What will it take for TIger Woods to heal and reclaim his dominance?
It has been the catch phrase of the Tiger Woods show since the infamous scandal. Will he be the same again? A lot of factors come into play, to understand the mindset that Woods is going through. The recent dip in his form may be a result of what transpired that fateful night, but that is not the whole picture.
There is no doubt that Tiger and his father Eldrick Woods held a special bond between them. He was a mentor to him an influence greater than any other in his life; he was an inspiration and a leader to him. Tiger, looked to his father to guide him through tough times, he knew that he had a shoulder to lean on.
Although Earl Wood was less involved in Tiger’s day to day life but he was very much involved when it came to golf, coaches and caddies. Earl Wood’s demise has made a heavy impact on him and his game. Over the last 2 years Tiger has missed a mentor in his life a guiding force, and although it is not easy to replace a mentor let alone a parent/mentor, but that is what Tiger may have to do.
Early in Tiger’s career Michael Jordan served as a mentor for him an athlete that he idolized, so it would do him well if he can approach Jack Nicklaus or Butch Harmon. Why would you look for those players to be his mentors? Naturally if you are the highest paid sportsperson of all time and were counted amongst the best and whose advice would you listen to?
Tiger without his father to guide him, tried to get through the difficult times on his own, and decided to fire Steve Williams one of the best caddies of the generation who has been around for nearly 3 decades, you would as a fan feel the shock too.
It was typical of Tiger who has fired two of the best caddies and the two of the best coaches. Tiger fired them because he felt that they were not loyal to him and that is something he despises the most, but in this ironic world of ours, the very thing that he despised was his own biggest character flaw albeit in his personal life it still changed his game for the worst.
Tiger is striving hard to earn back his crown but the pressure on his shoulders is too much to handle, and he looks like a distant memory of a great winner. Even the perception of the players has drastically changed over the last two years. No longer do the players feel that dominance and intimidation that Tiger’s presence made them feel on the golf course.
Rory McIlroy, speaking to the media was quoted “Hopefully he (Tiger) can get back on the golf course soon. The game of golf is a better place with him competing”. Although the sentiment here was a positive one, but if you analyse the statement you would realize what the young star Rory was actually putting forward. It was a challenge thrown at the great, the gist is we want to play you, beat you and compete against you.
It all comes down to Tiger finally giving a glimpse of him being human, with the same flesh and blood as the rest of us, and he also puts one leg at a time when he puts on his pants. So now that fear factor is not there the only way to redemption seems to be wins, Tiger is a winner and a winner never forgets how to win. It may take him some time but he will come around and start to realize his mistakes and do what he did best, lead the board. As of now though thinking that Tiger will go on to win another five majors would be wishful thinking.