Tiger Woods made significant progress in 2012. He won three tournaments, he was second on the money-winning list behind Rory McIlroy and he served notice that when he plays his best golf, he is still the most charismatic golfer on the tour.
However, what Tiger Woods could not do was win any of the four major tournaments. He developed a poor pattern in this year’s majors, often playing well for the first two rounds and setting himself up for what looked like an exciting finish.
He did not come through. On moving day, he did plenty of moving—in the wrong direction. Instead of threatening the leaders, Woods lost his consistency and struggled with makeable shots.
But as the days in 2012 dwindle down to a precious few, Woods is feeling optimistic about the future. Perhaps the main reason for that is he is feeling healthy again.
Woods has had his share of physical problems to go along with the emotional ills that became so public when his marriage to Elin Nordegren fell apart in 2009 following revelations about his private life (source: BBC.com).
Woods’ most serious physical problem has been a left knee injury that required surgery and has caused significant pain over the years. He has has several other injuries as well (source: U-TSan Diego.com).
As he looks toward 2013, Woods’ health problems have become a nonissue. That’s not saying they won’t crop up again or new ones won’t develop, but he is feeling relatively strong.
That gives him more confidence than he has had at any point since 2008, which happens to be the last time he won a major.
The challenge of winning the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open and the PGA continues to be Woods’ primary goal.
He passed the $100 million mark in earnings in 2012, but that’s not overly special to Woods, even though he is the only golfer to win that much cash. He wants to tick off at least one major in 2013 and resume his chase of Jack Nicklaus, who won 18 majors. Woods currently has 14.
The pretense has been absent for quite a while, but it’s still nice to hear a professional athlete detail exactly what his intentions are. This is basically LeBron saying “I don’t even pay attention until April, everything I’m working on right now I’ll use for six weeks of playoffs.”
Tiger then talked about his current world No. 1 pal:
Whether [Rory and I] develop a rivalry remains to be seen. Let’s just let it play out and see where it takes us. We’ll look at the results the next five or 10 years and see if it becomes a rivalry or not. We’ll have to win big events and play each other down the stretch. That hasn’t happened yet. We’ve only played each other at Honda down the stretch. We need a lot more of those type of battles, but in bigger events.
This is true, Jack and Arnie went 1-2 in majors five different times (Nicklaus won three of them). The Internet might not make it if Tiger and Rory repeat that, but if this rivalry is going to have the legs we all want to give it, they’re going to have to have at least two Sunday back nine battles over the next few years.
Tiger then turned his attention to the Ryder Cup:
Last week, Tom Watson was named the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain. I’d like to congratulate Tom on his selection. I think he’s a really good choice. He knows what it takes to win, and that’s our ultimate goal. I hope I have the privilege of joining him on the 2014 United States team.
I honestly think Tiger is excited about Watson as the selection. They’ve had their well-documented kerfuffles but the one thing that Tiger values over all else is winning — and he knows Watson provides him with that opportunity….
Ian Poulter finished his final round at the World Challenge and was chatting next to the clubhouse at Sherwood, when he stopped in the middle of a sentence and changed his tone to one of grave concern.
”What is Tiger doing in a buggy?” he said.
His eyes were fixed on a large video board down the hill and across the 18th fairway that showed Tiger Woods being driven away from the green in the back of a golf cart. The scene was eerily reminiscent to the start of the season at Doral, when Woods withdrew in the middle of the final round because of swelling to his left Achilles tendon.
Moments later, Poulter realized this merely was the shuttle that took players to the 14th tee at the top of a steep hill.
- What will Tiger do in 2013? Win – Detroit Free Press
- Tiger Woods seeks major boost in 2013 – NDTVSports.com
- 4 Reasons Tiger Woods Is the Masters Favorite in 2013 – Bleacher Report