Tiger - Ten Years Ago
Tiger- Past and Present
By Kickntrue on 4/4/07
By Matt Snyder, oobgolf contributer


The year is 1997. For football fans, the World Champion Green Bay Packers are celebrating their Super Bowl victory and O.J. Simpson is trying to figure out how he's going to pay the 34 million dollars he owes after losing his civil trial. The basketball nation sees Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls celebrate their 5th NBA title while Latrell Spreewell is enjoying his year long suspension after attacking his coach, P.J. Calisimo. For those of you who enjoy music, Usher is enjoying his top 5 hit "You make me wanna" while Notorious B.I.G. is fatally injured in a shoot out. Here in America, Madeline Albright becomes the first ever female Secretary of State. Across the pond, our close allies in Great Britain mourn the death of their most popular female, Princess Di. And for those of you who enjoy professional golf, the sport as you know it is about to change. Greg Norman is currently the #1 golfer in the world, but he and the rest of the PGA Tour are about to take a back seat to a young man known simply as "Tiger".

Ten years ago, Tiger Woods stepped onto Augusta National in his first ever major as a professional on the PGA Tour and the game hasn't been the same since. Sure, we had been hearing all the hype about this kid after he became the only person to ever win 3 straight US Amateur Titles. But that was against amateurs. We are talking now about the best golfers in the world competing on one of the biggest stages; the Masters at Augusta. Could he possibly win this tournament in his very first attempt?

Ten years ago, Tiger Woods stepped onto Augusta National ... and the game hasn't been the same since.
Well, as we all know, he not only won, he broke multiple records in the process. He became the youngest Masters champion and he won by the largest margin in tournament history, 12 strokes. His 72-hole score of 270 (18 under par) still stands as the lowest in Masters history. And perhaps the most significant record he set that week was to become the first Masters champion of African or Asian heritage. The list of records Woods set in his very first Masters tournament continues on and despite all of them, there were still a lot of us who considered this to just be a flash in the pan or a fluke. There's no way this guy is really that good! He got on a rush in his first major and had a great week, but he's no Palmer or Nicklaus. Well, he may not be Jack or Arnie yet, but he's well on his way.

Since that very first win in 1997, Tiger Woods has reshaped the game as we know it. Long off the tee used to mean marginal iron play and an average short game. Then, Tiger showed us 330 yard drives followed by laser-like iron play. Before Tiger, it was Phil whose name was mentioned every time you opened up the face of your wedge around the green to attempt a flop shot. Now, we watch Tiger hit those shots more time in one week than Phil does in a month. We used to hear cries of John Daly's name when someone blasted a drive down the heart of the fairway. Not anymore. Tiger has filled that role too. It seems his name has become synonymous with every type of good shot that there is. And it's no surprise. He reminds us with every tournament he plays why Tiger is at the top and the names of the others fade into the background.

... he has earned over $18,000 per day over the last 10 years!
Does anyone remember when there used to be a competition for who the number one golfer in the world was? I don't! Since Tiger became the fastest player to achieve a #1 world ranking (42nd week as a pro), he hasn't been ranked lower than #2 one time! In the Masters alone, Woods has finished 5th or better six of the ten times he's entered the tournament. Three of those top five finishes are wins! He currently holds twelve major titles including last year's final two majors, the British Open and the PGA Championship. His career earnings from prize money on the PGA tour alone total $66,829,382. He can thank his performances at the Masters for 4,566,660 of those dollars! If you divide Tiger's career earnings by the number of days that he's been professional, you'll find that he has earned over $18,000 per day over the last 10 years! Now I ask you, does that sound like a flash in the pan? I think not. Tiger Woods is here to stay.

So what is there left for the poster child of professional golf to do in the next 10 years? Well, I think Tiger has made it very clear that he is now all about winning major championships. There is no doubt in my mind that Tiger burns to surpass Nicklaus' record of 18 major victories, and he's well on his way. Woods has won the last two majors in a row. This week, he returns to the place where it all started ten years ago. Wow, what a ten years it has been for Tiger Woods and the game of golf! I expect many of us to have that same reaction this week as we watch Tiger step up again and win his 13th major and his fourth green jacket.


[ comments ]
rotedaddy says:
Excellent article. Sounds like Tiger has won over yet more fan!
4/7/07
 
greg12 says:
good read
3/7/08
 
[ post comment ]
 
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