A derecho of dominance
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/2/12
Through his nearly 17 seasons on the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods has authored more than his "fair share" of golf history along the way. But until this past weekend, some of us thought that the 36-year-old Woods was still in something of a "rebuilding" mode on his way to re-dominating the PGA Tour since his game and personal life collapsed at the end of 2009.
Tiger shot 67 on arguably the strangest moving day in PGA Tour history, then closed with a 69 on Sunday to hold off Bo Van Pelt by one shot to win the regular-season event he hosts. With this victory, Woods passed his boyhood idol Jack Nicklaus on the PGA Tour’s list of men’s career victories, with 74. The late Sam Snead still tops that list with 82 wins, while Kathy Whitworth holds the overall record with 88.
On Friday evening, a 30-minute derecho (straight-line wind-storm) with hurricane-force winds ripped through the Washington DC-area, leaving millions of residents without power and downing or destroying hundreds upon hundreds of trees at Congressional Country Club. Sadly, the Washington Times reported that at least 12 people died as a result of those storms. The start of Saturday’s third round was delayed almost six hours while Congressional’s heroic grounds crew and volunteers piled up as much of the fallen trees and limbs into piles that PGA Tour rules officials declared ground under repair.
And, for the first time in anyone’s memory, a course hosting a PGA Tour event was closed to the public, leaving the remaining players to play before only sparse pockets of volunteers, members of Congressional, and hundreds of squirrels. That was apparently no matter to Woods, whose on-course rounds are almost always situations of controlled chaos, with noisy and enthusiastic fans trailing him almost like lemmings going off a cliff.
I am certain that we will remember the sixth edition of the AT&T National as much for Woods holding off Bo Van Pelt and returning to dominance as much as for the punishing, hot, and stormy and weather that made this year’s Washington stop on the PGA Tour one of the strangest on record.
Image via Flickr, Keith Allison
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If only he could hit his driver...
Kurt the Knife says:
a derecho. Straight line windstorm. On a course called "Congressional."
Sounds like a typical legislative session
True that mjaber. I must say, he was convincing in his win though. He hit some shots that a Tiger that wasn't comfortable with his swing would definitely not have been able to pull off. The putter is still kinda sketchy too, but it worked well enough for the W. Now if he can only pull it together for a major.
A year ago Tiger Woods had been written off and the future of golf had been handed to the next generation. Right about now the next generation hasn't really done much lately and Tiger Woods is back to winning tournaments in bunches. Something tells me that winning in golf is not as simple a matter as pundits make it out to be, and that maybe this Woods fellow knows a thing or two about what it takes to win tournaments. If a golfer averages two wins for every year on tour he is considered Hall of Fame. 74 wins by age 36 means that Tiger averages over two wins per year for every year he has been alive.
I winning percentage over 25% isn't too shabby.
I love his shot around the tree when he needed it... seeing the club bend in super slow motion is why I like watching him play.
Some love him some hate him, but the dude can play, and its always interesting when he's in the mix.
I didn't know about Whit having 88... I say he should break 100 and say BEAT THAT.
So far this year, 12 starts, 3 wins and 6 Top 5s (including the three wins).
He's getting petty darn close to the guy everyone feared. And since the level of play of the field has improved since those late 90s/early 00s, it just shows how good he really is.
he won these same 3 tournaments in '09. I see a couple wins left for this year capping it off with the PGA Championship that he couldn't hold onto in '09 when he lost to Y.E. Yang. Glad to hear Tiger rub it in the faces of those who doubted him being able to return to the Tiger of old. And yes this is just the beginning of Tiger 2.0
Where are all of the Tiger haters..this is no fun now...I guess he does suck if you comepare him to himself??? Would some haters please comment!
It looked like Tiger was going to struggle after Thursday's round was over but he turned it on. The more he gets comfortable with the latest edition of his swing overhaul, look out PGA Tour. I'll be glued to the TV for The Open in a couple weeks.
@Banker: i think this is Tiger 4.0.
Kathy who?? Nobody has generated more interest in the game than Tiger Woods. Arnie,Jack,Gary,Sam and Ben all had their day. Nobody has played more consistantly against so much talent in any era than TW. And the talent keeps coming. The young guns. Ha. Where are they. Win one and miss 3 cuts. Hell the last bunch of Majors have been won by WHO? He should have about 44 more chances to break Jack's record. And don't even think Jack wants to see that. He may not do it but you can't bet against it. He could get 90 or more tour wins before he hangs it up.
As gpickin says: BEAT THAT.
Tigers winning percentage 27% - Jack 12% that stat is amazing all he needs is to get 19 majors and the debate is over if it isn't already!
Funny how the stats never lie. Tiger is top 40 in driving distance, top 50 in driving accuracy, top 5 in total driving, top 10 in GIR and the only stat that really matters #1 in Scoring average on tour. He simply finds a way to get it done. Everything else seems a bit subjective.....
No denying his game is coming back and he can still win, I just don't root for him anymore.
@theghost25... The stats do lie, or at least they distort the truth. He's in the top 50 in driving accuracy because he's hitting 3-wood, 5-wood, or less off almost every tee. It's the only way he can find the fairway. He is also not leading the PGA tour in scoring average. He's fourth, behind Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and Jason Duffner, and all 3 have played more rounds than Tiger.
Even with his "top 5 in total driving", he's not in that same group for GIR, he's 10th. Almost everyone who is ahead of him in GIR is behind him in the total driving stat.
The rest of the tour has caught up. It's no longer Tiger, and then everyone else. He's not the dominant force he was.
@mjaber - do you happen to be a jilted waitress at the waffle house?...
@dartboss... Nope. Just jealous of the amount of money he makes for playing a game.
Mjaber as of the pgatour website from 5 minutes ago he is number one is scoring average (69.04) followed by Kuchar, Furyk and Duffner. Is there another stat source that is more accurate or up to date? But you are correct in that he is hitting 3 woods and 5 woods off the tees to find fairways. But i guess when your the best long iron player in the world you can do that, and still win 25% of the tourneys he plays.
Did anyone see what club he hit sunday on the final hole at Congressional?
@theghost... I used Yahoo's sports section... No idea what the difference is, or why there is a difference. I just check golf.com and they also have Tiger as #1, so I'll defer, and retract my previous statement of him being 4th.
Still not buying the "he's back" argument. He's not dominating the tour. He's not making noise at every major. He's a great golfer, but the tours are full of them. I'd like to hold off crowning him king of the golf world until we can compare his entire career to that of those who came before. Let's just let him play and see what happens when the dust settles.
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