Tiger Tales: Guts and Commitment

Say what you like about Tiger Woods and his horror run of injuries and subsequent demise in the world golf rankings.

But don’t ever question his guts and commitment.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Certainly his former amateur team-mates at Cardinal during an NCAA tournament would vouch for his determination.

Well-known golfers like Casey Martin and Notah Begay III and Standford’s current coach Conrad Ray recently confirmed confirm Tiger’s value both to their team and the game of golf.

Their first glimpse of Tiger’s talent occurred at the 1995 NCAA Regional Championships in New Mexico when the team visited one of “local boy” Notah Begay’s favourite barbecue restaurants.

Martin and Woods ordered the same course and both were subsequently struck down with food poisoning – and were throwing up for most of the night.

Begay recalled visiting his two team-mates and finding them “on death’s door”.

He explained that the team needed one of the two ‘gun’ players to front up and join their four-man team…or their season was done.

“I knew Tiger would help me,” Martin said.

And Woods delivered – in spades, shooting an even-par 72 to help get them home.

“I remember Tiger was setting up over his shot at 17 and then he backed off, walked to the side of the tee, threw up, walked over there, hit it on the green and two-putted,” said Begay.

“We were in the ER after the round with IVs, and then we survived and advanced,” Martin added.

“But it was not without some serious stress.”

Tiger has had more problems than most since that fateful day, but has also cemented his place as one of the greatest players the world has ever seen.

And history will show it took a little bit more than some crook food to stop him.