Tiger Woods showed everyone that he can win majors in golf when he won the Masters in 2019 when most thought he would never win another major. He showed that he still is a great golfer mainly because of his faith in himself, his game and his relentless work ethic.
But then he made a big mistake by not playing in any tournaments before the next major, the PGA Championship which comes one month after the Masters. You would think he would not repeat this mistake again, but he did as he did not play in any tournaments after the US Open till he teed up at the British Open. He opened with a 78 and did better in the second round with a 70, but missed the cut.
Tiger missed the cut at the PGA Championship and at the British Open. That is a big deal for him.
Perhaps I am too hard on the world's greatest golfer for missing a cut, but he is Tiger Woods and time is not on his side to catch and surpass Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors.
To win a major, you have to play in the minor tournaments a week before or two weeks before a major. If your game is off a little, it can be a difference between competing and missing a cut. The competition is that good at the PGA level.
Tiger probably took time off to rest his back, but golf is about touch and feel. You can't practice your way to competing and winning a major. You win majors by playing in the minor tournaments before the major. This applies not to Tiger but all of us in what we do.
Now if you are an avid Tiger supporter, you may say that he missed the cut because he was not that familiar with the brutal Beth Page Black course where PGA Championship was played. Though he does not know Beth Page Black as well as Augusta National Golf Club where Masters is played, but Tiger did win the US Open on the same Beth Page Black course in 2002. So that excuse falls flat. I just think he was rusty for not playing before the PGA Championship.
The winner, Brooks Koepka played last week before the major, and the runner-up, Dustin Johnson, played two weeks before the PGA Championship.
Tiger didn't play, and I think it caught up with him as he missed the cut by one stroke.
The lesson to take away from this is that practice is not enough. As Allen Iverson, a great basketball player, once went on a famous rant about practice that "We're talking about practice. How silly is that?... We're not talking about the game---the actual game---when it matters.
Brooks Koepka competed the week before the PGA Championship, and he was in a top form and became a repeat champion. Last week's tournament became a practice for him that helped him win the major. I hope Tiger does not make this mistake again since it was boring watching golf when he is not competing in majors.
So if you want to win, you can learn a lot from Tiger Woods but not taking time off between majors. You have to be sharp before the major, so you have a good shot at winning when the stakes are the highest.
Jay Oza is a writer, speaker, executive coach. He makes people thrive on high stakes stage whether it's for a job interview, a sales presentation or an important speech. He is the author of the book Winning Speech Moments: How to Achieve Your Objective with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere. Please download the speech checklist and the speech workbook to help you with your next high stakes speech.
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