We have seen this before—Tiger standing on 18 holding a trophy—but the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines may have just been his best performance yet.
It was not supposed to end like that.
He winced in pain with every shot during the week, he had four three-putts and four double bogeys, and it seemed he could not find his game.
It took a birdie on Sunday to force an 18-hole playoff with Rocco Mediate, but at 45, he was and unlikely challenger. However, he pushed Tiger to 91 holes.
With a knee that he later explained, "hurt more than he thought", Tiger captured his 14th career major and maybe the most amazing of them all.
"This is probably the greatest tournament I've ever had," Woods said.
Mediate had his chances on the verge of one of golf's greatest upsets—he missed a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win, and he put his tee shot in the bunker at No. 7.
"Obviously, I would have loved to win," Mediate said. "I don't know what else to say. They wanted a show, they got one."
Rocco won over the crowd at Torrey Pines with his gutsy play and sound bites.
He overcame a three shot deficit to take the lead with three holes to play, "I never quit. I never quit," Mediate said. "I've been beaten down a few times and came back, and I got what I wanted. I got a chance to beat the best player in the world. And, I came up just a touch short."
Tiger Woods showed why he is the best player in the world, even when wounded, we are fortunate to watch such a great athlete play at the top of his game, and bring us moments like a 30 on the back nine Friday, two eagles and a chip-in birdie on Saturday to take the lead, and a 12-foot birdie with the final stroke of regulation to force the playoff.
This was Wood's 65th career victory, passing Ben Hogan for third all-time. He raised his playoff record to 15-2 and made it 14-of-14 in majors when he had at least a share of the lead going into the final round.
He is now only FOUR majors away from Jack.
When asked about his status for the British Open in July, Woods said, "I'm going to shut it down for a while."
At 34, Woods continues to amaze us. He has rewritten all golf records, and showed us on Monday at Torrey Pines Woods with a bummed knee why he is never out.