Altvater: 2015 will see epic battle on PGA TourWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Great athletes need a challenge to motivate them to reach farther, train harder and dream bigger. Coaches constantly search for the opposing team to say something that can be used to motivate his team to gain an edge on game day.
Tiger Woods has always dreamed of beating Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships, but age and injury may have dusted some of the luster off that lofty goal.
Not to worry, however, Tiger may have found a new challenge. The golf media has anointed Rory McIlroy the most dominant player in golf and relegated 39 year old Woods as an elder statesman.
I don’t think Tiger feels he is quite ready for the rocking chair just yet, however.
While Woods was at home rehabbing from back surgery, McIlroy won two major championships and the WGC-Bridgestone in a three-week span. He added the European Tour’s premier event, the BMW PGA and the Race to Dubai to round out the year.
He took a solid grip on the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Rankings and everyone is agog over McIlroy, except Tiger Woods.
An aging veteran pitcher faced with getting the young rookie slugger out in the bottom of the ninth, a proud aging heavyweight facing a faster, younger boxer or a tennis star suddenly finding himself pitted against someone 10 years younger with no aches and pains, are the aspects of sports that add drama and garner sport’s fans attention.
We are facing a year when an aging veteran, attempts to return from back surgery, while walking around on creaky knees, faces off with a bright-eyed 25-year-old that excels at every part of the golf game and is at his peak athletically.
This is the EPIC struggle and it may not be limited to just one game or series. This drama could play out in four majors, four World Golf Championships, a Players Championship and several other big golf tournaments around the world.
If Woods needs motivation to return to the top of the golf world, all he has to do is look at Rory McIlroy. McIlroy has all the tools and is getting all the attention, something Tiger had for most of his career.
Fred Altvater offers golf tips and videos at www.toledoohiogolflessons.com. Email him at BackNine@toledofree press.com or follow him on Twitter @tolohgolfr.