Monday, December 05, 2011

Tiger-woods-chevron-matt-corey-press-tent_337By Matt Corey There is an energy around golf right now, even though it is December. This weekend, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Tiger Woods all won. Some of the biggest names in golf are playing well, and it gives hope for an exciting 2012. A key part of this weekend was Tiger's first win in two years, and while some will downplay the victory due to the small field at the Chevron World Challenge, a win is a win. But it's not just the fact that Tiger won that makes fans stand up and cheer. He's won a lot in his career.  It's the way he wins. Tiger wins with a passion and flair that very few golfers show on the course. It's the fist pump, the smile, the swagger and the laser-focused determination you can see on his face as he approaches every shot. It's the whole package. We cheer Tiger on because we miss his passion. We miss the way he makes all of us regular hackers feel when he's in the heat of the moment coming down the 18th fairway tied for the lead or down by one with a must-make situation in front of him. And we love it when he executes. It's the game-winning, last-minute touchdown drive. It's the walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth.  It's an aspirational and inspirational feeling. It's Michael Jordan. It's Tim Tebow. It's Muhammad Ali. It's an intangible trait that few athletes have, and more golfers need to find. Some pros on tour today have at least a little bit of that "it factor" - Graeme McDowell, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy and a few others.  But not enough. All due respect to Lucas Glover (an amazing golfer), but when you win the U.S. Open in New York, you don't tip your cap and give the world a half grin.  You run around the green and high-five the most passionate fans in the world, who have just spent four soggy days following you around the course. You let your hair (and beard) down. You pump your first. You celebrate. And you inspire all of us. So welcome back Tiger. We missed you. Matt Corey is chief marketing officer for Golfsmith. Photo: Danny Moloshok/AP

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