Successful behavior creates true confidence. You can't truly and fully manufacture confidence. In the end, you have to demonstrate success. Tiger Woods struggled for 30 months to get his mojo back. He has finally done it by winning a golf tournament. It wasn't a major, but he proved he could win a tournament. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in convincing fashion and has shown he can be a major force again in professional golf. With the Masters coming up, his win could not have come at a better time. This was the last step in Tiger again being Tiger. He proved it to himself and he has now proven to his competitors as well as his critics.
"He was a man on a mission today. He was pretty jacked up. He was out there to prove himself.""It's not like winning a major championship or anything," Woods said. "But it certainly feels really good."
--Joe LaCava, Tiger Woods' caddie, after Woods' win on Sunday.
"I've gotten better, and that's the main thing," Woods said. "I've been close for a number of tournaments now. And it was just a matter of staying the course and staying patient, keep working on fine-tuning what we're doing. And here we are."
Woods may downplay the significance, but this was a big win. The anticipation is palpable and his opponents should fear him again.
"I am excited, no doubt," Woods said. "I'm looking forward to the momentum I've built here."
"One win doesn't mean you're back, back," LaCava said. "He beat the field by 5 and played great obviously. Is he back? I'd say yes, he's back. Who knows what he is going to do down the road, win 10 tournaments, whatever. I think those days … it's pretty hard with the depth on tour. But he's definitely back."
Which, of course, leads to talk about the old days. Is it even fair to judge Woods by his past, to expect that level of greatness?
LaCava said "he thinks he's going to win every tournament," which has been the Woods mantra from day one.
Tiger Woods is back and ready to keep winning. How did he get his confidence back? By winning.
Excerpts from ESPN.com (March 26, 2012).