CultureThursday 04.07.22

Tiger Woods’ First Masters Win, 25 Years Later

Twenty-five years ago, on April 13th, 1997, a 21-year-old Tiger Woods thrilled the sports world and claimed golf’s greatest prize: the Masters Tournament. He became the sport’s youngest major champion ever, and the first player of Asian or African heritage to win one as well.

Woods absolutely annihilated the field. His 12-stroke margin of victory was the greatest in a major tournament in the 20th century, and second only to Thomas Mitchell Morris’ 13-shot win in the 1862 British Open. Woods’ score of 18-under par 270 also broke Jack Nicklaus’ 32-year-old Masters record of 271.

But what might be the most amazing statistic of all is that 44 million people tuned in to watch the tournament’s final round. “Tigermania” was born.

Looking back on that amazing time in 1997, LZ is struck by how rarely we’ve seen an athlete capture the media like Tiger did. He and LZ talk about whether, if Woods’ breakthrough moment happened today, it would be covered any differently.

The Long Game