Sport

Tiger Woods’ Hall of Famer legacy is more than just success on the pitch

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Tiger Woods should be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Wednesday night for both what he’s done for the game and what he’s done on the golf course, which is winning a record 82 career tournaments, including 15 major championships.

Wood’s notable legacy extends to both the current group of stars who rank at the top of the world rankings today, the five Masters Green Jackets he has won and his three US Open, three British Open and four PGA awards Championship victories.

Yes, Woods was the most dominant player the game has ever seen, but that dominance, coupled with his skin color adding diversity to an all-too-white sport, inspired the likes of Jon Rahm, who is currently world No. 1, Collin Morikawa ( #2), Rory McIlroy (#6), Dustin Johnson (#9), Xander Schauffele (#8) and so many more to follow in his footsteps.

Name a current top player and they’ve either been drawn to the game or at least influenced by Woods.

That’s why Woods, aged 46, was taken in by his 14-year-old daughter Sam on Wednesday night in a harrowing juxtaposition of the time, place and moment of his life.

Woods’ induction ceremony was held at the newly built PGA Tour Headquarters, located about three par-5s from the old TPC Sawgrass clubhouse, where he attended the most uncomfortable press conference of his life 12 years ago.

In February 2010, some three months after his famous car crash into the Isleworth fire hydrants that exposed his marital infidelity, Woods stood before those horrific blue curtains and in a grossly awkward 14-minute statement told the world, “I know I do.” have done has disappointed you all bitterly. I’m so sorry for everything I’ve done.”

Tiger Woods poses for a photo with his mother Kutilda (left), children Sam Alexis and Charlie and Erica Herman (right) before his induction ceremony into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Tiger Woods poses for a photo with his mother Kutilda (left), children Sam Alexis and Charlie and Erica Herman (right) before his induction ceremony into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
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Woods doesn’t have to apologize for anything he did on the golf course. Just ask the generations of gamers who have been influenced by him.

“Aside from entertaining us all for 20 years and doing incredible things, he inspired the generation of players you see today,” said Rahm.

“You’ve been on top of the world [currently] A lot of 20’s and early 30’s growing up have watched it and tried to copy it and I think that’s why the level of the game is as high as it is now.

“It’s a testament to what he was able to achieve and how many people he was able to inspire.”

Morikawa said, “He is everything. I grew up with him. I wanted to compete against him. They wanted to be number 1 in the world. I just wanted to meet him.”

Now the Morikawa, who has won two major championships in the last three years, beats his idol.

“When I was in high school, golf was still considered a not-so-cool sport,” Johnson said. “You were an idiot if you played golf. But Tiger actually made it a cool sport. Everyone wanted to be like Tiger. He was a big part of me to play golf and go on tour and play against him.”

McIlroy said he feels “fortunate” to have met Woods.

“There’s this kind of saying that you shouldn’t meet your heroes, and Tiger was my hero when I met him and he lived up to expectations,” McIlroy said. “He’s been an inspiration to so many of us out here playing this golf tournament this week. All of us playing here this week have Tiger to thank for where and where the game is [PGA] Tour is.”

Tiger Woods hugs his mother Kutilda before his induction ceremony into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Tiger Woods hugs his mother Kutilda before his induction ceremony into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Getty Images

Justin Thomas described what Woods did for the game as “monumental”.

“I don’t think I can even begin to put it into words,” Thomas said. “He influenced and influenced me massively.”

Count Cantlay as influenced by Woods as Thomas.

“I think every professional out here owes a debt of gratitude to Tiger because the sport wouldn’t be where it is today without his influence,” Cantlay said.

“He created what golf is today and we are all products of it,” said Schauffele. ‘Thanks to him for that, too [Players Championship] Purse of 20 million dollars. Tiger Woods has a piece of it. He changed golf.”

Scottie Scheffler, who is ranked 5th and won the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, said he used to watch YouTube highlights of Woods to emulate him on the golf course.

“He’s an inspiration to all of us the way he plays golf,” Scheffler said. “It’s pretty ridiculous. His stats and the way he plays and swings, it’s so radically different from the rest of us in how we play golf and approach the game. It’s really hard to put into words what he did for us out here.

“He totally changed our lives.”

Woods’ life changed a little on Wednesday night with his well-deserved inauguration.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/09/tiger-woods-hall-of-fame-legacy-more-than-on-course-exploits/ Tiger Woods’ Hall of Famer legacy is more than just success on the pitch

JOE HERNANDEZ

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