Go Get ’em Tiger! (4/14/19)

Many of you might have heard of the golfing legend Tiger Woods but may have realized that there has been little talk of him recently. That is because he has stepped out of the world of professional golf for a while due to some personal matters. He hadn’t won a Major since 2008, so eleven years!

But regardless, he has still gotten invitations to The Masters every year because he has already won the tournament (to those who don’t fully understand the concept of The Masters, here’s a brief explanation: It is considered to be the most prestigious and coveted golf crown to achieve for all golfers; you either have to qualify for them or already win one Masters title). So, after a couple of years not competing, he decided to come back and give it another shot.

At the beginning of today and after two days of playing, Tiger was behind Francesco Molinari of Italy by 2 strokes, making him in second place. Later, he was down by 3 strokes. Tiger was ready…ready to win. He dialed in to the game even more, hitting some nice shots along the way, and he ended up winning it! He beat the Italian with a score that was 2 under 70. This win meant that Tiger Woods moved up on the record list for the Masters on two separate achievements: 1. That he was the second oldest individual to win The Masters (Tiger is 43, and Jack Niklaus holds the record at 46), and 2. He moved up to be the second most-decorated participant in its history (This is his fifth title, second again to Jack Niklaus, who has 6).

Lots of fans that admire Woods’ “talent” might call this a perfect comeback and might say something along the lines of “He had it all along, he just proved it to us all.” This is not completely false. I would agree that this was a historical comeback. However, I would not say that it was because of his “talent” that he achieved this new accomplishment, but though his “skill.” There is a huge difference between talent and skill. To say that someone is “talented” implies that they have been able to accomplish something since birth or that it was given to them. The term “skill” doesn’t point to what they have been able to achieve as much as what work they have put in the process to be able to achieve what they set their mind to. After seeing Tiger’s crazy skill today on the course, I can only explain it with one reason: he must have had a ridiculous amount of grit while during hard work, something that we didn’t see. He simply had nothing to lose. To paraphrase one of my greatest professors, Mr. Brown, “Grit means to take charge of your life and not quit.” Sure, in his earlier years Tiger had lots to lose after winning title after title. But this recent drought in his career has put a lot of tough situations in his life, which could have been the source of his motivation.

I have no definitive proof that this was what happened behind the scenes, but if there is one thing that this world has taught us time and time again: “You reap what you sow.”