Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer ever. Or at least he will be. And we want him to be playing “like Tiger” right now. But despite a great Masters run by Woods, he didn’t win. And people wondered if he was back or not. (He isn’t, but he will be.)
And he spoke to John Thompson, Sr., on ESPN Radio DC recently about coming back, playing golf with his kids, the Congressional tournament in D.C. and his biggest competitor: himself. I’m not usually one to be cheesy, but this is one of those interviews where Tiger legitimately opens up about himself and is exactly why the guy’s so inspirational. Enjoy.
On the difficulty of not playing:
“It wasn’t as bad initially, because after I had the surgery, the pain was so great it took my mind away from everything. Having my little daughter grow up before my eyes, that kept a lot of my attention on her and away from the game of golf. When it started becoming a little more annoying was when I started playing, practicing in January, that’s when I really wanted to get back. Before then I didn’t want to get back because I wasn’t going to be very good: my best shot that I could hit at the time was 80 yards.”
On tougher adjustment, long or short game:
“Short game was easy, that was the easiest part, because that’s all I could practice. The long game is what’s taken a little bit longer to come around, because I wasn’t able to hit as many golf balls. Even now, I’m not hitting as many balls as I normally do, it’s more quality than it is quantity. I used to derive a lot of my confidence from both: having a high number at a high quality and I just can’t the number of reps I’m used to.
On his kids playing golf:
“I want them to be able to have the opportunity to play if they so choose. That’s how I grew up. Sam’s been on the golf course with me, she loves to go on the golf course with me late at evenings and throw the golf ball when I’m chipping or putting. When I make a putt she’ll pick it up and throw it to another part of the green for me to hit a putt, she likes that. The whole idea is to keep it fun, because that’s how I remember my entire childhood with the game of golf: it was just so much fun.”
On his intimidation:
“No, no, I’m on the other side. I have my head down a lot. I just kind of do my own thing.”
On his biggest upcoming challenge:
“I think part of the biggest challenge right now – for everyone – is to raise two healthy kids, drug free. To me, that’s important. That’s what [my wife and I] have been talking about. It’s not the golf; the golf is part of me, it’s what I do, but it’s not who I am.”
On Charles Barkley on the Golf Channel:
“It’s something else isn’t it? I don’t even know if you can call that a golf swing. It’s like a speech impediment … it’s bad. The thing about CB, I want him to get back to playing the game like he did when I first met him … now he doesn’t want to go play. I want him, as a friend, to have the last laugh.”