Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tiger's resolve

resolve (v): To cause (a person) to reach a decision.

I received my Sports Illustrated's annual Ryder Cup issue last night. The cover photo of Tiger Woods will go down as one of the greatest close-up photos in SI's (and Tigers) incredible photogenically-cataloged history.
The photo, has Tiger looking directly into the camera, with his Ryder Cup hat pulled tight on his head, soggy from the rains during his practice round. You can see in his eyes what countless runners-ups have seen, and you really can feel his resolve.

His resolve is: "get outta my way"

What got him to this point? Well, the media-jocks are all full of opinions that keep the masses clamoring for anything written or shown about him.

But I think it's something deeper than that.

Something very profound was mentioned a long time ago by another one of the greatest golfers that ever played the game: Jack Nicklaus.
About 3 or 4 years ago, Jack was questioned whether or not Tiger would break his Majors record, and if so, what it would take for him to surpass The Golden Bear: Jack said (in so many words); Yes, Tiger will break my records one day, and what it will take, is for someone (as in life-partner) to share his victories with. The ultimate reward is to be able to come home and share your life with someone. Once Tiger realizes this, he will find a new resolution.

Think about it. Up until this year he has been playing for a paternal bond. Driven by the need to satisfy his Dad, thus leaving him a legacy.....for Earl, not Tiger. But what happens after his Dad died? Sure Tiger has his wonderful charities and friends to fall back on....but charities have boardrooms packed with stiff-shirted accountants and lawyers that cross t's and dot i's....and friends can only offer so much support and encouragement....neither help you make that 16-foot birdie putt to waste another opponent. I believe in the past Tiger was grinding for his Dad, not his charities or friends. What Tiger needed was a supporter to fill the huge void that Earl has left....enter a life-partner.

Enter Elin.

This year, post Earl, Tiger has become the greatest golfer to ever pay the game. It wasn't extra practice sessions, nor was it changing swing coaches. It wasn't new equipment or his fitness routine. It was a combination of life-changing events over the last year-and-a-half (marriage and death) that has created a new resolve in Tigers life.

It is this resolve that Jack was talking about, and it is a very similar situation because Jack had his Dad Charlie to goad him on. Only after Charlie Nicklaus's death, did Jack start making a legacy for himself and his life-partner Barbara.

It was as if Jack resolved and flipped a get outta my way switch...and his opponents paid the price. Now we have Tiger flipping that same switch, and we are just now seeing the results.

Memo to Ryder Cup opponents: "get outta my way".

Thanks for reading. Keep it in the short-grass,



Anonymous said...

I am always amazed at what Tiger does and can do. I do think Elin has spurred him on to be the best he can be (which is the best!) but I also think it's in him. If he was not married when his father died I still think we would have seen him come back after faltering. Winning is born into Tiger and anything less is unacceptable to him!

The Golfer: The Golfer

MyDailySlice said...

Right you are Sharice! He loves competition.

Thanks for reading,