Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tiger Woods and the Art of Winning
"I love winning. I just love getting out there and mixing it up with the guys here; they're trying to beat me and I'm trying to beat them. That's fun."
--Tiger Woods, responding to a question about his drive and motivation.
In December of 2007, Tiger Woods was asked about the potential of achieving the Grand Slam of golf, He felt that the Slam was "easily within reason."
As he was preparing for the 2008 Masters in April, he was asked if he had changed his opinion, and he quickly replied with a straight face, "Nope."
That intimidating and overwhelming confidence is what has set Tiger Woods apart from every other golfer of his generation.In 1997 Woods became the youngest player, at 21 to win the Masters. He won his second Masters in 2001. That victory gave him a victory in four consecutive majors. When he won again in 2002, Woods became only the third player in tournament history to defend his title (besides Nick Faldo in 1989-90 and Jack Nicklaus in 1965-1966). Woods won his fourth green jacket in 2005.Woods then added, "I mean the reason why I said that, you have to understand why I said that, because I've done it before; I've won all four in a row. The majority of my career, this is 12th or 13th season out here, and nine of those years I've won five or more tournaments. So just got to win the right four. That's what it boils down to."
Woods won the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship in 2000 after finishing fifth at the Masters, then followed with a Masters victory in 2001. A year later, he won the Masters and U.S. Open -- the first player since Jack Nicklaus in 1972 to do so. This streak fueled Grand Slam talk, which was ended suddenly when Woods shot 81 during the third round of the 2002 British Open.After a two-season period without a major win, Woods has won five of the past 12. Over the past nine months he has had nine victories in 11 worldwide starts going back to the British Open.
"You have to have a lot of things come together in order to win a championship and more so major championships," Woods said. "One break where you hit a tree and it goes out of play and didn't come back in or it happens to catch the right slope or catches the right gust of winds %u2026 all of these little factors that come in just one time is the difference between winning and losing. You ask the players and the caddies, they are the only ones who really understand the difference between winning and losing, how fine that is.""That's what makes this game so great is that you have to find a way."
excerpts from espn.com (April 9, 2008)
"I think that for what Tiger's done all the players should be grateful to him because of what he's doing. It's a global sport; there are more tournaments and more prize money to play for. And he's set some standards for the other players to look at. You've got to work hard, you've got to do mental training and you've got to practice. It's a full package and he does that."-
-Jeev Milkha Singh, a PGA professional golfer from India.