Breaking News:

Keep up with So Much Sports on Twitter @SoMuchSports

Recent struggles don’t diminish Tiger’s career

Tiger Woods is struggling so bad right now he's decided just to step away while he works on his game but he is still one of the all-time greats whether he makes a triumphant return or not.

Tiger Woods is struggling so bad right now he’s decided just to step away while he works on his game but he is still one of the all-time greats whether he makes a triumphant return or not.

By: Stephen Springer

If you’ve ever played golf you know how extremely difficult and frustrating it can be. You know that it takes every bit of concentration you have. Your focus has to be solely on hitting that little white ball at the exact angle, or you’re going to be searching for it. You also know that it’s a sport you can play and enjoy for a lifetime. It’s a sport that requires little to no athletic ability; if you can manage a decent swing, there is nothing stopping you from getting out and playing a round of golf.

We all remember what Tiger Woods used to be, winning Majors by 10-plus strokes. Sinking putts you only make in his video game. Making incredible chips that we could only dream making. From 1999 until his last Major in 2008, Eldrick “Tiger” Woods made golf look beyond easy. He also took it to a level it had never even come close to reaching. When you think of golf; you don’t picture guys like Tiger Woods. You don’t expect someone who looks like their built more for the NFL to play golf. When I think of golf; I picture someone who looks like my grandfather. Granted, there are more and more younger golfers coming onto the PGA Tour, but there can only be one Tiger Woods. And whether that’s good or bad right now, golf NEEDS him.

Since his U.S. Open in 2008, which seems like yesterday, Woods’ career and personal life looks like his shot, broken. Since 2009 Woods has been in 82 events with 14 wins, none of which were Majors, and 10 missed cuts. Prior to 2009, he had missed just 8 cuts. Many believe the former number one golfer in the world, he spent an astounding 683 total weeks as the world’s number one, is on the decline of his once seemingly never ending career of dominance. It’s easy to dismiss the great things an athlete did if they’ve made a mistake or have been on slump and not winning. Woods has been in that slump in recent years, and much like his back, it’s not getting any better. Woods withdrew from his most recent event, The Farmers Insurance Open after just 11 holes. If you watched any of the event, you grimaced with him, as every shot he hit looked more painful than the previous one. Is the end for Tiger? The PGA hopes not.

What Tiger Woods did before everything went aerie for him; you could make the argument that there wasn’t a more dominant athlete on the planet. It was Tiger or the field and how many strokes he would win by. It’s different in golf because it’s just one athlete versus everyone else, but in terms of winning, Tiger did it better than anyone. He would take shots that when he lined up for them you would think, “there is no way he is going to do this”, but time and time again he would do it. He amazed us with his long drives, his unfathomable approach shots, and his lengthy putts. Recently however, it seems that any shot he hits that isn’t a putt, he’s calling for it to go left or right, certainly a sad site.

Tiger Woods has had an impact on golf that reaches beyond just 18 holes, he made it ‘cool’ for African-Americans today to participate in the sport. Predominantly a white sport, Woods transformed the notion that golf was just that, a white sport. He was a fiery young Stanford grad with a fist pump as big as his drive. He brought galleries with him wherever he was on the course, people wanted to see the man they called Tiger. People knew that greatness was coming and they wanted to catch a glimpse. Nike jumped at the chance to sponsor this once in a lifetime talent, in 2000 they signed him to a 5-year, $105 million dollar contract. At the time it was the largest endorsement deal signed by an athlete. Needless to say that deal was game changer. Nike didn’t really have a golf department until Woods came along, and what a department it would become. His signature red Nike polo on Sunday’s became a staple of golf and the name Tiger Woods became not only a golf name, but also a global icon. It was just the beginning.

What makes an athlete great? Is it what they accomplish in their sport, the championships and wins? Is it what they do in the community, the charity foundations they open? Is it the ‘wow’ factor they bring every time we watch them? It’s all of the above.

In today’s age of sports, we are spoiled by some of the greatest athletes to ever live. We are spoiled by how high they can jump, how fast they can run, how strong they are, and how far they can throw a ball. It’s what fascinates us. There are certain athletes that when they aren’t playing at home, the stadium/area they’re at is sold out. People pay hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars, just to see this athlete. Tiger Woods had that effect on golf. No matter where the tournament was, there would be people there who weren’t golf fans just so they could say, “I saw Tiger Woods play”. We take for granted the greatness of some athletes because they don’t always perform to their level, but more importantly, the fans level. What Tiger Woods did during that stretch of time between 1999-2008 is something we may never see again and because of that very real possibility, we need to take a moment to sit back and watch what we have left.

The following two tabs change content below.

So Much Sports

So Much Sports is a Maryland Sports Website providing both news and commentary from everything from the Ravens to High School Sports in the State of Maryland.

Comments are closed.