When Tiger Woods took the unusual step of announcing his new relationship with world-class skier Lindsey Vonn, it took many people by surprise.
Woods has always been extremely guarded when it comes to his relationships and his private life, and it was out of character for him to do something so publicly.
What cannot be denied is that Woods has enjoyed a brilliant start to 2013, winning three tournaments on the PGA Tour already this year.
I think the happiness that he has finally achieved in his private life has had a great deal to do with this. It stands to reason that if he is happy off the course, he will be happier on it.
During the two years following the exposure of his extramarital affairs, Tiger looked like a golfer whose mind was in turmoil. He was making questionable decisions on the course that suggested a muddled mind, and he seemed extremely edgy around the media.
In 2013 he seems happy. He is in the first settled relationship since the breakdown of his marriage to Elin Nordegren. The fact that Vonn is a top-class athlete herself will make it easier for her to understand the demands placed on his time both on and off the course.
He has regained his rightful place at the top of the game and is quickly closing in on Sam Snead's record for tournament wins. The only thing lacking is his first major win since 2008. He is in pole position to do this. No player has come close to him recently, and his closest challenge (McIlroy) is currently in a difficult position in his career. If Tiger can come to the Masters and put together four rounds in the 60s, he will win another green jacket and confirm his place in my mind as the greatest golfer of all time.
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