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Can Tiger Woods’ Golf History Help to Predict His Success in 2018?

Posted on February 06, 2018 by John Harris

Tiger-Woods-2018Tiger Woods is regarded as one of the best golfers in the history of the sport, tracing all the way back to its Scottish ancestry. Woods, now 42, has had a glittering golfing career, despite his tarred reputation due to his less-than-inspiring personal life. However, the question of can Tiger Woods’ golf history help to predict his success in 2018 while on his PGA Tour this year is on every avid golf fans’ lips – and is a debate that has been weighed into by commentators and professionals alike.

Hank Haney, Woods’ golf coach from 2004 to 2010 told The Man Out Front he “think[s] he’s going to win another major”. Despite his confidence in Woods’ ability to win another major, Haney is less certain on a Woods victory at a Masters this year. But does Woods’ history of winning contradict his former coach? Let’s take a look, what exactly is Woods polishing his signature golf clubs for this year.

1997, Atlantic City

Woods devoted himself to professionally playing golf in 1996, just a year before his swooping triumph in Augusta. This victory was significant for two large reasons: Woods was the first black player to win the tournament and also the youngest, at the tender age of 21.

Atlantic City for Woods put his ‘X’ on the map and showed him marking himself out to be one of the greatest players of all time. At such a young age, it shows Woods’ determination and skill more than anything else, meaning a victory in 2018 is almost just as possible now as it was back then.

2008, Dubai

Between 1997 and 2008, Woods was ranked as world number one in golf after winning a succession of Masters – something which golf had not seen with such vigour for many years.

The significance of Woods’ play off with Ernie Els in Dubai was that it proved he could still win in his sport despite a rollercoaster in his personal life. In 2006, Woods’ father, Earl, passed away and his first daughter, Sam, was born in 2007, both of which are not easy for anyone, let alone a man who is one of the best golfers in history. Perhaps this victory shows Woods’ ability to overcome turbulence, which he has faced so much of recently, and achieve real success in 2018.

2012, China

2009 was the year things came crashing down for Tiger Woods and the squeaky-clean brand he had created for himself over the years. A car crash and a failed business venture in Dubai knocked him personally and so did the many consequent revelations of his affairs which ultimately led to the breakdown of his marriage. It was a rocky time for Woods personally, but yet again he golfed with expertise and a champion spirit.

China in 2012 followed Woods’ 2008 win at the US Open and it saw him outscore champion Rory McIlroy, who had become much more favourable to an audience, in eleven head-to-head clashes. It was tense and it was golf at its best because the stakes were so high. Just like 2008, Woods’ victory here indicates his ability to endure and win regardless of what’s happening in his private life.

Things have been tricky for Tiger Woods on the professional golfing front recently, as we all know. Just a few months ago, he wasn’t sure if he would ever golf again due to a fourth surgery aimed at relieving his back and leg pain.

Although his 20-year track record certainly indicates the golfer can overcome obstacles like a true sportsperson, his age and health indicate it may not be so easy this time. If Woods is serious about beating Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors record – and he is – there is an uphill battle to participate in.

Four majors remain for Woods to break even with Nicklaus and regardless of his success in 2018, it will be no easy challenge. But then again, Tiger Woods is used to that. Maybe his personal circumstances drive him to victory, as we’ve seen in his golf history previously, which means that perhaps we can predict success for Woods’ golfing comeback in 2018.


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