Tiger Woods bandwagon is back in business
By mustang6560 on 3/13/13
We're barely into the third month of the new golf season and Tiger Woods already has two PGA Tour victories (Farmers Insurance Open and WGC-Cadillac).

It's no surprise the golf media was quick to say he's back considering the fact he's won five of his last 19 starts and his stellar career resume (76 PGA Tour victories including 14 majors).

But Ron Sirak wants everyone who is jumping on the Tiger bandwagon to hang on a second. As he says in his recent article, "... saying Woods is the best right now -- which he may well be despite his No. 2 ranking -- and saying he has returned to his former greatness are two very different things".
Why do I think we should look at the run of success Woods is on with a wee bit of caution? Two things: The way he has closed out his victories and his recent performances in the major championships. His record in both areas raises some interesting questions.

So far this year, Woods has won the Farmers Insurance Open by four strokes, taking it for the seventh time, and the WGC-Cadillac Championship by two. But at Torrey Pines, he played the last five holes four over par. And at Doral, he bogeyed two of the last three holes and was about a yard away from spinning the ball off the final green and into the water.

Those were not the slam-the-door-in-your face kind of finishes we were used to seeing from Woods when he was establishing his reputation as the best closer this side of Mariano Rivera. Yes, he won and yes, he hit some sensational shots, but that brings us to point No. 2.

The bar for achievement set by Woods himself has always been the record 18 major championship victories held by Jack Nicklaus and not the mark of 82 PGA Tours wins set by Sam Snead. Right now, I'd say it's a sure thing that Tiger breaks the Snead record. But I still think the Nicklaus mark is going to be a tough get.
It's good to keep things in perspective, Ron. However, Tiger is in place he's not been in for some time now. If he wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational next week, he'll officially return to the top of golf. A place he's not been since Lee Westwood bumped him in November 2010.

Now that his swing changes feel comfortable and he's healthy and he's winning one out of every four tournaments he plays, it's hard not to say he's back. Sure, as many oobers noted Monday, he'll officially be back when he ends his five-year major less streak, but we're splitting hairs to try and quantify if he's "Tiger Woods" or "Tiger Woods Lite".

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[ comments ]
Nethmonkey says:
At least we know he's not 'Tiger Woods-ier'
C-4 says:
Even if he is not the Tiger of old, he is still one of top 3 to ever play the game and always will be regardless of what happens in the future
nickmomrik says:
It seems like his Sunday attitude has changed since he was last at the top. He doesn't need to blow the field out of the water anymore. He goes into cruise control with a big lead instead of attacking because it decreases the risk of a big score. Look how many other guys have blown big leads on Sunday in the last year or two. With the way his short irons have improved and when his putting is on, it's going to be an exciting year to watch.
Torleif Sorenson says:
@nickmomrik makes an excellent point. Just because the Pittsburgh Penguins won their second Stanley Cup in a 6-5 shootout with the Chicago Blackhawks, versus an 8-0 blasting of the Minnesota North Stars the previous year doesn't make it less impressive. If Arnold Palmer had been judged on style points instead of his posted scores, he surely wouldn't have won the 1954 U.S. Amateur and seven professional majors.

People focus on Sam Snead's 82 wins, but I suspect that Tiger is focused instead on Kathy Whitworth's 88 tournament victories, which is the real record to beat.
c5agalb says:
Jack's record of 18 Majors is Tiger's only obsession. Anything besides that is a day at the office.
Duke of Hazards says:
@Nethmonkey +17 pts
legitimatebeef says:
I never left the bandwagon, always have appreciated what this guy brings to the game. When you are talking about a guy who won 76 times on the PGAT alone, you should appreciate it, admire it, see what you can learn from it maybe. Not question it. Any sportsman any team that wins a lot knows all about winning ugly. 76 wins, don't believe for a second that any of those was easy, or somehow granted to Tiger Woods. You have to fight hard for every stroke in every pro tournament win. From your armchair maybe it looks easy at times. He has always ground out ugly wins, from the beginning. You don't get to 76 wins by trying as Johnny Miller put it to gallop across the finish line on a white stallion. Even in '07 at doral he laid up on 18 and closed it out with a lame bogey, and '07 was one of his most scary dominant periods ever. Ron Sirak is a tool, he's done a couple of good articles here and there, but by and large what a tool.
CeeBee says:
Tiger is lookin pretty smooth. I think he is back in their heads. He should get at least 1 major this year.
mmontisano says:
don't forget Snedeker. 2 wins, #1 in FedEx points and he's nipping at Luke Donald's heels for the #3 ranking.
joe jones says:
Is Tiger all the way back. Who cares. I just enjoy watching him play. As Jim Furyk said once. "Don't get him pissed off. Every time you do he comes out and shoots lights out. Don't give him any ammunition. He doesn't need any. "
DougE says:
Beef, you are absolutely on the mark. It's been nice riding the bandwagon over the last few years with you and the few other believers. Guess we'll have to move over a little to let the rest of the gang back on. ;-)
homermania says:
Welcome back, Wagon-mates.
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