SAN DIEGO (AP) - Tiger Woods was posing for pictures with a trophy Wednesday at Torrey Pines, and the tournament had not even started.
He has made winning look routine, particularly on this public course along Pacific Bluffs where he already has won eight times as a pro, including a U.S. Open.
The trophy Woods received on the eve of his title defense at the Farmers Insurance Open was for being voted PGA Tour player of the year for the 11th time.
Woods doesn’t take winning for granted, even if others don’t appreciate how difficult it is.
That includes his daughter.
Woods told a story of 6-year-old Sam being curious about the Torrey pine on the trophy, which reminded his daughter of the Bonsai tree she had seen in “Karate Kid.”
“She thought that’s what it was,” Woods said. “I said, ‘No, they’re a little bit bigger than that.’ I had to go online and show her the pictures and everything. I had all these trophies lined up and she said, ‘You need to get one of those.’”
Woods tried to explain that it wasn’t that simple, that he had to play better golf than 155 other guys to earn it.
“She said, ‘OK, go do it,” he said.
He won by four shots, and then surprised tournament officials when he wanted to take the trophy home on the plane instead of the tradition of shipping. He did not want to walk in the door as the winner at Torrey Pines without that trophy.
“They put it literally in the middle of the living room,” Woods said. “Everybody was dancing around the trophy.”
The music cranks back up on Thursday - another dance, his 19th year as a pro.
The tune hasn’t changed.
Woods conceded there are things he can’t do at 38 that he could when he was 24, such as produce the same speed when he rotates through the ball. But he’s also stronger and a lot smarter in dissecting a golf course.