Tiger Woods' historic comeback victory Sunday at the The Masters Tournament shows the enduring star - and earning - power of a player once dropped by many sponsors because of his problems on and off the golf course.
Francesco Molinari has vowed to learn from his Masters battle with Tiger Woods after missing out on a second major title at Augusta National. Perhaps no one aside from Woods himself stood to benefit from his redemption more than Nike.
Nike has likely had this commercial ready to send for the last several years, but it was worth the wait since it hits you right in the feels. "Just kept, as I said, just kept plodding along".
It's another thing entirely for a 43-year-old who has endured personal scandal and four surgeries on his back, including spinal fusion two years ago, to end a almost 11-year major championship drought by taking on and beating all challengers on the course he first conquered 22 years ago. "I am so inspired thank you buddy".
Woods fired a final-round two-under par 70 to finish on 13-under 275 for a one-shot victory to capture a $2.07 million (€1.82 million) top prize and the green jacket symbolizing Masters supremacy.
Nike quickly released an ad to celebrate Woods' 15th major championship win on Sunday. "I couldn't walk, I couldn't sit, I couldn't lay down, I really couldn't do much of anything", he told reporters. He's also three majors behind Nicklaus' record of 18.
He admits he struggled with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, driving and taking his kids to school, and is widely reported to have confided at the pre-Masters Champions Dinner a couple of years ago: "I'm done".
"But I did have my 30 seconds in the sun with the lead and it was a really cool feeling, and it just proves to my team and I that we can contend and that we can win on this property".
They're in the way of Tiger challenging Jack, potentially the biggest and most important story in the history of the game.
Tiger Woods said winning a drought-ending Masters title is something he will never forget.
"I did the same thing to my dad and now I'm the dad with my son doing the same thing", he reflected to CNN's Andy Scholes.
"You couldn't have had more drama than we all had out there", Woods said. I thought he was ready, raring to go to win a major again and it only took him two more tries.
Thomas, who like Fowler plays a lot of golf with Woods in the Jupiter, Fla., area, also said he expected Woods to rise again in majors. "But in my lifetime, I don't think I've seen a comeback like this".
Now, with Woods taking aim at Nicklaus again, with Bethpage Black hosting the PGA Championship next month and Pebble Beach hosting the U.S. Open in two months, all these young guys are reduced to something significantly less.