Tiger's tale-- a splashdown in Florida
Tiger Woods is back. That is the party line among every one seeing him, after he won yesterday's Player's Championship near Jacksonville. Tiger basically did what Tiger does-- took the lead at Sawgrass, put out his withering stare-- and melted his competition.
The man who withered most? Sergio Garcia. The island 17th green became the star again on Sunday, as it swallowed two of Garcia's tee shots. The result? A quadruple bogey 7, and out of contention. Tiger did what Tiger does-- consistent play, and yet another title-- his fourth in seven rounds this year.
But, the 800-pound elephant in the room has shown back up-- still no recent major victories for Tiger. He is 37 now-- which still isn't old in golf circles; the man he is chasing in majors-- Jack NIcklaus-- won four of them from age 37 on, including one of each-- the British at 38 in 1978, the U-S Open and PGA at 40 in 1980, and of course, famously, the Masters at 46 years of age in 1986. He even had a fifth major after 37 taken from him-- remember Tom Watson's chip-in to steal the 1982 U-S Open from Nicklaus? Sports Illustrated, and the Bear himself, called it a "1,000 to 1 shot."
The bottom line is, Tiger still has plenty of time to equal, or beat, Nicklaus' 18 majors. As it is, Tiger is probably a cinch to break Sam Snead's record of PGA Tour wins; Tiger has 78; Snead is on top with 82. The question is, can Tiger hit 100 Tour wins? Don't count him out-- and don't count out a revived run on 18 majors. Coming from a lifelong Nicklaus fan, I think it would be appropriate if they both tied at 18 majors. Simply put, Tiger means as much to this generation of golfers as Nicklaus meant to his. Both men changed the game-- for the better. They deserve equal billing.
That's my take... I'm Tom Lee