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Tiger Woods voted Associated Press' top athlete of decade


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I used to think that golf was pretty unathletic until I went to Torrey the first time. Vijay hit a big draw into some deep grass about 10 ft from where I stood. I stepped back a bit and watched the big fella take that lazy swing of his and just blister that sucker out of there. The controlled violence, yes the athleticism of his move (acceleration, timing, precision) was awesome to my naïve eyes. The divot was huge (should have saved some of it :)) and the ball went about twice as far as I was expecting.

Golf is indeed athletic though many body types can compete. I played competitive croquet once - now THERE's an unathletic (but very skilled) sport/game. Mind you I also played squash in those days as well - 40 min on the court and I'd be wasted.
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Who is Usain Bolt? No other athlete has dominated or made a impact on his/her sport like Woods. Personal life is just that personal...you can't deny his global impact and accomplishments in "golf".

wait wait wait... I was with you until you said "no other athlete has dominated" and then preceeded to disparage Usain Bolt. Now granted you may have been living under a rock... But while Tiger is a pretty damn good golfer, Jack so far as achieved just as much if not more than Tiger. There's never been ANOTHER MEMBER OF OUR SPECIES as fast as Usain Bolt. At the 2009 World track and field championships in Berlin, Tyson Gay of the US ran a 9.71, the 3rd fastest time in the history of man.. and got obliterated by almost 10meters by Bolt who ran a 9.58(in to a headwind mind you). That 9.71 by Gay would have won every single other track championship during the history of man except for the last olympics. And to top it off Bolt Smashed Michael Johnson's 200m record of 19.32 with his 19.19... a record most in track circles saw as the most unbreakable of any track record ( the 19.32 Johnson ran was the WR by almost 0.3, an eternity in sprints) As I usually preech on this board, have some perspective. Tiger is unquestionably dominating and a talent unlike most will ever see. But he's not the most dominant athlete of his species like Bolt, an athlete that trandscends the boundries of what is thought possible. That said I'd still vote Tiger for top athlete
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wait wait wait... I was with you until you said "no other athlete has dominated" and then preceeded to disparage Usain Bolt.

Thanks for the heads up on Bolt. I thought he was just some dude in a funny ESPN commercial.

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Should have been a slam dunk to Lance Armstrong. He has set a record that will likely never be beaten. Tiger still might break a huge record, but hasn't done it yet. Not only that but bicycle racers are more "athletes" than golfers by a looong shot.
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Has physical attributes been a topic ever before Tiger came along? Does every player on the Tour work out? Do you have to work out to play high level competitive golf?

you have asked a lot of questions. is that your way to deflect some earlier questions/issues?

. to be honest, unless someone or some people have really studied those questions empirically, we are simply shooting here with opinions. (i am not saying those are not studied, just that i do not have the time to search them out...they are out there). sports medicine and its related fields focus on those questions and if you look at how the current junior elite players are being trained, you will get a sense that their fitness regimen are based on outcomes of clinical studies. i know a 14 yo boy currently top 10 in ajga ranking. he spends quite a bit of time getting fitter, partly because he competes with 18 and under kids. trust me, driving 300 yards day in and day out wear you out. i know a 14 yo girl under leadbetter, top 5 ajga, has a weekly physical training schedule that most boys cannot keep up. couple days ago i sat through a session given by a titlist performance institute trainer whose entire career is built around getting juniors fit or fitter in parallel with golf specific training. i am not sure how old you are and if you have kids. i suspect if you have kids you will encourage them to be good athletes along being a good golfer. i will go further by saying that you will not use them to prove your point that to be a good golfer you do not need to be a good athlete. you asked, before tiger was fitness an issue? well, since tiger, fitness has become an issue and the whole game has been elevated. you suggested that those who cannot run fast should stay away from football and such. to some degree, i understand where you are coming from. but you are talking about sports specific skills/talents here, not that other sports are fitter than golf. you can be a great soccer goalie without necessarily running very fast. you can be a great american footballer, say, linebacker, without necessarily running very fast. or, you can be a great golfer or soccer player if you happen to run very fast. similarly, you can be a very bad golfer or soccer player if you happen to run very fast. just imagine, how many big muscled, fast running, super fit people cannot effectively and efficiently use and modulate their physical attributes on the golf course? if i look at them through the golf lens, can i, to play the devil's advocate, propose that those people are really not fit? running fast has one advantage i must admit. you can really run after your ball after yelling fore :) sure, some can sprint faster than a rabbit in a straight line, kinda stupid if you ask me. yet, to be able to maintain supple musculature and fluid motion, under pressure, as in golf, is the ultimate test and demonstration of physical fitness. look at it from another angle,,,if physical fitness or athleticism was ever in doubt, tiger would have not won the votes from a wide range of voters who may or may not even play golf, right?
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Who is Usain Bolt? No other athlete has dominated or made a impact on his/her sport like Woods. Personal life is just that personal...you can't deny his global impact and accomplishments in "golf".

