Five things we learned from Tiger Woods’ interview with Good Morning America

September 27, 2019

On Friday morning, Good Morning America aired an interview Michael Strahan conducted with Tiger Woods at this week’s NEXUS Cup. Buried in the feature was an injury update, a putting contest and talk of priorities. Here are five things we learned from Woods’ GMA appearance.

1. He’s been cleared to practice.

Take everything Woods ever says about his health with a grain of salt, but still — this sounds good:

“I got the clearance last week to start full practice, and so I played nine holes the other day,” he told Strahan. “Sore? Yeah, it’s sore, but now I can start lifting, getting my muscle back and getting my weight up and doing all that stuff again.”

Just what every forty-something wants to do: get their weight up. In any case, sounds like we’re all systems go for The Challenge skins game next month, and the ZOZO Championship shortly thereafter.

2. He liked those U.S. Open pictures with his son Charlie.

Remember those photos from a few weeks back, when Woods and his son Charlie were caught in matching poses at Rafael Nadal’s U.S. Open match? Yeah, Tiger saw those. And he dug ’em, too.

“Crazy. We are twinning at the time, but we were both in the moment, that’s what makes it special,” Woods said. He also offered up some inspiring words about what he hopes his kids will learn from watching his career.

“No matter how bleak it is, you continue to push, and you continue to fight, and you give it everything you have,” he said. “Even though sometimes that moment, it’s not very much, you keep at it.”

3. He really likes to win.

In a previous GMA appearance alongside Strahan, Woods won a putting contest under questionable conditions.

“I won, yes.” Woods insisted in the latest interview, referring back to the event. “No you didn’t! We were tied!” Strahan objected. Yeah, it’s a staged moment, but it was a telling one. As is what followed:

Woods tossed down his ball on the 18th green at Liberty National, a 20-foot curler away from the pin. As he rolled towards the hole, Strahan voiced his fears. “Oh, no. You’d better not,” he yelled, laughing. But this thing was destined for the bottom of the cup. Bingo.

4. There’s no rust on his celebration game.

Woods has told the public he’s been healthy before — that in itself is no guarantee of anything. But the most convincing sign of his health was probably the way he celebrated holing this putt. The classic Tiger shuffle, which usually goes into a big-time fist pump, this time ended with a putter flip.

And not just any putter flip. Watch that putter land. Soft as a feather, perfectly rotated so that it hits the ground all at the same time. Some Liberty National members might receive a stern letter for throwing their putter on the 18th green, but when Woods does it, it’s a work of art.

It’s Woods’ offseason, but that celebration game? Midseason form.

5. He wants his foundation’s priorities in line with his own.

Woods explained the shift in his foundation’s priorities from teaching golf to focusing on education, science and technology.

“I wanted to go back to how I was raised. It was family, school and then sports. Why is golf out front? We should flip it.”

Woods also talked about the Earl Woods Scholars, many of whom have no family members who have been to college. Earl Woods Scholarships are given to high-potential students with demonstrated need and a commitment to community service. These students receive mentors in addition to scholarship funding in honor of Woods’ father.

“We didn’t think there were going to be that many kids that had never been to college in their entire family history,” Woods said. “And so that’s what drives us to this day.”

You can see the complete interview below.

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