To quote the great modern philosopher, Chris Rock, “Tiger, Tiger Woods, ya’ll.” Eldrick T. Woods is on fire. He has played in seven tournaments this year and has won four of them. FOUR. Before Memorial Day. Before the actual meat of the golf season has begun.
Tiger has been nothing short of amazing, thus far. Oh, and sorry to the rest of the Tour, but he is getting better.
Two things stood out to me this weekend as Tiger took home his second career victory at the PLAYERS Championship. The first being that Tiger is back to being a dominant golfer. He can win literally every time he tees it up. Don’t believe me? Think about this. Let’s throw out the Match Play Championship. It’s a quirky format where a few bad shots will eliminate you. Let’s also throw out the tournament in Abu Dhabi to start the year. You would have a hard time telling me Tiger was focused on that tournament. He got a big old check just for showing up, played two rounds with his buddy Rory and then he got the hell out of there.
So that leaves us with five tournaments this year. He’s won four. The “loss” came at Augusta where he finished fourth. That’s a pretty good run right there.
I know what you are thinking. Are we about to have the whole “is Tiger back argument?” No. He is back. He will win a major this year. If you noticed, Tiger didn’t need a driver very much on Sunday. That’s his formula for winning tournaments and the US Open at Merion will play out a lot like this past weekend.
The other thing that stood out to me is that Tiger is once again intimidating the competition. Back in the day, if Tiger had a lead or was near the top of a leaderboard, others would crumble. Yeah, that’s back.
With two holes to play yesterday, Tiger and Sergio Garcia were tied for the lead. It was looking like we were heading towards a playoff with two guys that “don’t care for each other.”
Then Sergio went full on Sergio and pumped TWO balls in the water off the 17th tee. Tiger then emphatically slammed the door on the tournament and the passive aggressive cat fight Sergio seemed hell bent on continuing. Show me someone who thinks Sergio wasn’t scared of Tiger and I will show you a liar.
So what does this all mean? Tiger is playing like, well, Tiger again. He is in complete control of his golf game. He’s staring down clowns like Sergio Garcia and causing them to meltdown. We are about to enter the Summer of Tiger, folks. Think about this. There is a legitimate chance that Tiger could win 4-5 more times this year. That would make him the all-time leader in career wins on Tour, passing Sam Snead. It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that Tiger wins one or two majors. The last time he won four times prior to June 1, Tiger one all four majors in a row. He is playing so well, he’s got a shot at doing that again.
It is shaping up to be one hell of a summer for the number one player in the world. As a golf fan, I cannot wait.