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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Woods’ biggest asset is mental

Tiger Woods blasts out of the pine straw on No. 11 during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on Sunday, April 11, 2010. (Gerry Melendez/The State/MCT)
Gerry Melendez
Tiger Woods blasts out of the pine straw on No. 11 during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on Sunday, April 11, 2010. (Gerry Melendez/The State/MCT)

Tiger Woods is the single greatest thing that has ever happened to the game of golf.

He came onto the scene at a time when the sport didn’t have a superstar and interest in the game was dwindling.

Woods proceeded to become the most dominant force golf had ever seen. Maybe even in all of sports. He emerged as the superstar the game desperately needed and put competitive golf back on the sporting radar.

Need an example of just how dominant he is?  Look no further than his fourth-place finish at The Masters.

He was on a five-month hiatus from competitive golf, and it’s considered a disappointment that he didn’t win.

If any other player accomplished what Tiger did this weekend, everyone would be singing his praises instead of asking what went wrong. Instead, Tiger is so dominant that anything other than a win is simply unacceptable to everybody, including himself.

The PGA Tour needs to be on high alert — Tiger is back, and he’s going to be stronger than ever.

Think his best days are behind him? Think again.

He was breaking decade-old records left and right while he was chasing skirts in every town; what is he going to do now that he’s focused on golf? He is going to start winning tournaments again, and a lot of them are not going to be close.

Tiger’s mental game has always been one of his top assets after losing his father, Earl Woods, to cancer in 2006. Tiger responded with a second-place tournament finish only three weeks later. He has an unparalleled ability to block out everything around him, evident at the circus that was this year’s Masters.

Physically, he might be in better golf-shape now than he has ever been. What do people think he’s been doing every day since he got out of sex rehab? He’s been playing golf, and a lot of it.

Time away from competitive play often affords atheltes an opportunity to break down their games and find weaknesses and areas on which to improve, as well as fine-tune aspects of their game that were already frighteningly precise.

In other words, the best golfer on the planet just got better.

The first round of The Masters, shown by ESPN, saw ratings jump 47 percent from last year’s tournament. Something tells me people weren’t tuning in to see K.J. Choi or Lee Westwood — two of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour.

They were watching the most dominant, awe-inspiring force in golf — Tiger Woods.

Tiger brings ratings, drama, money and, most importantly, he brings wins.

— Alex Williams is a pre-journalism sophomore.

He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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