Tiger Woods: Heart of a Champion

The SportmeistersAnalyst IJune 8, 2009

DUBLIN, OH - JUNE 07: Tiger Woods hits his second shot on the 15th hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament on June 7, 2009 at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

By Justin of The Sportmeisters

The long drives, miraculous birdies, tremendous come from behind wins, the Sunday Red, and the rabid animal-like intensity all make up the mystique of the one we call Tiger Woods.

Once again, Woods made his inevitable Sunday move to snatch another victory away from his peers in the Memorial Tournament.

The tournament was only Tiger’s second of the year. What made the Memorial victory so impressive is the fact that Woods hit every fairway in his final round, something that he had not done since 2003 at Bay Hill.

Tiger’s competitors have even admitted to being in awe of the master when playing along side of him.

What is it about Tiger that captivates even the casual golf fan?

You could say that it’s his charisma, his work ethic, or the results that he produces while in the midst of competition.

I will agree to all of the above and say it’s because he has the eye of the “Tiger” and the heart of a champion.

Every athlete wants to be known as the best in his or her sport because of the natural competitive spirit that goes along with being an athlete. Woods is undoubtedly making it harder for the next golf superstar to reach the world wide status he has received thus far in his career.

What catapulted Tiger Woods into the realm of Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, John Elway, and other iconic sports figures is his work ethic and his expectations to overcome any obstacle that may be in his way.

Tiger Woods is the perfect role model for any athlete no matter the sport. Woods is undeniably the hardest worker on the PGA tour. Not only does Tiger spend countless hours on the golf course perfecting his craft, but he also lifts weights as though he is getting ready for the NFL combine.

No matter the tournament or the course, Tiger expects to win. If you need evidence of Tiger’s heart look no further than last year’s U.S Open when he defeated Rocco Mediate on one leg.

With a torn ACL, he still had the determination and fortitude to will the ball in the hole time and time again in the 18 hole playoff. On that day Tiger did nothing but add to his already impressive résumé and made himself a true living legend.

However, Tiger’s ability to make extraordinary shots is a double edged sword.

We, the general public, have come to expect the unexpected from Mr. Woods. When he doesn’t exponentially surpass his peers the sports world is overrun with panic.

For example, there has been much discussion on Tiger’s inconsistency this year after coming off of reconstructive knee surgery. The topics of discussion were if Tiger was fully healed and if the face of the golf world could fully recuperate.

Tiger has spoiled us so much that even when he is behind by large margins he still has the most observers in any competition watching his every move as if, at any moment, he could turn his poor play around and mystify the entire world with yet another victory.

With Tiger Woods, we expect the unexpected to happen every tournament he plays in. And, come Sunday, it will once again be his name at the top of the leaderboard.

Failure casts shadows of doubt, and victory brings accolades from the highest mountain.

Will it change for Tiger?

Can too much winning be a problem?

As a former college athlete, I know what it’s like to reach the zone where no matter how much we’re down...when we step into the box, break the huddle, or even tee off...victory is certain.

As long as Tiger Woods has doubters, whether it be from his knee or a lost tournament, rest assured by the time Tiger’s career is over every record will be obliterated, and no golfer will ever be mentioned again without Tiger’s name coming into play.

This is all thanks to the heart, the desire, the work ethic, and the other intangibles that make a champion.