Let’s start by looking at the facts. 1.) Tiger Woods is 37-years old. 2.) Tiger Woods has 14 major championships under his belt. 3.) He’s two years in with his new swing coach. 4.) Tiger Woods is poised to win his third PGA Tour tournament of 2013 before The Masters.
What does all this mean? To be honest, it might mean nothing at all. But for me, it begs the question: Is Tiger Woods about to go on another multiple-year domination run that ends with his retirement?
It’s an interesting question that frankly intrigues me. When you think of 37-years old, that age is still “young” to most people. If you’re in the corporate world, 37-years old might mean you recently completed your M.B.A and are looking to make the jump to the Executive Director or Vice President level. For many people 37-years old means you’re just reaching your prime and have many accomplishments ahead of you. But for Tiger Woods “37” means one thing — OLD.
Maybe 37-years old isn’t old in an age-sense, but it’s surely old in a professional athlete sense. After turning pro at 19 with sky-high aspirations and then adding years of intense scrutiny, most people would give up. Look at any other professional athlete and nobody lasts much longer than 40-years old. Sure you could argue golf if different. Things like the Senior Tour extend the careers of many golfers. Players like Jim Furyk, Fred Couples, Vijay Singh and David Toms are still playing well past their 40’s. But there’s one huge difference between those guys and Tiger Woods: THEY ARE NOT TIGER WOODS!
Typically, PGA Tour golfers do not deal with the media spotlight that the likes of Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Derek Jeter, Tony Romo or David Beckham deal with. PGA Tour players are just not on the top of the list for the paparazzi. Do you really think if David Toms crashed his Escalade on Thanksgiving night anybody would be at his doorstep trying to snap a picture of his black eye? No disrespect to David Toms, but nobody would be lining up to break that story and tabloids wouldn’t be running front-page stories about sex-scandals.
These things are real for Tiger Woods. The media stalks him out. There’s always someone there to snap a picture or get a recording of him cussing. The bubble that Tiger Woods lives in is the reason why he will break Jack Nicklaus’ major championship record and retire without thinking twice. Yes, this statement is something I truly believe: THE ONLY REASON TIGER WOODS PLAYS GOLF IS TO BREAK JACK NICKLAUS’ MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP RECORD.
In the end, I think 2013 will be a history maker for Tiger Woods. If he ends up winning Bay Hill on Sunday, the talk will turn to whether he’s back enough to win The Masters. Personally, I think he will win Augusta and then win the U.S Open at Merion. As we head into July, talk will turn to whether he can grab all four majors in 2013. I then think he will win the British Open at Muirfield. That’s right. I predict he will win the first three majors in 2013 and we will go into August debating whether he will win the Grand Slam. I don’t think he will win the PGA Championship at Oak Hill and will end one short of Jack Nicklaus’ record by the end of 2013. He will tie Jack in the 2014 Masters.
What brings about these bold predictions? I think it’s just the state of mind I see from Tiger Woods right now. He’s moved on from his cheating scandal and is in a much better place compared to the last two years. I think he’s starting to trust his golf swing and has regained that confidence that is needed during major championships. He’s just a different person from what I see on T.V.
Look, I don’t know the guy and everything I see is from television and online stories. Call me crazy, but I think Tiger Woods is about to go on another multi-year domination run where history will be made and nobody will ever come close again.
What do you think? Do you agree? Do you even care? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook? Leave a message below.