In 2003 and 2004, the majority of the Golfing World got its wish as Tiger’s dominance ended. There were no Majors in these two years and neither did Tiger top the money list. Although he remained competitive enough winning 5 titles in 2003 and another 1 in 2004 but eventually Vijay Singh grabbed the number 1 position from him in 2004 ending an astonishing run of 264 weeks at the top that Tiger had enjoyed. The reasons behind Tiger’s drop in form were vastly speculated. These ranged from a drop in motivation to a drop in concentration when he started a family to issues with his coach. For Tiger, the reason was clear, he was undergoing major swing changes in his game. His old swing had started taking a toll on his body, especially on his surgically operated left knee.
New coach Hank Haney changed Tiger’s swing to a flatter one and Tiger was ready to start his resurgence equipped with a new swing and new equipment. 2005 started off on a familiar note as Tiger won the Buick International and the Ford Championships before heading into the Masters. Tiger was aiming to become the joint second place owner of the player with maximum wins at Augusta with title number 4 (along with Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus had 6).
Tiger struggled on Day 1 as he was 2 over par, he bounced back with a 6 under par on Day 2 to grab 2nd in the standings, a 65 on day 3 meant that Tiger found himself in a familiar position on the top of the leaderboard. A 71 on day 4 meant that Chris DiMarco was able to tie with Tiger at the top of the standings forcing a playoff. Tiger won the playoff to end a 10 major drought. A hard fought victory has proved all his doubters wrong who had labelled that a domesticated Tiger didn’t feel the need to win any more majors.
This was not to be Tiger’s only major win of the year. Major Number 10 was secured at the 2005 Open Championships from Scotland where he was on the top of the leaderboard for all four days. A score of 274 for 14 under par meant that Tiger had a comfortable 5 stroke victory over Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie. The win meant that Tiger had completed his second Career Grand Slam, or won all the 4 majors two times. What made it special for the 29-year-old was the fact that his first Career Grand Slam was also completed at the British Open. Only Jack Nicklaus had completed the career Grand Slam twice prior to Tiger.
Tiger also strengthened his grip on the top of the PGA Standings which he had regained from Vijay Singh. He would end the year at the same spot and would finish the year with 6 wins on the Tour meaning that he once again was on top of the world. The usual laurels followed PGA Player of the Year, Tour Player of the Year, Top of the money standings and lowest average on the circuit.
The Tiger was truly back on top of the Golfing circuit and much more was to come.