Sports: Tiger Woods inspired a generation. Now he's their fiercest competition - PressFrom - Canada

SportsTiger Woods inspired a generation. Now he's their fiercest competition

19:55  15 may  2019
19:55  15 may  2019 Source:

Tiger Woods stiffed a 13-year-old Harold Varner III on an autograph request and he's still angry (not really)

Tiger Woods stiffed a 13-year-old Harold Varner III on an autograph request and he's still angry (not really) Tiger Woods stiffed a 13-year-old Harold Varner III on an autograph request and he's still angry (not really)

Now he ' s their fiercest competition . 19:55 15 may 2019. Tiger Woods during a practice round on Monday at Augusta National. Woods , who has had four back operations in four years, will tee off Thursday as one of the early Some of today’ s top young golfers say watching Woods in that

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Tiger Woods inspired a generation. Now he's their fiercest competition© Photo illustration by Nick Roy / theScore

Tiger Woods appeared in Sports Illustrated for the first time on Sept. 24, 1990. Then 14 years old, Woods made the long-running "Faces in the Crowd" page after winning a national youth golf tournament in Fort Worth, Texas.

At the time, as Woods laid the groundwork for his one-of-a-kind career, Brooks Koepka was just 4 months old. Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth wouldn't be born for another three years. Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world, was 6.

They - and most of the top-ranked players in the game right now - grew up admiring Woods' larger-than-life presence on the golf course. Koepka was 6 when Woods won his first Masters in 1997. He was 18 when Woods won major No. 14 in 2008.

Trump to present Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods next week

Trump to present Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods next week WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods next week. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says an awards ceremony will be held in the Rose Garden on Monday. Woods overcame personal and professional adversity to win his fifth Masters title last month. Trump tweeted after the tournament that he had congratulated Woods and informed him that he would be receiving the medal because of his "incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE." It's the nation's highest honour for a civilian and presidents have wide discretion over whom to award it.

Tiger Woods inspired a generation . Now he ' s their fiercest competition . 6 questions to be answered at the PGA Championship. Nantz praises Koepka: ' He ' s having the best run in golf since Tiger '.

He showed signs of rust on Thursday at the PGA Championship, carding three bogeys and two doubles. However, he salvaged his round with three birdies and an eagle to shoot 2-over. Tiger Woods inspired a generation . Now he ' s their fiercest competition .

"I think everybody in my generation, my age, grew up watching him," Koepka said last week while in Dallas for the AT&T Byron Nelson. "That's pretty much the whole reason we're all playing."

Tiger Woods inspired a generation. Now he's their fiercest competition© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC Sam Greenwood / US PGA TOUR / Getty

When Woods held off opponents such as Koepka (28 years old) and Xander Schauffele (25) to win last month's Masters, he completed a remarkable personal comeback to reach golf's summit once again. He also solidified a new dynamic within the sport as attention turns this week to Bethpage Black for the PGA Championship.

These days, a talented generation that Woods had a hand in creating is getting an up-close glimpse at the Tiger of old. Eight of the top 11 players in the world are under 30, and six of the last nine major winners were in their 20s.

Tiger's yacht docks in New York ahead of PGA Championship

Tiger's yacht docks in New York ahead of PGA Championship Tiger Woods' accommodation for the PGA Championship has put down its anchor. The wealthiest golfer of all time docked his $20-million yacht named "Privacy" in Oyster Bay, N.Y. on Wednesday, according to “I don’t know if he’s here, but that’s his boat,” a worker at Oyster Bay Marine Center told “I really don’t know too much, but I know it’s (Tiger's boat).” Woods will presumably stay in his luxury vessel during the PGA Championship in two weeks, leaving him only a 25-minute drive to the tournament's venue, Bethpage Black. The 15-time major winner also docked his yacht near last year's U.S.

He ’ s 42 years old now , he ’ s losing his hair, his knees ache Is he really a different, better person? It seems doubtful: the damage was probably too severe, the kind you never really recover from. What happened in his absence, of course, was that a whole new generation of very appealing, un- Tigerish

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Woods' run, which began 22 years ago, is a primary reason.

