Back when I hosted a sports radio talk show, we had a running debate over what constituted a sport. Auto racing? (Not by my definition.) Synchronized swimming? (You’re kidding, right?) Golf? Do those who walk and swing a stick qualify as athletes? Reasonable people can disagree about such things, but there’s no denying that not only is Tiger Woods an athlete, he’s the athlete of our lifetime.
This is going to take a moment. He’s won 67 PGA Tour events, 14 majors, 29% of the tournaments he’s entered. He made the cut in 142 straight tournaments (Byron Nelson set the previous record of 113). In his 13-year career, he’s been number one in the world 10 of them. He’s the only person to have won all four major championships in a row. He holds the record for the greatest margin of victory in the U.S. Open and the Masters. In 2006-07 he won seven straight tour events. He’s been PGA Player of the Year nine times and the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year four times.
And that’s just the highlights.
He brings passion to the game, as seen by the fist pumping the air when he makes a clutch shot. He almost never loses a lead, especially in a major. And though he doesn’t play to the crowds the way Phil Mickelson does, people still love to cheer for him – no small thing when you realize how people love to root for an underdog.
This is the weekend of the U.S. Open, and that means watch out for Tiger Woods. Everyone knows his greatest goal is to pass Jack Nicklaus for the most major tournaments won. He needs only four more…will the next one come this weekend?