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26 examples of Tiger Woods' extraordinary competitiveness

Scott Davis,Cork Gaines   

26 examples of Tiger Woods' extraordinary competitiveness
Getty/Andrew Redington
  • Tiger Woods' future on the golf course is limited following his horrific car accident.
  • Even though he will never be a full-time player again, Woods has already shown he can compete again, which is just the latest example of his competitiveness.

Tony Manfred contributed to an earlier version of this story.

When Woods was 14, he said he could be the Michael Jordan of golf.

When Woods was 14, he said he could be the Michael Jordan of golf.
YouTube

Source: Golf.com

He has practiced before and after competitive rounds: He was spotted playing in the dark at the 2011 PGA Championship.

He has practiced before and after competitive rounds: He was spotted playing in the dark at the 2011 PGA Championship.
Nike Golf

Source: Nike Golf

He used to have a crazy, non-stop daily routine.

He used to have a crazy, non-stop daily routine.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Woods recently revealed what his daily routine was when he was younger:

"I used to get up in the morning, run four miles," Woods said in 2018. "Then I'd go to the gym, do my lift. Then I'd hit balls for two to three hours, I'd go play, come back, work on my short game, I'd go run another four more miles, and then if anyone wanted to play basketball or tennis, I would go play basketball or tennis. That was a daily routine."

According to his former trainer, Hank Haney, Tiger's marathon training days would last for 13 hours.

According to his former trainer, Hank Haney, Tiger
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

He's so obsessed with working out — he does it in the middle of the night.

He
Jamie Squire/Getty

Rory McIlroy said he used to receive texts from Tiger at 4 am saying he couldn't sleep, so he would go lift.

Read more: Rory McIlroy says Tiger Woods texts him in the middle of the night from the gym because he can't sleep

His former coach claims he injured himself doing insane, Olympic-style weightlifting exercises to get stronger.

His former coach claims he injured himself doing insane, Olympic-style weightlifting exercises to get stronger.
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Source: ESPN

He played with a broken leg and torn ACL at the 2008 US Open and won.

He played with a broken leg and torn ACL at the 2008 US Open and won.
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Source: ESPN

At the 2019 PGA Championship, Tiger was asked about John Daly getting permission to use a cart. Tiger grinned and referred back to that U.S. Open win, saying, "as far as J.D. taking a cart, well, I walked with a broken leg."

At the 2019 PGA Championship, Tiger was asked about John Daly getting permission to use a cart. Tiger grinned and referred back to that U.S. Open win, saying, "as far as J.D. taking a cart, well, I walked with a broken leg."
Tiger Woods speaks at his press conference ahead of the 2022 PGA Championship.      AP Photo/Matt York

Woods was not known to be very friendly on the golf course during his prime, making plenty of rivals throughout his career.

Woods was not known to be very friendly on the golf course during his prime, making plenty of rivals throughout his career.
Danny Moloshok/AP

He once fired an iconic death stare at his ex-caddie Steve Williams after their messy breakup.

He once fired an iconic death stare at his ex-caddie Steve Williams after their messy breakup.
AP

Phil Mickelson has been one of Tiger's top rivals, though it appears the two are now friendlier than ever.

Phil Mickelson has been one of Tiger
Jamie Squire/Getty

When Woods and Mickelson played a practice round together before the 2018 Masters, it was so surreal that McIlroy actually told Tiger, "I never thought I'd see the day: Tiger and Phil playing a practice round at Augusta."

Of course, he still had to have some fun afterward, saying Mickelson's button-down golf shirt was missing a tie.

Of course, he still had to have some fun afterward, saying Mickelson
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Though he has rivalries, he also sends tough love to other golfers. He once gave McIlroy some odd motivation before a tournament.

Though he has rivalries, he also sends tough love to other golfers. He once gave McIlroy some odd motivation before a tournament.
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

From McIlroy: "He told me to get my finger out of my a** and win this week."

Source: Jason Sobel/ESPN

Tiger hates losing — in all sports.

Tiger hates losing — in all sports.
Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

Tiger's caddie Joe LaCava said he once beat Tiger nine times in a row at HORSE, and Tiger wouldn't talk to him the rest of the day.

Source: Golf.com

He refuses to give an edge in any competition, even ping pong.