"He was certainly very inspirational to me and obviously a number of people with the way that he played the game, the moments that he had the big putts that he holed, the big shots he hit under the highest amount of pressure," Spieth said last week. "Unlike anything anybody else is doing, right?"

A younger man's game

When Woods won the Masters in 1997, the top 10 golfers in the world other than him were an average age of 36.7 years old.

At that event, he fought off 47-year-old Tom Kite, 30-year-old Tommy Tolles, and 47-year-old Tom Watson to claim the green jacket.

But at the 2019 Masters, only one of the top 10 finishers other than Woods was over the age of 35 - 36-year-old Francesco Molinari.

With that victory, his 15th major championship, the 43-year-old Woods also rose to No. 6 in the world ranking. The rest of the top 10 golfers average 29.6 years of age, ranging from Jon Rahm (24) to Justin Rose (38).

Tiger Woods reportedly sent Mike Trout some golf clubs

Tiger Woods reportedly sent Mike Trout some golf clubs One of the greatest golfers of all time sent a gift to one of the greatest baseball players of all time. According to media members covering the Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout had a long box by his locker at Angel Stadium on Thursday. The Los Angeles Daily News says the box contained two TaylorMade golf clubs sent by Tiger Woods. Trout has never met Woods and was unsure how he got on the golfer’s mailing list, but he appreciated the clubs. He also told reporter JP Hoornstra that he’s a “big fan” of Woods. Tiger is coming off a win at the Masters last month, marking his 15th career major and first since 2008.

“ Him coming back into the fore alongside players like Tony Finau will help the perception too.” Woods became a huge global star with his series of major The Masters Green Jacket being presented to Tiger Woods on a number of occasions. Composite: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images, AP Photo/Doug

Tiger Woods ' success has inspired a young generation of extremely talented players determined to take their place at the top of the golf world. There are a lot more cars on the road now . Faster ones, too. Woods acknowledged as much before the Hero World Challenge began when he jokingly said

It's clear the sport has become a younger man's game for a generation that grew up idolizing Tiger.

"It's the way Michael Jordan inspired the generations playing now," Spieth said.

Tiger Woods inspired a generation. Now he's their fiercest competition© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC David Cannon / David Cannon Collection / Getty

It wasn't always this easy - or made to look this easy - for young golfers. Of the 10 major tournaments before Woods' triumph at the 1997 Masters, nine were won by golfers older than 30. (John Daly, at 29, won the 1995 Open Championship.)

Woods, who won 10 majors before he turned 30, inspired confidence that one could win with less experience at an earlier age.

"What people thought when I was growing up, you kind of struggled in your 20s on many tours and you'd get in a couple of (PGA) Tour events," said Baylor men's golf coach Mike McGraw, who coached pros including Rickie Fowler and Charles Howell at Oklahoma State. "In your 30s, you start to figure out how to play and you win. In your 40s, you start to diminish.

"Well, that's not the way this generation thinks."

The results certainly show that younger golfers are finding success. Twenty of the 37 majors this decade were won by players in their 20s. That's more than double the number won by 20-somethings in the 1990s.

Tiger Woods biography in development to become TV miniseries

Tiger Woods biography in development to become TV miniseries The story of Tiger Woods is coming to television, as author Jeff Benedict has agreed to turn his book, "Tiger Woods," into a scripted miniseries, Wheelhouse Entertainment announced Tuesday. The book was published last year and became a New York Times bestseller. "As a rabid sports fan, I had seen Jeff's byline and read much of his work, always impressed by his insights and access into some pretty rarefied worlds," Wheelhouse Entertainment CEO Brent Montgomery said. "But when I picked up 'Tiger Woods,' I saw what a true force Jeff really is – and a compelling way to bring the Tiger Woods story to life as one of the most moving in sports history.

