Opinion: Tiger Woods winning the 2019 Masters is better than Jack Nicklaus' 1986 title

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

Opinion: Tiger Woods winning the 2019 Masters is better than Jack Nicklaus' 1986 title

Masters

Opinion: Tiger Woods winning the 2019 Masters is better than Jack Nicklaus' 1986 title

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Paul Daugherty is a columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer. This piece is part of his Morning Line

I know Tiger’s triumph is a couple days old. But for golf weirdos, it’ll never get old. Driving back from the scene of the shine Monday, I had lots of time to think if Tiger’s 2019 Masters win was as good or better than Jack’s in ’86, heretofore the best thing I’d ever witnessed as a sports hack.

Here are the pros and cons:

Pros: Tiger beat a better field. Nicklaus dueled Greg Norman and Tom Kite. The former was a choker at Augusta. The latter was a blue-collar plugger who wouldn’t win a major until the U.S. Open six years later. Woods held back much of the world top 20.

Tiger had eight surgeries, four on his back. Two years ago, he could barely walk.

Tiger had to rebuild his life and his career, in that order.

Cons: Nicklaus was 46, 3 years older than Tiger. Medicine wasn’t as advanced back then. Forty-six is still old to win a major, but not as old as it was in ’86.

The Eternal Jack’s W was my favorite work highlight for 33 years. Until last weekend.

Now and forever (assuming Woods doesn’t top himself), when someone asks me what’s the best event I’ve ever covered, it will be Woods at the Masters in 2019. It had everything you could possibly want: Incredible drama, legitimate emotion, against-big-odds achievement. All occurring in the best theater in sports. When we think about perfect settings for lifetime sports memories, where is better than Augusta National Golf Club in early spring?

Humanity and human excellence, on full display.

I’ve covered at least 10 World Series. I was there when Gibson took Eckersley deep on one leg and when Eric Davis did the same with Dave Stewart (with two legs). Off the top of my head, I’ve witnessed 15 Super Bowls, including Montana-to-Taylor. Five Summer Olympics, 20 or so US Opens and about as many Final 4s. No moment in any of those was as singular as what I witnessed Sunday.

Best moment ever.

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