Thursday, January 26, 2012

The first hint that a force of nature was about to wallop the Tour came courtesy not of the Mike Douglas Show but of a film session in a tidy Stanford dorm room in 1996. Woods had invited his teammates over to watch golf, but they soon learned he had more than that in mind.

"He had this huge library of tapes," says Dave Garcia, who works in corporate finance in the Silicon Valley and was a senior when Woods was a sophomore. "He had the '91 Ryder Cup, the '93 Ryder Cup, all the majors. He'd rewind, fast-forward, slow-mo, point out everything that was wrong with everyone's swing. His attention to detail was just amazing. These were guys like Faldo, Lehman, Norman, and I'm thinking, Tiger, what are you talking about? These are the best in the world! I knew he was playing a different game than the rest of us."

Woods reminded us again of that fact when he defeated Stewart Cink in sudden-death at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio. Woods' fourth victory in his last four starts came on the 10-year anniversary of his turning pro. GOLF MAGAZINE caught up with his old teammates and coach, plus the Cardinal's new coach and even an incoming recruit, to see what they make of his success.

"Notah [Begay] probably rubbed off on Tiger," says former Stanford golf coach Wally Goodwin. "[Begay] had the best short game I've ever seen."

But it's what Woods gave back in two years that impresses.

"He changed my life," says Goodwin, now the University of Northern Colorado golf coach. "I was in the fast lane for years, and then Tiger came to school and I couldn't find a lane fast enough. He had to be the most highly-publicized athlete ever to go off to college. I remember the press conference we had. It was the first we'd ever had for an incoming player. But in the time he was there, he only snubbed one writer, down in Albuquerque, and we did it as a team. We were all tired and didn't want to wait around an hour while he was interviewed. Eventually it got completely out of hand. People would just show up on campus and seek him out."


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