To understand why Woods ’ s horribly diminished state – he barely plays golf now , let alone The ageing process might have softened their mutual antipathy, but it is still interesting that Mickelson Woods incentivised a generation of players, many of whom are now the world’ s best, to get into golf.

If he were to win this tournament, he said, it wouldn’t even qualify as the greatest comeback of all time in golf. Woods mentioned Ben Hogan, who in 1949 was driving a car that collided head-on with a Greyhound bus. Jack Burke Jr., the 1956 Masters champion, was competing when Hogan returned.

Major champions by decade

Florida State men's coach Trey Jones, who guided pros such as Koepka and Daniel Berger, said competing (and winning) at an earlier age has become contagious.

"The guys think they can play good young. So they're not afraid," Jones said. "The average age winner on the PGA Tour right now is 33. That's a little higher than it was a year ago. But when I talk to - whether it's Daniel or Brooks or Rickie Fowler - they're always, 'Hey, if this guy can do it, why can't I?'"

Training like an athlete

Conrad Ray has witnessed Woods' influence on the physical side of the game ever since they were teammates at Stanford University.

"Tiger really was the spearhead in terms of fitness in golf," said Ray, now the men's golf coach at their alma mater.

"When he started working out, there were very few people in the world of golf that thought that was any good or smart or were actually doing it. For Tiger to be that guy on a big stage, it's really changed how I as a coach, or people that are in the golf development side, really approach trying to make people better."

Sure, golf had impressive athletes before Woods. Hale Irwin was an All-Big Eight defensive back at Colorado before embarking on a professional golf career that included three U.S. Open victories.

But a peek around the golf landscape today reveals many more fit players like Koepka and Johnson who look like they could have chosen any sport.

Woods to play Memorial Tournament

Woods to play Memorial Tournament Tiger Woods will compete in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio next week, the 43-year-old announced Thursday on social media. Woods has won the event a record five times and will use it as his final tune-up before the U.S. Open begins at Pebble Beach on June 13. The 11-time PGA player of the year will look for his first victory at the Memorial since 2012. Held at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, the tournament is one of the biggest non-major events in golf. Opting not to play between his Masters win in April and last week's PGA Championship, Woods has kept his word about playing a lighter schedule since his comeback year in 2018.

Montreal will have their own "Jurassic Park" tonight for a Game 5 Viewing Party of the NBA Finals. Peel Street was closed for Grand Prix Weekend and will remain closed for what could be a HISTORIC night for Basketball in our Country. Tiger Woods inspired a generation .

He ’ s 22. Rodgers, who shattered Woods ’ records at Stanford and followed in his footsteps to Nike, shouldn’t This is the maturation of the Tiger Woods generation . These were the Golf Boom kids, those whom Woods likely in some way, shape, or form inspired or enabled their foray into the game

"I contend that before Tiger, those guys would not have played the game of golf," McGraw said.

"Or if they had, the training process or the mindset of physically training didn't exist. Even if an athlete picked up the game in 1970, he still didn't train like an athlete. He just trained like a golfer. Tiger, his influence on training, although it probably injured him more than he needed to, that influence on it has made it so that I've got guys on my team who probably never would have played golf."

Tiger Woods inspired a generation. Now he's their fiercest competition© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC Tracy Wilcox / US PGA TOUR / Getty

The increasing number of players who are picking up golf at a young age and combining that choice with a dedicated fitness routine has undoubtedly contributed to an overall improvement in the quality of the sport - something that's perhaps even more evident in the college ranks.

As a sophomore at Stanford in 1996, Woods won eight of 13 tournaments - setting a college golf record - while averaging 70.61 strokes per round.

It remains, arguably, the most dominant individual season in collegiate golf history. Yet, in 2018-19, the 70.61 average would rank just 40th in Division I.

Technology is certainly a major factor in that overall improvement, but the Tiger effect is real.

"These players are better and they've gotten interested at an earlier age and they have better instruction," McGraw said, adding: "There's more athletes picking up the game now that would never have played the game before."

