Why Tiger Woods will be No. 1 in the world by the Masters
The game of golf to the casual observer may seem little more than a bunch of rich guys strolling around their overly manicured lawns. Occasionally they stop, wiggle their sticks too many times, smack a tiny white ball with varying degrees of accuracy and continue on their way.
The truth is, for many golfers this actually is reality. No amount of athletic experience or prowess can prepare a person for the game of golf. There is not much advantage to be gained by lifting weights, injecting steroids or even being born with superior size and strength like all our other major past-times. It's all mental.
Let us briefly examine the rise and fall of Eldrick Tiger Woods.
Everyone that follows golf or really sports in general remembers the meteoric rise of the prodigy child star. He hit the ball farther than anyone, chipped and putted as well as the rest of them and he NEVER missed in the clutch. If Tiger Woods was leading when he donned the now infamous Sunday red the tournament might as well have ended on Saturday.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving of 2009 when the bomb dropped that the fastidious and pure champion of the links was no more than a womanizing egomaniac. Or rather he was simply human. In the midst of a colossal media storm that followed golf fans watched in awe while the mighty king of swing tumbled from contention and then from the No. 1 spot on the money list and in the world golf rankings.
Endorsements were stricken from the record, a nasty divorce was finalized and Tiger began to fade from golf's spotlight leaving a massive void at the top. Imagine if the NY Yankees had suddenly disbanded when George Steinbrenner passed on. Even the sport itself faltered.
Come 2012, in the finally settling dust of celebrity Armageddon; golf, the world and Tiger began to move on. Having re-hauled his game and lifestyle Woods seemed to have turned a corner. It was a roller coaster year for the former No. 1 but he calmly took it all in stride. After notching his third win of 2012 at the AT&T National Tiger, in one of his more memorable press conference moments, reminded the press exactly who they were dealing with.
"I remember there was a time whenpeople were saying I could never win again. That was what, six monthsago? Here we are."
Maybe Paul Azinger was right when he was told Golf World that there might just be too much going on in Tiger's head. Not that anyone could blame him for being caught up in mental turmoil but maybe all Tiger Woods needed was to quiet his mind and let years of muscle memory take over.
It remains to be seen whether Tiger Woods is truly back on top but after opening the 2013 with a convincing eighth victory at Torrey Pines who would really doubt it?