It's important to distinguish the difference between Tiger Woods' fiery demeanor and his focus.
After Tiger's disappointing finish at the Masters, the world is abuzz about him kicking his club in frustration on the 16th hole in the second round. People are saying he lost his self-control, and that is why his game fell apart.
In reality, Tiger has always been like this. He's always been a fiery player, bubbling with emotion. Tiger has always worn his emotions on his sleeve.
But, the difference is, the Tiger of yore could follow up his displays of emotion with an iron shot from the rough that would drop next to the hole. He could be seething leading up to his next shot, then focus on that one shot and hit a beauty. His focus on that one shot erased everything before.
In that sense, while Tiger's club-punt was among one of his worst outbursts on the links, we should not be saying he needs to be calm and cool and peaceful at any time before or after his shots. Because, frankly, he's never been that kind of golfer.
He is not Phil Mickelson, folks. He's extremely competitive, and a poor shot can sometimes seem like the end of the world to him.
In the past, Tiger's fiery demeanor worked and nobody questioned it. The difference is, he's not making shots now, and it's his focus before each shot that has come unraveled.
But Tiger will never be a serene golfer who does yoga on the course before each round. That's not who he is, and denying his fierce mentality is actually denying the same mentality that helped him win 14 major championships and four green jackets.
After the third round at Augusta, Padraig Harrington said, via Masters.com:
“It's not the player that plays the most consistent that wins at the Masters. The player who plays probably some of the most exciting golf wins at the Masters."
This used to be Tiger. He was not always the most consistent golfer, but he could play the most exciting and brilliant golf in the final round and end up winning a major. He would hit a drive into Nowhere Land and back it up with one of the most incredible shots you'd ever seen.
Tiger's intensity and demeanor on the golf course is what made him a legendary golfer. I'm not saying he should continue kicking his clubs, but to say his emotions have bubbled over too much for him to be effective is not understanding who he is. The only thing that needs changing is his focus right before he swings his club.
Follow me on Twitter. We can talk about Tiger Woods together.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!