You're kidding about the Usain Bolt question right?

And I think Armstrong and Federer certainly made an impact on their respective sports like Woods.
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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Ok alot of thoughts have come into my head from reading this thread and i'm gonna ramble a little to try and get them all out.

From what i heard, the 4 finalists were tiger, Lance, Phelps, and Federrer (sp?) . What do they all have in common? They are all athletes in individual sports. That makes it easier for their greatness to take center stage. In football, Peyton Manning is on the sidelines for half the game. In baseball, hitters only get to bat 4-5 times a game. In basketball, there are 4 teammates Kobe has to rely on. In a golfing perspective, it is well documented tiger isn't so great in team play. Why?

And alot of people have been downplaying the skill and intelligance it takes to play other sports. Football is a very ceribral sport. Try reading the ravens defense as a QB or lineman?

And golf isn't the only sport that requires touch. Try throwing a fade pass or a slider.

there is plenty more but i don't feel like getting into it. Yes golf is a very hard sport, but it isn't necessarily the hardest. Some aspects of it may be harder than other sports, but aspects of other sports are harder than golf too. Still, i had no problem with tiger winning the award. He just had the advantage of not playing a team sport.
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So I'd vote for a Favre or a Brady or a Kobe easily. If there was a "Big Break" for any other sport, the winning contestants would have no chance at all, unlike an Open, where amateurs have won.

It's a bit disingenuous to use the word amateur the way you are using it. Amateur in golf doesn't mean unskilled or inexperienced; it means someone who isn't playing for financial reward. I happen to fit into both definitions, but Johnny Goodman (the last amateur to win an Open - in 1933) only fits the latter. When Scott Verplank won a playoff against Jim Thorpe in 1985, it wasn't because Thrope - or the rest of the field - wasn't athletic nor was it that Verplank was a lucky hack.

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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Tiger Woods totally deserves this award. His body of work on the golf course speaks for itself. Congratulations, Tiger, and I hope you recover from this scandal as quickly as possible.
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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I woulda voted Lance

I'm pretty sure that a lot of the people whose votes count would have too if they believed that Lance Armstrong was not assisted be EPO

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Well done to Tiger. These type of awards should not be very high on the "one to win list" though. As previous posts show ,different sports have different challenges and top Golfer would have just as much meaning as Top sportsman.
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It's a bit disingenuous to use the word amateur the way you are using it. Amateur in golf doesn't mean unskilled or inexperienced; it means someone who isn't playing for financial reward. I happen to fit into both definitions, but Johnny Goodman (the last amateur to win an Open - in 1933) only fits the latter. When Scott Verplank won a playoff against Jim Thorpe in 1985, it wasn't because Thrope - or the rest of the field - wasn't athletic nor was it that Verplank was a lucky hack.

Amateur means the same thing in all sports.

For example, all college athletes are amateurs.
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Amateur means the same thing in all sports.

Not strickly speaking.Those on Scholaships are rewarded with an education and a reputation (future earnings) as their payment for sporting potential

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concur that the nomenclature of amateur can be fuzzy these days,,,

at olympics level, we have countries that have kids born into the star making nationally funded factories competing with others who are truly individual effort, doing shifts in home depot, but i digress.

in golf, we have weekend warriers vs others who are so very invested to becoming better golfers, seemingly with unlimited resources.

at college level, oklahoma men's golf team travel by private jet, courtesy of an alum.
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Amateur means the same thing in all sports.

Check out the post to which I was responding. The word amateur had been used to imply inexperienced or unskilled, not just "not being paid." This was intended as condescending to golf's status as a sport, since an amateur like Bobby Jones won the same national championships that Tiger Woods has won!
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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

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