Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tiger Woods Wins Bay Hill So Is Everything Back to Normal Now?

There is something we all need to understand about Tiger Woods' dramatic (And yes, incredibly impressive) win on Sunday at Bay Hill; it doesn't really change anything. 

Yes, it's an enormous relief for just about anyone that follows or loves the game of golf. It's great for people like myself because 92 percent of golf fans are really just Tiger fans who care if and when he tees it up and that's it. He is an incredible talent that changed the golf world once, and people hope can possibly do it again. 

But Tiger winning for the seventh time at Bay Hill isn't a recipe for what he used to do to PGA Tour events. No, it's simply just a great golfer winning a tournament that he played the best at. That's it. 

The reason I'm pointing this out is because you'll hear over the next 14 days about "what this means" in the golf world. "What does that win by Tiger really mean?" "Is he back?" "Is this a new career of dominance?" 

And the fact of the matter is, yes, he is "back" in a sense. He played four impressive rounds of golf. He had one of those Tiger rounds that looked good but could have been better and was still one of the low rounds of the week (on Friday). He hit some shots when he needed to him them, and played safe when he didn't need anything more than a par. He extended his lead by an old, reliable theory he used to live by; let everyone else fall apart. 

But this week doesn't mean Tiger is somehow better than, say, Justin Rose. Or Bubba Watson. Or Luke Donald. Tiger is simply adding himself to that huge list of  guys that could or couldn't win each week out. 

You still saw some shots that were a little too loose to go on a five-win run or something. If anyone had stepped up over the weekend, Tiger might have felt a little more pressure than he did. But lucky for him, and us, nobody did, and Tiger was able to play solid, conservative golf and walk away with his 72nd win. 

But the talent pool is too big now for anyone in the game to go out and win six or seven times, even Tiger. If he plays like he did this week at Augusta National in two weeks is it a sure thing that he'd win? Absolutely not. There are a list of players that could compete with him even with the game he had at Bay Hill.

The thing is, Tiger is now a part of that group of guys that have emerged since he's disappeared. He could win the Masters, but he could just as easily finish out of the top-30. I'd lean more towards him competing than not, but if he starts missing the ball left again it could be a struggle all week. 

I just hope that everyone can appreciate the win by Tiger simply as that; a win, and a great one, but nothing more. It wasn't another major. It isn't really going to recreate his legacy in the big scheme of things. It was simply a week we needed, and he needed, to get back to a winning philosophy. 

Getty Images


e4626516-3e58-11e1-91da-000bcdcb5194 said...

I agree that people probably shouldn't get TOO carried away with this win - but come on - "loose shots" ? How many times in his CAREER has he lead the tournament in driving ? He didn't have to make multiple shots out of the trees to rescue himself after another wild drive. And if you look at the last 8 or 10 groups, having to play in basically the same wind conditions, he was the only one under par. Hard to label shots as "loose" in those conditions.

It's a step. What I'm looking at is that he has never been a one win a season guy. Will he follow this one up with 3 or even 4 more this year ? How will he do in the majors ?

Anonymous said...

Tiger hit one shot left, Shane. And it was when a lady yelled in his back swing, he tried to stop but could and let his arms swing past his body. Sean's/Tiger's swing is an anti left swing, he can draw it when he wants but most shots he hit Sunday were cuts. This is why he is leading in total driving. I'm not even a tiger fan, in fact I'm a lefty and therefore a huge Phil fan.

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