For athletes choosing a sport, Woods has also improved golf from the marketing side - not only setting a new bar for what a player can make with outside endorsements, but by drawing billions of new dollars and fans to the PGA Tour based on his widespread fan appeal.

Watch: Tiger calls $85K Masters wager placed on him a 'f---ing great bet'

Watch: Tiger calls $85K Masters wager placed on him a 'f---ing great bet' Watch: Tiger calls $85K Masters wager placed on him a 'f---ing great bet'

“What he ’ s doing now to what he was doing a year ago, he’d wake up with pain every single day,” said Jason Day, who had been at Woods ’ house on various occasions while “I think it’s going to be harder for [the younger generation ],” Snedeker said with a wry smile. “They only know Tiger as their friend.

Amy Lynch, top generations expert & professional speaker blogs on generational values, surprising trends, managing Millennials, who is Gen Z, and Here’ s the surprise. Gen Z shares generational DNA with their grandparents and great-grands, the Silent generation that came of age in the wake of

Tiger Woods inspired a generation. Now he's their fiercest competition© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC Andrew Redington / Getty Images

For example, Woods won $2.07 million of an $11.5-million prize pool at last month's Masters. At the 1997 edition, he won just $486,000 from a prize pool of $2.7 million.

Meanwhile, the World Golf Championships and the FedEx Cup did not exist before Woods. The influx of money and worldwide prestige has made golf a real alternative for players who would have seen the stars of other mainstream sports monopolizing the spotlight in the past.

"I would say 99 percent of the people that show up when he's playing are there to see him," Koepka said of Woods. "If I wasn't playing and I was a fan, that's exactly what I'd be doing. So it's been good for the sport."

The new dynamic

Beau Hossler didn't play in the 2019 Masters, but he watched it from afar.

The 24-year-old, who finished 29th at the 2012 U.S. Open at just 17, might as well have been transported back to his childhood as Woods closed out his first major in more than a decade.

"I didn't know anything other than Tiger dominating golf," Hossler said last week while competing at the Byron Nelson.

"Seemingly every year for what, I guess a 10-, 12-year period, from the time I was about 4 years old until the time I was about 15, 16 years old, it was like he was the best player in the world. And, to be fair, there was no one really even close, on a consistent basis at least."

At this week's PGA Championship, Woods' re-emergence will create a dreamlike dynamic as the best golfers in the world take on Bethpage Black. It's not often that an athlete gets to compete against their idol - especially when their idol is still playing at a championship level.

This isn't Michael Jordan with the Washington Wizards, or Albert Pujols as he winds down his career with the Los Angeles Angels. Instead, Woods is expected to be a serious contender.

Tiger Woods inspired a generation. Now he's their fiercest competition© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC David Cannon / Getty Images

Koepka, the defending champion, will go toe to toe with the player he grew up watching on championship Sundays. They're paired in the 8:24 a.m. ET group that will start on the 10th tee Thursday, and in an afternoon group Friday.

At last year's PGA Championship, Koepka beat Woods by two strokes. Woods got him back at the Masters last month, where Koepka finished second.

"I texted him … on the flight home (from the Masters). Just said 'Congrats, that was awesome, fun to see,'" Koepka said. "And, as you know, he responded with, 'We're 1-1.'"

It's an exchange most under-30 golfers can only wish to have this weekend - and for as long as Woods' renaissance lasts.

As Spieth said, "Knowing that we'll potentially have the chance to battle it out in a major with him is a dream come true."

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Nicklaus: If healthy, Tiger 'probably will break my record'.
"They stopped asking me for a while." Jack Nicklaus took a few years off from fielding questions about whether Tiger Woods would ever break Nicklaus' record of 18 major wins. But after Woods won the 2019 Masters for his 15th victory at a major, the conversation started back up, and Nicklaus believes the record is in reach - barring one big unknown. "Who knows how long his body is going to stay together," Nicklaus said Tuesday at the Memorial Tournament, the PGA Tour event he hosts. "(When) you've had as many operations as he's had ... He may be solid enough that it's all right, and if he is, I think he probably will break my record.

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