If this doesn’t look like vintage Tiger Woods to you, I’m not sure what planet you have been on since the 2013 season got underway back in January. He has won five of the last 19 events in which he has played, and looking for his third victory of the year at The Arnold Palmer Invitational when he tees of Sunday afternoon. Tiger has three eagles this week at Bay Hill, and six eagles on the year. He only had four eagles in all of last season.
During the broadcast on Saturday afternoon from NBC, Johnny Miller summed it up. The reason Tiger is probably going to be the greatest golfer in history when his career is finally over. He made the comment that if Tiger were to make 20 putts in a row on a particular green, he would be disappointed, and upset if he missed the 21st putt. That folks, is what makes the greatest in any sport. That is the same perfection Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson all demanded from themselves.
I had written in a blog earlier this season, that if Tiger could find some consistency with his wedges, he would indeed answer the question everyone has had for almost two years, can he return to his old form. His driver is still a little crazy at times, but he is without a doubt, one of the best scramblers, and best pressure putters I have ever seen. The key to his game returning, was being able to get his wedges close enough for a realistic look at birdie putts.
This latest success we are seeing form Tiger Woods has to strike fear in the hearts of the flock of newer golfers on the PGA Tour. I remember an interview with one of them a couple of years ago saying the Tiger mystic was gone. Players didn’t fear him like they did in the early part of his career when he was dominating. The Tiger was tame now, and would never be the dominating force he once was. I wonder if Tiger heard those interviews, and now it’s time to show the young pups that he still has work to do, and there is nothing they can do, to stop him.
Justin Rose had been the dominating player all week at Bay Hill, and looked to be on Cruise Control until Tiger made the birdie at the 15th hole on Saturday. Justin looked like a deer in the headlights after he lost the lead when he made bogey at the same time on 13.
Now it’s Rickie Fowler’s turn in the barrel again. Does anyone remember the 84 Rickie shot the last time he teed off with Tiger on a Sunday at the Memorial? I’m looking for Rickie to step up today and have a great round of golf, but I don’t think it will be enough.
Tiger Woods has too much on the line Sunday. There is the eighth victory at one event, the FedEx Cup points lead, and the world number one ranking all there for the taking this afternoon. I am not expecting anything but perfection from a guy who was put on this earth for this moment.
I wonder if they are afraid of him now? A whole new generation of professional golfers are going to have a chance to do what their predecessors could not do, “Tame the Tiger”.
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