is a good book just to get yourself motivated you know and I just engulf you know some people that need motivation in life or maybe in work or business or impersonal Tiger is a very good example where you’re like hit rock bottom practically and then come back and win something it’s a it’s a it’s a very good redemption story he’s in that way totally admirable yes my utmost respect in that in that sense and like is there a way for the audience to reach you online house like the best way decades sure I’ve got a website called Kurt Sampson Co not dot-com but dot Co and I’m on Facebook easy to easy enough to find me and you can find the book on the description of the podcast you could be below and you can click on the link and there you’re able to buy the book and read about Tiger perfect time for Christmas just that’s like career was saying and yeah rolling back the phone rights of Tiger Woods a very motivational book of course and just see how a great athlete is human just like both of us we all have our falls but we also have the opportunity of just coming back and making things happen well Kurt I appreciate you coming on to the sports cast it was fun thanks a million for having me
Santiago Leon is the Founder and CEO of the Sports Cast. He covers almost every sport: NFL, NBA, and world soccer. He’s also founder of sleon productions, which he specializes in technology and serves clients with solutions to make their business grow.