For as long as I can remember, the same person has run the PGA and golf world.
Equipped with the NIKE swoosh and a crowd of followers, Tiger Woods has essentially dominated the field for the last ten years. Outstanding shots, brilliant putts, US Open-winning chip shotsâ€¦the golf world had its superstar, and no one ever thought he would fall off.
For over a decade, Tiger Woods WAS golf — accumulating 71 wins, and the only player to win four consecutive major championships. That is, until he got into his car, drove a few feet down the road, and crashed into a tree.
In a split second, Tiger went from a beloved superstar to the worldâ€™s biggest story.
If you donâ€™t know what happened on that night, I am ready to ask if you have been living under a rock for the last two years. The fall of Tiger Woods has officially begun, but who will replace the athlete who has experienced the greatest decline from his respective sport in the history of sports?
The golf world hasnâ€™t been the same since that day, and most of us are sure it never will be again. Tiger hasnâ€™t won a tournament in the last two golf seasons, and the young studs of the tour are finally getting their shot.
For years I have heard names such as Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, and Anthony Kim, only to be disappointed at the performance of these young guns.
Fortunately, we have seen the rise of Rory McIlroy. As a golf fan, it is almost impossible not to like this guy besides the fact that heâ€™s European. A beautiful swing, good attitude, and a great head on his shoulders; Rory looks like the closest thing to what Tiger showed us all those years ago.
While many golf fans are upset to see the disappearance of Tiger Woods, Rory and some other new guys have me very excited. I first developed this feeling on the second day of the US Open this year. I was in my living room watching Rory completely dominate the field when I saw a stat. He was on the 16thÂ hole and was -12 (tied for the lowest score in US Open history with Tiger Woods- THROUGH TWO ROUNDS).
Wait, did I just see that right? Rory Mcilroy tied the record for the lowest score under par in US Open history, and is only 34 holes in? Ridiculous.
Rory is the up-and-coming member of the golf world, and I realized it for the first time on that day. No one has ever come out and dominated the golf world like that in my lifetime besides Tiger, and I think its finally time for the torch to be passed.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, I have played golf for as long as I can remember and have been a passionate and dedicated Tiger fan for that long as well. When I first started playing golf, I bought Nike Irons to be like Tiger. Had the Nike 3 wood and putter too, but there comes a time in everyoneâ€™s reign where they must step down and hand the torch off, and this is Tigerâ€™s time.
As a fellow competitor (against the godsâ€™ of golf) you sit back and wonder. All those rounds that youâ€™ve accumulated over the years, from first breaking 90, to grinding out a 72. All those mess-ups that you see the professionals hit into the water or sand-trap, all of those lucky chip-ins from off the green will finally go away.
Most of us sit there asking why?
Why canâ€™t I still chip the ball close, why canâ€™t I drive the ball 300 yards anymore? Why canâ€™t I hit the green with my second shot? Or in Tigerâ€™s case, why canâ€™t I play good golf for 4 consecutive days anymore?
What it comes down to is that this is one of the hardest games in the world to play, and even harder to stay good at for a long time. Tiger Woods ran the world for 10 years and has finally showed a few signs of declining.
We all have those days. Get out on the range in the morning before your round, and the ball is squirting off the club to the right. Chunking the dirt underneath you as you wipe the dirt off your face. Itâ€™s called the â€œshanksâ€ and every golfer hits a point in the game where they gradually start to decline.
When that day comes, you wont know why, you wont know how, but you will have to thank the golf gods for blessing you with the time you have had.
When that day comes, if I look like Tiger Woods does now, I might also have to drive into a tree.