What does ‘be one’s “buddy”’ mean aside be one’s “friend”?
I was drawn to the phrase, “My short game’s always been my buddy” appearing in the following quote of Tiger Woods in the Time magazine’s (December 4) article, titled “Turning 40, the golfer talks about his highs and lows on and off the course”:
“I had never seen myself going through a spell that bad. I’ve never lost my short game my entire life. I’ve lost other parts of my game, but I’ve never lost my short game. My short game’s always been my buddy. I’ve always been able to chip and putt. http://time.com/tiger/?xid=homepage&pcd=hp-magmod
From the context, I surmise “my buddy” here means one’s forte or strength, but Cambridge online dictionary defines “buddy” as noun;
- a friend:
- buddies for years.
- (US) (as a form of address) used when talking to a man, sometimes in a friendly way.
- Someone who provides friendly help to someone with illness or problem.
Oxford Dictionary defines 'buddy' likewise:
- a close friend:
- a working companion with whom close cooperation is required.
- a person who befriends and helps another with an incapacitating disease, typically AIDS:
- Used as a form of address to a man whose name is not known:
To me, it requires a bit of stretch of imagination to link all of the above definitions associated with ‘friend’ to ‘strength / forte,’ though it might not be impossible. At the same time, I feel difficulty to compare impersonal thing (short game) to the living (buddy), albeit it's a metaphor.
Is the expression such as “short game (approach, putting, math, karaoke, quibble, whatever) is my buddy” a very common usage of “buddy”?