I grew up as many did with Tiger being the undisputed world No1 golfer. He has inspired millions to take up the game, including current world number 1 Rory McIlroy, and pretty much brought the modern game to where it is now. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer did the same but Tigers media presence attracted huge sponsorship deals, crowds and is to thank for how a lot of the coverage is today. He glamorized the modern game and still to this day is one of the highest paid sportsmen of all time.
I often wondered when I watched him play and heard about his earnings if he would keep going, he always seemed like the kind of guy that as soon as it wasn't going his way he would quit. So will he return to the player he used to be?
I really hope he does return and gets back to something of the form he used to show, but deep down I don't think it will ever happen. I always thought he would smash Nicklhaus's record in majors and events, but now I'm not so sure. I know golfers have ups and downs but I hope Tiger does return, it would be great to see him and Rory going against each other when they are both on top form.
What confuses me is that Tiger doesn't seem to know what is wrong with his game, he seems to be trying to perfect something that cannot be perfected. He was always so in control and a master of his own swing, so if you told me that going into the 2015 Masters Tiger would be world number 87 I would never have believed it, but here we are unsure if he will even feature in the Masters.
I personally don't think Tiger has a problem with his 'swing' the problems he is having lie deeper, there in his head. He seems to have lost confidence and belief in himself, this is what set Tiger apart for so many years. When you watch him now he looks like a player that is lacking confidence, especially when it comes to his chipping, you can see in his face that he is not mentally the player he used to be.
Coaches around the world spent years and made careers from trying to get players swinging it like Tiger, players also tried to imitate the greatest golfer in the world. But when they stopped trying to imitate his technique and focused on imitating his mind set, this was when things changed. Mentally he just seems to be a shadow of his former self, which has led to a drop in from.
Tiger suddenly seemed to loose the edge and aura he had over other players, this was Tigers most important club in the bag. Without his mental edge he was just another player on the tour, his swing is not perfect but his mind was close to that.
There is always a lot of talk involving Tiger and if he will return to various competitions, and I agree that it does kind of let other players such as McIlroy have take a bit of pressure off. But when Tiger was pretty much all the media talked about and was favorite for every event he played in, he reveled in it and used it as a force to win events. I think Rory is similar to this and would actually like the media attention, a lot of people say he can't deal with it but I strongly disagree.
Remember these guys are constantly under a microscope and over analysed sometimes, players such as McIlroy just play the game they always have and are all going out to win. It does't matter if Tiger is there or not, their goal is to win!
I remember staying up and falling asleep on the sofa just to watch Tiger on the TV in the PGA Tour events, now he doesn't seem to have as much of a presence at events. Yes he is a great player and what he has done to for Golf is fantastic!! He modernized and glamorized the game.
I just don't think we will ever see Tiger get back to the great form he once showed, I think it's just a matter of time before he retires from competitive golf and focuses on other projects.
Here is a look back at Tigers career so far
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