Two weeks ago, Tiger Woods won the PGA championship, his second major in a row. And if you saw him crying after he won the British Open in July it was clear how much he missed his father who died after a long battle with cancer on May 3rd.
Earl Woods was his friend, coach, and confidant. It was Earl who helped mold Tiger into the kind of athlete who comes along not once in a generation, but perhaps once in the history of a sport. For the last decade, Tiger Woods has dominated professional golf so completely that he has changed the game and come to exemplify the pursuit of excellence.
Tiger has been ranked number one in the world longer than any other golfer. He's the youngest to win 12 major championships and 52 PGA Tour victories.
On his good days, Tiger shows us that the boundaries of sport can be pushed to the edge of perfection - that swinging a golf club and making a ball go into a hole can be one of the most dazzling performances ever.
Last Spring, correspondent Ed Bradley spent some time with this purposeful, complicated athlete who fiercely guards his private life. Bradley found a man who, at 30, is as committed to giving back off the golf course as he is dedicated to his sport. But first, he met the man who has come to personify the pure spirit of a champion.
Tiger Woods has said, "I love to compete. That's the essence of who I am."
Asked what he meant by that, Tiger says, "I love to compete, whatever it is. We could be, you and I could be playing cards right now and - just want to kick your butt."
"You'd want to win," Bradley asked.
"No, I want to kick your butt. There's a difference," Tiger replied.
When he's in a tournament, that's what he's looking to do.
"These guys are the best in the world. I'm very lucky to have that opportunity to try to compete against the best in the world. That's a rush," says Tiger.
For Tiger, the greater the pressure, the bigger the rush. He won three of his first six tournaments this year, all of them on the final hole, two of them in playoffs. No one handles the stress of competition better.
He credits his ability to handle the stress with his powers of concentration. "I mean, your concentration is so high, so keen. Because all this pressure's on you. Your senses are more heightened. Everything seems to flow better. It's a great feeling," he explains.
When he's in that zone, it can be so unnerving that his opponents sometimes self-destruct.
"You're aware of that intimidation that you have?" Bradley asked.
"I'm aware if I'm playing at my best I'm tough to beat. And I enjoy that," Tiger said.
When he goes out, Tiger says he expects to win, every time. "It's just a belief you have to have. I mean, as an athlete, as a competitor, you have to have that belief in yourself," he explains.
Asked what separates the great golfers from those who are just very good, Tiger says, "Being able to repeat it again and again and again."