The talk around the PGA Tour as of late has been that Tiger Woods is “back”. By that, people mean he has returned to form as a dominant golfer. I could not disagree more. Granted, he is by far one of the most immensely talented people to ever pick up a golf club, and that is never going to change. However, he will never be able to get back to being the most dominant player that anyone has ever seen. At the same time, that does not mean that the remainder of Tiger’s career will not be incredibly productive and successful.
For 8 years (1999 – 2006) Tiger Woods WAS golf. He was basically single-handedly responsible for the colossal increase in viewership and was the reason many people gravitated towards the game. Fellow competitors knew that in just about every tournament he entered, they were going to have to contend with Tiger at some point. He was in their heads before he even stepped onto the course. That is what utter domination does to people.
In that 8 year period, Tiger won 12 majors, including the 2000 U.S. Open that he won by an astounding 15 strokes. Including the 12 majors he won, Woods won a total of 47 tournaments during that same 8 year period. That is the equivalent to an entire career on tour for many professionals…if they’re lucky.
With that being said, Tiger is never going to be back to the golfer he was. People are no longer afraid of him. He doesn’t seem to have the same confidence in himself that he once did. He is continually changing swings in an effort to regain some semblance of that dominance from earlier in his career. The swing changes, however, have him worrying more about mechanics than simply going out and playing golf. As the saying goes, 90% of golf is between the ears.
I fully anticipate Tiger to rack up several more victories on tour and even to win a few more majors. He’s still a relatively young man. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he ends up as the all time win leader for major championships. He is still an incredible golfer; but at this point in his career, he is a mere mortal that is no longer feared.