Sunday, March 10, 2013

Is Tiger Back?

     Going into today, Tiger Woods has a four-shot lead at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at -18. Yesterday, Woods sank seven birdies to pad the lead to four shots. This included stellar play on the final hole yesterday, which consisted of drilling a tee shot into the fairway, followed by hitting a 9-iron 15 feet from the hole, and making the birdie putt. The former number-one player in the world shot a 67 yesterday, putting him one step closer to regaining the spot. Woods has 24 birdies in this tournament, the most through three rounds of any PGA Tour event. It should be noted that Tiger has a 39-2 career record when he has the outright lead going into the final round.
     Although Woods missed the cut at Dubai in the European Tour, he followed that up a week later with a win at the Farmers Insurance Open (His seventh win at the event). With Tiger suddenly re-emerging atop the leaderboards, it seems as if golf is becoming relevant to the general public again. However, Tiger's last major win came in 2008 at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines when he beat Rocco Mediate on the first sudden death hole. With the Masters just around the corner, Tiger's performance raises the question: Is Tiger Woods really back?
     Woods has 75 career PGA Tour wins and 14 career major wins, but he hasn't won the Masters since 2005. Considering how Tiger has performed the past few years with his bad knee and his extra-marital affairs, it seemed uncertain that Tiger would ever win the Masters again, let alone another major. But he's averaging 68.7 per tournament, which is a good sign for the four-time Masters champion. Throw in the fact that the current number-one player Rory McIlroy has struggled as of late and you have a wide-open opportunity for Tiger. However, time is running out on Tiger's career. He's four major wins behind Jack Nicklaus for the most PGA major tournament wins and Tiger's 37 years old. So if Tiger looks to get back on the winning track, the time is now. The Masters could show us if Tiger Woods is, in fact, back with a roar.

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