Tiger Roars, Soars to Victory!

Posted: March 26, 2012 by Kodi in Hitting the Greens

Tiger Woods is back!

Woods won his first tournament in nearly 3 years

and his game is getting strong right before the Masters at Augusta National

He’s Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat! Tiger Woods had the largest victory of the PGA Tour this season but it was his first since the 2009 BMW Championship. Tiger Woods had not won a PGA Tour sanctioned tournament in 923 days, a streak that dates back two and a half years and 26 tournaments. Tiger Woods longest streak was just 16 tournaments before he started this latest stretch after that infamous event in November some three years ago. Everyone has learned the most personal details of Tigers transgressions and Woods will no longer win anyone’s morality contest but it looks like he’s going to start winning golf tournaments and that’s what matters. With this win Tiger Woods jumps to #6 and is back in the top 10 of the world golf rankings since May 22 2011.

Tiger Woods has had just two weeks pass since pulling himself in the final round of the Cadillac Championship with another apparent knee injury and is now just two weeks away from the first Major of the year. Woods played four consecutive rounds under par for the first time since 2010 and he had the biggest win on the PGA Tour with his 5 stroke victory. There were just 30 rounds under par on Saturday but only 16 on Sunday after the flags were all tucked away on greens that were playing fast. Tiger Woods opened with a -3 69 jumped into the lead with his 2nd round 65 but he was under par in the 3rd and final rounds with scores of 71 and 70.  Tiger has been getting his game back slowly but his short game and putter have kept him from winning lately. That was not the case this weekend.

Woods was having another solid round on Saturday playing -3 through 13 holes but bogeyed the par 3 14th. It was the 15th hole that really sunk Tigers round on Saturday and it wasn’t really his fault. Woods was in the tee box of 15 when he drove the head of his driver into the ground and absolutely shanked his drive hooking so far out of bounds it nearly hit a house. As the homeowners ran outside to take a photo with the ball people wondered why Woods would have such a terrible shot. After the day Tiger would explain that a woman had screamed during his backswing and he tried to stop but wasn’t able to. The woman was apparently shouting because her son had passed out in the Florida heat. Woods would go on to double bogey the hole but bounced back by getting birdie on 17 to salvage another under par round.

Woods was paired with Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell for the final round of the Arnold Palmer and immediately people began whispering about the last time these two played together in a final round. It was the first time that Tiger ever gave up a lead on Sunday and the first time he would lose in a sudden death playoff match. The 2010 Chevron World Challenge was definitely a shock as it was McDowell who hit long putts and made the huge shots, while Woods just flat out choked it away. It was a turning point for Tiger and his fans making everyone wonder would Tiger Woods ever play like the old Tiger Woods again?

This Sunday was Woods’ first time playing with McDowell since Chevron and this time he had just a single stroke lead compared to the 4 he pissed away in 2010. Playing with Tiger is one of the most intimidating things in all of golf and many players have discussed the utter fear they have paired with the stoic golfer, just ask Woods’ 3rd round playing partner Charlie Wi who shot +4. Although McDowell was one of the only players ever to successfully overcome the immense emotion encompassing someone playing with Tiger he had the jitters on Sunday. He opened the round with a double bogey but pulled within a shot of Woods when he birdied 3 and eagled the par 5 6th hole.

McDowell was hitting putts similar to the one’s he drained in 2010 and he was cutting away at Woods but Tiger kept his head down hit fairways and got on greens in regulation. Tiger Woods had a bogey on the 2nd hole but birdied four of the next 6 holes to finish the front 9 -3. Woods played conservatively and scored par on every hole but the par 3 4th which he bogeyed and played +2 for the entire tournament. By the time that Woods had hit another greens in regulation on the 18th and final hole victory was in Tiger’s reach. Woods had a smile from ear to ear and the pressure seemed to be lifted from his shoulders with his 5 stroke victory.

Woods has won at Bayhill 6 times in his career and this was lucky number 7 but there was one big difference this time. Besides it being so long since Woods last hoisted a trophy above his head it was also the first time that Arnold Palmer did not greet Woods at the edge of the 18th green. The Twitterverse was going crazy with speculation that Palmer was dissing Tiger but if you listened to his interviews throughout the tourney there was nothing but praise from the 82 year old. It was quickly revealed that Arnie wasn’t there because of a spike in his blood pressure and the golf God was brought to the hospital. It looks like Tiger Woods got Palmer’s heart pumping a little too quickly and all the emotion around the Arnold Palmer Invitational seemed to be too much for it’s namesake.

Tiger Woods won his 72nd career tournament and is now just 1 win from tying Jack Nicklaus’ total of 73 victories. Woods is just two weeks away from Augusta National playing in another Masters Tournament and there is no better momentum than winning the tourney before. Woods confidence has to be through the roof after finally being able to rely on his putter but it has been his driving that’s getting it done. Woods is the best driver on Tour and his long efficient tee shots allow him to shorten his approach shots and get the ball on the dance floor in regulation to give him those key birdie putts. I would write about other golfers but right now its Woods’ world and I’m wearing my Tiger stripes proud!

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