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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Tiger Woods’ accomplishments are nothing short of amazing

By Marco Villano, Staff Writer

When the debate over who is the greatest living athlete arises, most sports fans would claim that this would be someone obvious such as Kobe Bryant or the most popular athlete in the world right now, Michael Phelps. This is because their athletic ability and their accomplishments stand out over anyone else’s in their respective sports.

This being said, Tiger Woods fits the bill as the best of the best as far as living athletes, and arguably any athlete in the history of competitive sports.

An athlete, according to, is “a person with natural or acquired traits such as strength, agility, and endurance, that are necessary for physical exercise or sports, especially those performed in competitive contexts.” Here’s a little breakdown of how Woods fits that definition.

Strength. It’s reported that Woods can bench 300 lbs. and standing at 6-foot-1 and 185 lbs., he’s built more like a an NFL defensive back, than a golfer.

Agility. Golf is a sport that requires as much agility as any other. To make contact with a little white ball while contorting your body, controlling the club and trying to hit the ball long and straight down a gap no wider than State Street is something that a small percentage of people can do consistently.

. Woods runs three miles a day with a 40-pound weighted
vest on to prepare himself for the 7,000 yard stroll he takes every round for four days.

Besides being great athletes and freaks in the gym, Woods and Phelps have something else in common8212;being victims to technological advancements in their sports. I say victims, because every world record that they set could be argued as skewed to the athletes who competed more than 10 years ago.

In Phelps’ case, the pools aren’t going to change, but he will have to live with the fact that Mark Spitz might have been able to swim faster with the technology, such as the LZR Racer Speedo suit, that Phelps has access to today.

With Woods, golf courses have been lengthened, tightened and have been made ridiculously harder. Not only because of technology, but because Woods was having a cake walk on them. Only a few athletes have been able to change the face of their sport.

Woods has set more records than any other athlete in professional sports. Here are just a few of the accomplishments that he has achieved in his 12 years of professional golf8212;14 major championships, just four shy of Jack Nicklaus’ record; 65 career wins on the PGA Tour, trailing only Sam Snead and Nicklaus; and scoring records in all four majors.

Sure, Phelps set world records and did something that no other Olympian has ever done, but he’s going up against a fraction of the field that Woods goes against week in and week out. Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time out of 10,000 people that have competed in 29 Summer Olympic games, while Woods is the best of hundreds of thousands of golf pros from more than a century of professional golf.

The six individual events that Phelps won this year shows how clutch and versatile he is. Woods’ best season as a pro consists of nine wins, including three majors. It’s even more exceptional that Woods does this year in and year out in a sport that forces your nerves to stay in check for every shot. Just imagine shooting a game-winning free throw, field goal or base hit more than 65 times in one day. This is another reason that Woods is the best living athlete8212;unlike anyone else in sports, he has come up with more clutch shots than Michael Jordan.

Phelps’ performance in the Olympics this year was one of the best in sports history, but Woods has done this virtually every season he’s played competitive golf. He has put himself on a pedestal that might be unreachable by any athlete in all of sports.

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