Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Recognized Territory

Let me begin by saying that golf is hands down the most difficult sport for one to achieve greatness in. The old cliche "you just have to beat the course" is completely untrue. You have to beat a field of 70 other guys(granted you make it that far). Before 08' the chances were that one of those 70 guys, was Tiger Woods. If you were playing in an event, especially a major, and were close to or held a share of the lead after 54 holes, chances are the man in the red shirt was in your group. If he wasn't, you knew exactly where he was and exactly how close he was to you, or how far he was distancing himself from you. If you were fortunate enough to have him in your group, you could feel the nerves and the pressure as each shot was magnified, not by the TV coverage or the galleries of fans or caddies, but by the shear knowing that the eyes of Tiger Woods were fixated on you. Glaring, unchanging, menacing, intimidating and cold. On top of that, the only person in the entire crowd rooting for you is your family and your caddie. You are in the position many before you have folded in, and the pressure is indescribable. Once the Tiger had you in his sites, your failure was imminent.
For years Tiger Woods had this incredible aura of intimidation, sparked by a competitive nature only associated with the likes of Jordan, Bo Jackson, Kobe Bryant. Every miraculous aspect which made Tiger great contributed to his downfall being one of the biggest in the history of scandals. Tiger lost a mental edge in a sport which demanded an unflappable one to achieve any form of consistency. Before I get to the part where I say I am right and ensure you that Tiger Woods return to dominance is imminent, let me say thank you to my father for turning me into the El Tigre fan I am today, because I would not have this opinion if I hadn't been.
Down to business, for those of you were convinced that Tiger would never return to dominance you obviously have viewed a small amount of Tiger Woods performing previous to the release of his infidelity. How does one with the competitive spirit, the unmatched drive, and knowledge of greatness fall to such a low level and not arise back to his previous position of power? For people like Tiger, winning is everything. Many were outraged by the Nike's add which depicted Woods staring down a put and a bold caption which reads "Winning takes care of everything"-Tiger Woods, World #1. The statement, while obviously not true, sends a clear message to all. Tiger is back, and Nike(who stuck with Tiger through his whole ordeal) are now showing off their long lost star. 
In golf, familiarity is key. Tiger has won 3 events this year and all 3 have come at places where has won multiple times. Tiger is no stranger to the "tradition unlike any other", which is only a week away and his confidence is soaring. With 3 wins, the worlds #1 ranking, and a budding relationship with Lindsey Vonn(which believe it or not does help) Tiger is back in familiar territory. I knew he'd be back, every Tiger fan knew he'd be back. There is just one last step on his road to redemption and Augusta National is the location.-Josh Neighbors

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