The US Open and Tiger

What else can be said about Tiger Woods. If you have been watching this week at the US Open, you have seen some incredible drama, moments and shots from the best player that ever lived. Really, it’s hard to summarize how great this guy is and how calm he stays under pressure and how he just always seems to rise to the occasion. Yesterdays putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff reminded me of another great from another sport-one that he has been compared to many times.

Tiger, needing a four on the par 5 final hole to force an 18 hole playoff today with Rocco Mediate drove his ball into the fairway bunker-effectively taking eagle out of the equation. He flubbed his next shot into the thick rough about 100 yards or so away from the stick. Tiger, as only he can-knocked the nearly impossible shot to about 15 feet away and then he calmly stood over the ball and knocked it stiff. Although it rattled around a bit before it dropped-was there ever any doubt it was going in?

Seriously, if I was the announcer I would have said something like, “Why is everyone on the edge of their seats-you know he’ll make it”. And he did to the crowds delight. Like Tiger or hate him-you have to respect him and admire his unbelievable mental toughness and ability to concentrate and rise to the biggest moments-it’s truly scary. He is the most like Michael Jordan I have ever seen and perhaps even better.

The shot yesterday reminded me of the Jordan shot in game six of the 1998 NBA Finals where he knocked down the game winner against the Utah Jazz as time was about to expire giving the Bulls their sixth NBA title. It reminds me of that because before Jordan made that shot-you knew he’d make it-there was no doubt…there wasn’t one iota of thought that he might actually miss it. The same was true with Tiger yesterday at Torrey Pines in San Diego, California, USA-you just knew he’d do it and like Jordan in 1998, so did Tiger. He has simply wowed us so many times that you almost expect magic every time he has a big moment.

The other thing about Tiger that is so great is the way he fights through adversity. I’m not going to waste time talking about his knee and praising him for playing hurt because lots of people deal with injuries and fight through them to do their job. I’m talking about how he deals with bad shots, holes, deficits and always manages to mentally stay strong and fight through-he knows how to get things done and win ugly. It’s a microcosm of everyday life that everyone can relate to in some way and that is why I think he is such a great example-not just because he’s a good golfer but because of the way he deals with strife and adversity in his golf game and still fights through to win.

He started out double bogey-bogey yesterday. Most people would have just mailed it in and said “oh well-it’s just not my day”. Tiger fought through and scrapped a few birdies out and still bogeyed a few more holes on the back nine but he never lost faith or his eye on the prize. He knew what he had to do and he got it done.

I understand that he didn’t actually win the tournament. There might be 10 people in the entire world that give Rocco Mediate a fighting chance today; a very likeable guy who is easy to root for and happens to be ranked 157 in the world. That would be the equivalent of one of the greatest upsets in sports history if he wins-but we all know that won’t happen. Tiger is too strong mentally and he will get it done again today and win his 14th major. I would bet anything on it.

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  1. Wish we could have heard Mediate’s inner thoughts when that putt went down…probably something like “OH #*!&*#*$U” Is there any chance Tiger doesnt win it today? I mean seriously?

  2. Good point, I dont even like golf but I watched that with my boyfriend yesterday and it was amazing to see how good he is. I felt bad for Rocco though because he seems so nice and cute.

  3. the guy is unreal man…no chance he loses today

  4. I actually watched the golf tournament on Sky and was obviously supporting Lee Westwood, pity about him but Tiger is devastating. That Rocco seems nice but I can’t believe he can win.

  5. I’m just happy I get to watch him play again today-winning is a given but the drama should be exciting

  6. I actually flew to Tulsa last year for the PGA at Southern Hills, and I would not have done so if Tiger had not been in the field. He’s the best thing to happen to golf since they got rid of the Mashie-Niblick in the 1940s.

  7. His win looks even better now that he’s out for the season

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