Just like Old Times

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People said Tiger’s dominant days were over but with his win on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass he emphatically debunked their fallacious theories.

Tiger started the round in an auspicious manner, hitting his first 5 greens and birdying three of the first 7, his distance control was impeccable, and
he was putting superbly. Trouble arose for Tiger at the Par 4 14th a hole which hasn’t been favourable to him over the years. He hooked his tee shot into the lake and went onto make a disconcerting double bogey. But astonishingly he appeared unperturbed to the predicament. He responded splendidly holing a clutch 8ft par putt on the 15th (“To go double bogey-bogey would have been huge,” Woods said. “But to save a putt there and get some momentum going to the next three holes was big.”)
and then he played a superb bunker shot on the par 16th to a few feet to take the outright lead.
Onto the perilous 17th where the water looms large, he played a mediocre shot to the middle of the green and then two putted, exceptionally.
In the group behind Sergio Garcia who was tied for the lead unravelled and hit two balls into the water, and some may have considered it poetic justice for his antics the previous day.
Tiger now with the lead, appearing impervious to the pressure hit a wonderful draw into the fairway at 18 with the conspicuous water on the left. He then proceeded to hit the green and two putt for victory. The only man who could prevent Tiger was the rookie David Lingmerth but he failed to birdie the difficult 18th and Tiger’s 4th victory of the season was official. Tiger clearly elated embraced his caddy and lauded him for assisting him to a momentous win.

Unprecedented: For the first time in his career Tiger has obtained 4 wins before May 28th in a calendar year. Not even in his most triumphant season 2000 did he attain this feat. This unparalleled start to the season is ominous for everyone else on tour. In 2000 Tiger won his 4th tournament of the year at the Memorial in his 10th appearance of the season which incidentally was the season he began his pursuit of winning all 4 majors in a row. This year he’s won 4 times in 7 starts. And no one can dispute that he’s resuming his dominance once again.

Unlike his previous two wins Tiger didn’t hole as many putts, in fact in two rounds he took more than 30 putts, but this week will be remembered for his exceptional ball striking and peerless course management. And with the US Open impending that bodes very well for him. Both ball striking & solid course management are paramount at that tournament.

This victory is arguably his most impressive since his return; Tiger isn’t renowned for his record at TPC Sawgrass. In fact, he’s only won the Players championship once. And since that win in 2001 he’s only achieved 1 top 10 until now. Many critics surmised he is only capable of winning on courses that suit his eye, but Tiger falsified those inane speculations this week.

He’s also extended his lead to a substantial margin in the World Golf Rankings to a full 3 points over Rory Mcilroy. Not many analysts envisioned that at the dawn of the season. What’s daunting for other players on tour is he’s still capable of amelioration and with the US Open looming would anyone dare bet against him?

From the : GolfChannel

• The victory is the fourth of the 2013 season for Woods, the 12th such year in which he has recorded at least four victories. Both Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus accomplished four-plus win seasons just nine times each in their respective careers.

• This marks the earliest Woods has ever won four events in a single year. In both 2000 and 2001, he notched his fourth win of the year at the Memorial.

• Woods’ 78th victory comes at age 37 years, 4 months and 12 days in his 300th career overall start. He has 286 career professional starts.

• Woods has now carded 22 of 24 stroke-play rounds on the PGA Tour at par or better. His lone over par rounds thus far this season came in the fourth round of the Honda Classic and second round at the Masters.

• Woods remains first in the 2013 FedEx Cup points standings and increases his lead in the Official World Golf Rankings over world No. 2 Rory McIlroy to more than three points.

• Woods has won seven of his last 22 starts on the PGA Tour, which is a 31.8 percent conversion rate. His career winning percentage is 27 percent (78 wins out of 286 starts).

• Woods is now 52-4 in victories when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead.

• Woods becomes the sixth individual with multiple Players victories, and just the fifth to win more than once at the Stadium Course. He also captured the 1994 U.S. Amateur at TPC Sawgrass.

• The victory is his 16th in the state of Florida, the most of any state. He has also won 14 times in California.


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