Tiger Woods: “Never give up. Always chase after your dreams.”

Tiger Woods, The MastersMandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Tiger Woods, The MastersMandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

This week, by his words and deeds, Tiger Woods has set a new standard for anyone who wants to accomplish something but hasn’t.  He is a living lesson for those of us who maybe skip a day at the gym because we don’t feel like going or don’t try something because it is hard to do.

For him, this week, the battle is with his body and against the tough Augusta National golf course.

In the third round, issues for Tiger Woods centered on cold weather.

“It was cold starting out. The ball wasn’t going very far,” he said. “I thought it was tough. Some of the other guys may not say that, but for me, I had a tough time. I felt like I didn’t really hit it that bad, but I had four three-putts and a four-putt.”

He said he felt like he had a thousand putts during the round, which he didn’t, but the three-putts almost made you gasp and the four-putt was nonsensical in what we know about how Tiger Woods plays golf. The four-putt was at the diabolical 5th hole that never met a golfer it liked.

“You take those away, and I have normal two putts, I made even par for the day,” he added.

He said he could not get comfortable putting.  His posture, his feel, his right-hand position, the release, they were all off.  He said he was taking practice strokes, trying to find the feel of the putter head, and none of that worked.

“Even as many putts as I had, you’d think I’d have figured it out somewhere along the line, but it just didn’t happen,” he admitted.

Tiger Woods’ outlook is an inspiration for all of us

But Tiger Woods is not a quitter.

When asked if he hoped he was showing people who watched to never quit, he had a determined answer.

“Never give up. Always chase after your dreams. I fight each and every day,” he said. “Each and every day presents its own different challenges for all of us. I wake up and start the fight all over again.”

In Woods’ case, he now has a constant battle with his back and his right leg which will probably hurt for the foreseeable future, maybe for the rest of his life.

If he wants to play golf, he will need to have hours of physical therapy before he plays and ice baths, and physical therapy afterward just to do it.  And why?  He’s still chasing a dream.  Apparently, it’s a dream of winning more major championships than anyone ever has.  If that’s the case, he has four more to go.

This week, he’s proving to himself and the rest of us that he can play four rounds of championship-level golf. His chances to win the Masters are gone for this year, but they are not gone forever.  There is next season.

If he is chasing majors, and it certainly looks like he is, there are three more coming up this year, and at least two of them are on courses where he has had success in the past.

The PGA Championship is in May at a course where Woods has won before, Southern Hills, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The first time he played it in a major was in 2001, when it was the site of a U.S. Open, and Retief Goosen was the winner. The second time Woods played it for a major was the 2007 PGA, and he was victorious.  So that’s in his favor.

Then the U.S. Open will be at The Country Club at Brookline (Massachusetts), the site of the 1999 Ryder Cup and the 1988 U.S. Open where Curtis Strange beat Nick Faldo in an 18-hole playoff for his first of two U.S. Open titles.  But this version of the Country Club is not one that anybody has seen before.  The club has 27 holes, and things have been reconfigured a bit.  U.S. Opens are always a guessing game.

The last major of the year is the British Open which will be played at The Old Course at St. Andrews, the site of Woods’ first British Open victory in 2000 and his second in 2005.  It’s a course he knows and understands. Should he decide to take the trip to Scotland, he has to be in consideration, assuming he has no setbacks in his recovery.

Next. The Masters: Sunday Breakdown and Tee Times, Can Scottie Be Caught?. dark

While this week may not have worked in Tiger Woods’ favor as far as victory is concerned, he did prove that he can still play golf at a very high level if he is willing to go through the pain it causes his body to do it. And it appears that he is willing to do that.  In the process, Tiger Woods has become a lesson in perseverance for all of us.