Should Tiger Woods Visit Urban Meyer Next Year at Muirfield?
Urban Meyer knows a thing or two about winning championships, and he happens to live on a golf course that Tiger Woods visits every year. In only six years at University of Florida, Meyer won two BCS National Championships and lost an SEC title to an eventual national champion, Alabama. So any time Meyer speaks on what it takes to win it all, sports entities must take note.
Many people are predicting Meyer will have similar success at Ohio State. I for one will go on record predicting Ohio State will play Alabama for the 2013 national title, likely the last of the BCS era. Why? Meyer knows the inner intangibles needed to win.
After Meyer revealed Ohio State’s two-deep roster, Bill Livingston of Cleveland's Plain Dealer wrote, “Meyer said talent can win seven or eight games, discipline can take a team to nine, but the 'rings' and 'magic' come down to leadership.”
But football is a team game, so this quote would not have a one-to-one application to an individual sport like golf. But maybe we can take Meyer’s quote and derive it. Instead of “leadership,” maybe we can substitute “inner intangible(s)” or “intangible mental inner fortitude” or the commonly used phrase “mental toughness.”
There was no doubt that Tiger possessed this inner intangible early on his career.
Even before he began winning green jackets at Augusta and challenging Jack for most majors, Woods displayed this "inner intangible" while competing for his third U.S. Amateur title. Woods was down two strokes to Steve Scott in the final three holes. Woods birdied 16 and 17 to force a playoff, where he won after two holes to become the only person to win the U.S. Amateur three times.
Since 1996, Woods has given golf fans many magical moments. But ever since his public implosion in November of 2009, Woods has been a different player. This past U.S. Open Championship was a prime example of a player who still has a lot of talent and discipline but has lost the "inner intangible" that once made him great.
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Heading into the weekend tied for the lead, Woods finished the tournament tied for 21st place, losing eight strokes in his final two rounds. Here are Woods' comments as told by ESPN’s Bob Harig:
"There's a lot of positives this week," said Woods, who finished with a 7-over total. "Hit the ball really well. Unfortunately I just didn't have the speed of the greens until today.
"But overall, the way I struck the golf ball, the way I controlled it all week is something that's very positive going forward, and if I just would have just hung in there little bit better (Saturday) and missed it on the correct side a couple times then I would have been in a better position going into today."
Would the old Tiger Woods have been so kind to himself after losing the lead and dropping eight strokes in 36 holes? Would the old Tiger Woods even drop from first to 21st in two rounds of a major championship? Woods has gone on record to state that major championships are his focus.
Here are Urban Meyer’s comments after Florida lost in 2009 to Alabama in the SEC championship game. Though there are some similarities, Meyer’s tone is noticeably different; could that shed light on Tiger’s “inner intangibles"?
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Meyer knows that talent and discipline can net success but not national championships. In everything I have read and heard of Meyer’s time in the Buckeye State, it is clear he is focused on winning it all. And he knows how, too.
After losing to Alabama, Meyer did not makes excuses; he stated areas where his team fell short and seemed to already know how to correct them. His Florida team went on to destroy a Cincinnati team that almost was playing for a national title itself. Meyer is a champion.
Tiger is no doubt a champion, too, but with these last three years, people doubt whether he will achieve the greatness many thought he was destined for. Until he surpasses Jack’s 18 major titles, he will always be known as the best that never was, something that Meyer will not be.
Next time Tiger comes to Ohio for Jack’s tournament, he needs to stop by Urban Meyer’s house for coffee and conversation. Maybe Meyer can bring out the champion that many believe is still inside Tiger. I am positive Meyer will bring out the champion in his team, and Ohio State will win national championships. He is a winner who still has the inner intangibles.
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