News Flash: Tiger Woods Is Still No. 1……..On Many Levels

By L.A. Batchelor
Updated: August 20, 2007

NORTH CAROLINA — All the reports of Tiger Woods demise are premature after he won his fourth PGA Championships, winning by two strokes over Woody Austin and claiming his 13th Major Championship in his Illustrious career. This off the heels of a eight-stroke dominating win at The WGC-Bridgestone Invitationall over Justin Rose.

There you have it. Two wins in two different golf tournaments with two different ways of winning but the same result: VICTORY. Tiger continues to display the kind of mental toughness needed to win a close tournament by a stroke or two and keep the same focus in coasting to an easy win.

He may have started the golf season slow going winless in the first three Majors, but let’s not forget he won four other tournaments, The PGA Championship last week and can win more tournaments before the season ends.

When Rory Sabbatini said Tiger is as vulnerable as he’s ever been going into the final round of The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Tiger responded by shooting a final round 65 and ran away from the pack in the leaderboard.

When Tiger stumbled a bit in the final round of The PGA Championship last week with Woody Austin and Ernie Els playing well and putting pressure on him, Tiger responded by playing smart, keeping his composure and staying mentally tough an eventually pulled out a hard-earned victory. Has their been anyone more mentally tough than Tiger? Michael Jordan is the only athlete I can think of on his level in this era.

Here are the questions: What motivates Tiger? How does he stay motivated to win tournaments and Majors year after year? There are many reasons and everyone has a theory on this topic. Here is my belief and assessment.

His dad: No one in Tiger’s life had more influence in shaping him as a man and the World’s No. 1 golfer than his dad Earl Woods. Mr. Woods instilled hard work, discipline and the ability to “finish”. Finishing golf tournaments and more important, finishing when it comes in life and life issues.

His mom: If Earl Woods was the tough and hard-nose parent that kept Tiger in line, Tiger’s mom was the voice of love and understanding. Now I’m not saying his dad didn’t possess those qualities but even Tiger will tell you his mom always made losing (the few times he has lost) easier. She would tell make him feel it’s ok to try your best and still fail. He was regardless and unconditionally.

His wife Elin and daughter Sam Alexis: So far so good for Tiger and his so-called distractions — his wife and daughter. So many of his critics felt Tiger would falter particularly in Majors because he would devote more time with his new family but Tiger really hasn’t been nearly as inconsistent as some would have believed.

He continues to flourish because of his new family. The desire to win is probably matched by his desire to play well for them. To show how much he is dedicated to winning Majors and increasing earnings so his wife Elin and daughter Sam Alexis can have a comfortable life but more importantly, can be proud of him.

In fact, distractions are not a problem nor and excuse for Tiger Woods. At only 31, he is expanding his business ventures now into the U.S. The latest came earlier this week when Woods said he would design a course in the North Carolina mountains — his company’s first U.S. project.

It’s not that Tiger is getting better or worse, he’s becoming smarter. All reports of his failures are false because he is succeeding in golf, life and business. How many of his peers can claim success in those three categories on his level?

I think we know the answer.