Monday, February 06, 2006

Tiger Woods: Sustained excellence.


Lost in the aura that was Super Bowl weekend, one Eldrick “Tiger” Woods went to 2-0 in 2006 PGA tournaments (both victories having come in a playoff). With his triumph over Ernie Els in the extra session of the Dubai Desert Classic, Tiger moved his overall record to 13-1 in playoffs.

Talk all you want about his superb tee shots, his precise chipping or his putting accuracy. The man shows grit and determination when victory is within his grasp. You can almost sense the spirit-crushing effect suffered by the other golfers if Tiger is within a shot or two of the lead in the final round.

That said, it’s amazing the “high bar” Tiger has set. If he goes an entire season without winning one of the four majors (Masters, British Open, US Open, and the PGA Championship), the theories come fast and furious from detractors and fans alike, as if Woods is in some sort of slump.

He should have never changed to that Nike driver.

Marriage has become a distraction.

When you’re already worth hundreds of millions of dollars, where’s the incentive?


The truth is, we’re so quick to give iconic status to some athletes when they hit a hot streak that we forget there are some human tendencies.

The fact of the matter is Tiger did more before 30 years of age (he hit the big 3-0 on December 30) than any golfer in PGA history.

Consider:

-One of only two golfers in history to win each of the four majors at least twice (Jack Nicklaus is the only other to do so).

-Is already in 3rd place in the category of “Most Major Championships” with 10 (Nicklaus has the most, with 18).

-Most PGA tour wins (24) before the age of 25.

-Most PGA tour wins (46) before the age of 30.

-Holds or shares the lowest 72-hole score in each of the four major championships.


Tiger Woods has been the most dominant player in his sport while in his 20s.

He’s off to a great start in his 30s!

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