He refuses to give an edge in any competition, even ping pong.
Danny Moloshok/AP

Jack Nicklaus once told a story about watching Tiger and Mickelson play ping pong. When Mickelson won a round after switching sides, Tiger refused to keep playing.

"Phil says, 'Hey Tiger, how about a game of ping pong?' 'Sure, let's play.' So Tiger plays, and Tiger wins the first game. They play another one, Tiger wins the second game.

"Phil says, 'I've got this buffet behind me … let's switch ends.' They switch ends, Phil wins.

"Phil says, 'OK, come on, Tiger, let's play one more.'

"Tiger says, 'Phil, two to one.' And he never played him again the rest of the week."

He doesn't take it easy on anyone, including his ex-girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn. She said he won every time they played ping pong or tennis.

He doesn
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Source: USA Today

He felt guilty about using an air tank while spearfishing, so he learned to free dive without one.

He felt guilty about using an air tank while spearfishing, so he learned to free dive without one.
AP

Source: OC Register

He loves a good challenge.

He loves a good challenge.
Lynne Sladky/AP

Pro golfer Maverick McNealy told a story about Tiger accepting a challenge to hit a building in a canyon with a golf ball. He did it in two tries, then did it again.

"Tiger hits one. And he's like, 'Oh, it's about 10 yards right.' My dad said, 'Yeah, 50 yards short of anything.' And he had a little house, a little roof, way down there [in the canyon]. And Tiger was like, 'Give me another ball.' So he gets another ball, tees it up, hits it and says, 'That's right on it.'

"And it's a dead quiet, dead still evening. And the ball's going, going, going. Then I hear, bam! Right off the roof. And so we all run inside, giggling and laughing. The roof had to have been 400 yards out there and 50 feet, maybe more, dropped down into a canyon valley. And Tiger says, 'Oh, I'm going to do that again.' So he gets out, puts another ball down, rips it. And bam! Rips it off the roof again. We said, 'OK, we're done. We're done.'"

He changed his swing in 2002 after winning eight majors because it wasn't perfect enough.

He changed his swing in 2002 after winning eight majors because it wasn
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Source: Time

He then changed his swing several more times, leading to some criticism from those in the golf world.

He then changed his swing several more times, leading to some criticism from those in the golf world.
Bret Hartman/AP

He loved the military, so he reportedly tried to join the Navy SEALs.

He loved the military, so he reportedly tried to join the Navy SEALs.
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

In his book, "The Big Miss," ex-coach Hank Haney wrote that Tiger was obsessed with the military.

Not only did he go on six excursions at Navy SEAL "kill houses," he seriously considered joining the SEALs before his agent talked him out of it.

In 2000, he took a gamble and switched to a solid-core ball that no one else was using. Two years later, the entire tour was using it.

In 2000, he took a gamble and switched to a solid-core ball that no one else was using. Two years later, the entire tour was using it.
Matt York/AP

In the 12 months after he changed balls, he won nine tournaments and all four majors.

At the peak of his game, he never joked around on the course.

At the peak of his game, he never joked around on the course.
AP

From Robert Lusetich at Fox Sports:

Once, at the Masters, when Mickelson watched his rival [Tiger] hit a three-wood past his driver, he asked Woods if he always hit fairway woods so far.

"No," said Woods, pulling his tee from the ground before marching down the fairway, "Sometimes further."

His numerous comebacks from injuries prove how hard-working he is.

His numerous comebacks from injuries prove how hard-working he is.
Lenny Ignelzi/AP

Upon returning to golf in 2015 after an injury, Woods said:

"Competing is still the same. I'm trying to beat everybody out there. That hasn't changed. I prepare to win and expect to go and do that ... The only difference is that I won the Masters when Jordan [Spieth] was still in diapers."

At the 2019 Masters, where Tiger won his 15th major and proved he was finally back, he reportedly cursed himself out in a bathroom in private after 2 straight bogeys. He then rebounded to win the green jacket.

At the 2019 Masters, where Tiger won his 15th major and proved he was finally back, he reportedly cursed himself out in a bathroom in private after 2 straight bogeys. He then rebounded to win the green jacket.
Getty/Andrew Redington

This quote about why he plays golf sums it up.

This quote about why he plays golf sums it up.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Source: Golf Channel


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