A Look Back At Greatness
The word “tiger” inspires many different thoughts; normally, ones related to fear and self preservation. The dictionary defines the word as, “a large, carnivorous, tawny-colored and black-striped feline, Panthera tigris, of Asia, ranging in several races from India and the Malay Peninsula to Siberia: the entire species is endangered, with some races thought to be extinct.”
Funny, that same description could be used to define a certain golfer who shares the name with the species the definition’s is discussing. His name, is of course, Eldrick “Tiger” Woods and boy, if there was ever a person who defined his nickname, it’s Tiger — including the part about being extinct because when Woods first hit the PGA scene, no one thought the level of play he continues to display was possible.
And we still don’t.
Check Pat Forde’s latest for instance. ESPN’s best columnist continues to be amazed by what we are allowed to witness. Shouldn’t this be commonplace by now? But you see, it’s not. Watching Tiger continually do the things he does still inspires various levels of awe.
So with that in mind, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and take a look at some of the shots that led to Tiger capturing his 14th Major and his third US Open. We’ll begin with the magnificent closure to Saturday’s round. Words tend to fail me when I see sporting-related feats like this:
How about his 18th-hole birdie to force Monday’s playoff? Another thing of beauty:
Then there’s the second birdie at 18 from yesterday’s playoff that forced the sudden death finish:
And of course, the coronation of Tiger:
For me, Tiger represents what is right about sports. The things I’ve seen him accomplish rival the other feats of great athleticism I’ve been lucky enough to witness. Things like Michael Johnson’s 200-meter world record, Jordan’s Game 6 against the Jazz, Lance Armstrong, Bo Jackson… Tiger rivals them all.
Nike was right with their “We Are All Witnesses” campaign. They just focused on the wrong athlete.
For another brilliant take on Tiger, check out what Joe Posnanski has to say.