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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Woods is a true champ

As a former athlete, I really have to ask myself sometimes, what defines a champion?

I asked myself this when I was thirteen years old, and Michael Jordan had just won his sixth title in eight years. I asked myself again when the Yankees won four World Series’ between 1996 and 2000. Then I asked once again when the New England Patriots won three out of four Super Bowls between 2001 and 2005.

Then this past Sunday, I watched the PGA Championship. There was Tiger Woods. On his way to Major Championship number 12 in just ten years. There are four majors every year in golf, making that 12 wins in approximately 40 opportunities.

I remember winning city playoffs in hockey, and thinking that life couldn’t get much better. Imagine already being the best golfer in the world, pretty much being able to play half as good as you can for the rest of your career and still becoming the best golfer ever statistically speaking.

I’m not even a big golf fan, or a big Tiger Woods fan for that matter, but there comes a point in time when a sports fan must give credit where it is due. If that time hasn’t already passed-here it is.

Golf is an individual sport. There are hundreds of guys playing these courses week in and week out, the same courses as Tiger. Yet somehow, he can beat the rest of the field with ease. There are guys out there like Phil Mickelson, Mike Weir, Vijay Singh, John Daly who have big names in golf, but Tiger still beats them almost every time.

Legends like Fred Couples, Greg Norman, and Jack Nicklaus can only sit back in awe of him anymore. They can only wish that they had picked up a golf club at the age that Tiger did.

Nicklaus won 18 majors in his career. The wins occurred over a span of 25 years, and totaled a margin of victory of 44 strokes. Tiger has won two-thirds as many, in two-fifths of that amount of time. What is even more staggering is that Tiger’s margin of victory on all his wins adds up to 56 strokes. If Tiger were to stay at the pace he is on for 15 more years, he would win 30 majors and his margin of victory would add up to 140 strokes in that span.

If you thought Jordan had ice water running through his veins when he hit those game-winners in the playoffs, Joe Montana’s late game drives, David Ortiz’ walk-off hits, you’ve seen nothing until you’ve seen Tiger play on Sunday.

Woods is now 12-0 when he owns a share of the lead heading into the final round of a tournament. That is nothing less than impressive. With all due respect to the greats in every sport, that is what a champion is made of. Late game comebacks are one thing, but there is hardly anything more nerve-racking than 70 guys breathing down your neck while you play 18 holes of golf with little room for error.

Although it does seem as though everyone else has to play perfect now to even compete with Eldrick. Yea, that’s his real name. Can you blame him for calling himself Tiger now?

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