Tiger Woods is one of the world's most recognizable icons, and one of its most inscrutable. We have never known much of him, and the glimpses we saw weren't exactly portraits of a humble, charming man. Yet we've been watching him, transfixed, since he was a groundbreaking teenage champion, then a 20-something sporting legend and then a scandalized, broken man in his mid-30s. He has not always been the good guy in his own story. Not even close. And since he picked up a golf club as a toddler, he's never really been an underdog.
But when Woods won his 15th major championship at The Masters on Sunday at age 43—after a decade of public pain, both mental and physical—the entire world was watching. And most of them were cheering for him. Why? What does Tiger Woods' comeback—on the golf course, but also in the hearts of fans and observers—say about the stories we tell ourselves about people we'll never know?