Tiger Woods excelled at this 1 particular thing in his prime, says fellow pro

For Tour pros who happened to play alongside Tiger Woods in his prime, the opportunity was both a blessing and a curse: a blessing in the sense that they received an insider’s look at the greatest player of their generation, and a curse for, well, the same reason.

Geoff Ogilvy was among that group of fortunate unfortunates. The 46-year-old Aussie reached a career-best ranking of No. 3 in 2008, during Woods’ longest stretch in the ranking’s top spot (Woods spent 281 weeks as World No. 1 between 2005 and 2010).

“You weren’t gonna beat him. No one was gonna beat him,” Ogilvy said of Woods on this week’s episode of Subpar. “He was special.”

And there was a particular trait that made Woods special, Ogilvy told Subpar hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz: In his prime, Woods had a clutch gene unlike any other.

“Tiger, every single time there was high expectations, he’d go and do well,” Ogilvy said. “And so he goes and wins the tournament. That, to me, was the best.

Pro golfers Tiger Woods and Geoff Ogilvy at a PGA Tour tournament.
‘Never seen anything like it’: Geoff Ogilvy on shocking Tiger Woods feat
By: Josh Berhow

“I mean, we’ve all played with guys like DJ and Brooks and Scotty and Sergio and these guys who can play outrageous golf. It’s just like, wow, this is a really high level. But Tiger, every time the expectations were high, he met them, or exceeded them, every single time. Never didn’t exceed expectations.

“And it’s just, I don’t know how you do that because that’s the biggest anchor in golf, your own expectations, right?” Ogilvy continued. “You just beat it every time.”

Ogilvy said he observed a noticeable change in Woods’ demeanor over the course of a tournament.

“He was a genius at finishing 72 holes in front of everyone else,” he said. “I mean, Thursday, Friday, he was pretty casual and you’d be talking, it was like a normal Thursday, Friday with anyone else. Saturday, he’d be a little bit more serious, and Sunday you couldn’t talk to him. Like, he just wouldn’t even look anyone in the eye.

“He was almost meditating,” Ogilvy continued. “You know, he was just walking really slow, really measured, and he just somehow knew how to get to the end in front of everyone else. He was just better at it than everyone else.”

For more from Ogilvy, including when he first realized Woods was going to be a unique talent, check out the full episode below.

Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.