Tiger Woods' legacies
TIGER Woods believes that a focus on fitness and a tough physical training regimen will be one of the most significant legacies he will leave on the world of golf.
The 38-year-old American said his own family background convinced him of the need to be fit in order to win.
A child prodigy in southern California, he was introduced to golf before the age of two by his athletic father, Earl, a single-handicapper amateur golfer who had been one of the earliest African-American college baseball players at Kansas State University.
Woods' arrival on the professional scene in 1996 brought him almost immediate success, and his muscular frame was in stark contrast to many of the silhouettes of top golfers in those days, as he recalled.
"Most golfers have been fat and out of shape and they don't treat it as a sport," he said on the sidelines of the Dubai Desert Classic, where he shot a 71 yesterday to finish on six-under 282, well down the order.
"I grew up running track and cross-country and playing baseball, and if you didn't train, you got your butt kicked.
"That's a big difference, growing up with other sporting backgrounds, where you have to train in order to compete and win.
"I just took the same philosophy and applied it to golf."
Another legacy Woods looks set to leave is increasing the game's popularity. One of India's leading players, Shiv Kapur, believes the American's short visit this week to Delhi will generate a long-lasting interest in golf.
Woods is visiting the world's largest democratic nation for the first time to compete in an 18-hole corporate outing at the Delhi Golf Club tomorrow.
The 14-time Major winner has been invited by Pawan Munjal, chief executive officer and managing director of the Hero Motor Group, one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world.
Also, Woods will open a special "Tiger Woods" block of luxury apartments after Michael Schumacher and Maria Sharapova each unveiled similar named buildings.
The American will play alongside Munjal, European Tour-based Kapur and PGA Tour colleague Arjun Atwal.
"Tiger's visit to India is going to make a huge impact and there is a big buzz already, not only in Delhi, but also the whole country," said Kapur, who finished on 283 after a 71 in Dubai.
"As everyone knows, cricket dominates sport in India. So, for at least one day, the world's top golfer is going to steal all the attention away from the Sachin Tendulkars and Virender Sehwags and it's all going to be about golf and Tiger Woods.
"With Tiger coming to India, it can only increase the fan base.
"Tiger's already had such a big impact on golf in India because seven or eight years ago, we never saw young kids in India taking up golf. Now in India, those playing the game are getting younger and that's predominantly due to Tiger."
At present there are only a dozen golf courses in Delhi, which boasts a population of close to 18 million, whereas there is believed to be some 280 to 300 golf courses in India.