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Adam Gold

Ready for a Tiger revival?

Posted May 13, 2013

I can't wait for Father's Day.

Before you accuse me of marital jealousy coming on the heels of a beautiful Mother's Day enjoyed by my wife, let me explain. For me, Father's Day has always been about the United States Open. As far back as I can remember, those Sundays were spent with my father watching his favorite golf tournament.

Making it even more special, now that I'm in my (cough) forties, is that we exist in the era of the most dominant major championship performer in the history of the sport -- well, at least until a few years ago. But, there are a lot of positive signs that we might, once again, be treated to a revival.

In the spring of 2000, even without a win at the Masters we could feel it coming. Tiger Woods was coming off a year in which he won nine times, including eight of his last 11 starts. That August, he held off a hard charging 19-year old from Spain named Sergio Garcia to capture his second major championship and opened the following season with three wins and three second place finishes before The Masters.

While Woods' 7-under par weekend at Augusta National was nice, it wasn't enough to keep up with Vijay Singh, who won his second major championship by 3 shots over Ernie Els. While Tiger's 5th place finish was pretty good for a guy who opened with a 75, it didn't take a thorough investigation to see what was about to happen next. A month and a half later, Woods defended his title at The Memorial Tournament, lapping the field by five strokes and setting up the single greatest run in major championship golf history.

On a spectacular Father's Day weekend on the Monterrey Peninsula, Tiger made a mockery of the United States Open -- or at least the rest of the field. Woods won by a staggering 15 shots, driving away from the so-called competition like Secretariat did at the Belmont Stakes 27 years earlier. That Sunday was nothing more than a coronation, as Woods entered the final round 10 strokes in front and cruised home at 12-under, what was then a record in relation to par.

A month later, at the Old Course, Woods won his first Open Championship -- and the first of two at St. Andrews -- by eight. In those two major championships alone Woods was 31-under par!!! And, consider that Ernie Els, a future Hall of Fame inductee, finished second in each of those two majors, albeit a stunning 23-strokes off the lead. It helps to place the utter dominance of those two victories in perspective.

Woods would also go on to win the PGA Championship in a playoff that August in a dramatic duel with journeyman pro Bob May. It was a win that capped off a summer featuring three straight major championships, the first time that had been accomplished since Ben Hogan won the in 1953. Woods performance that year in the majors was absolutely unthinkable in the modern era, as was the 200 season in it's entirety. Woods totaled nine official victories including the last three major championships in which his score was a combined 49-under par.

Woods would win his first major the following season, to hold all four professional trophies at the same time for the first time in the history of the sport. So, if you're keeping score, from the start of 2000 through the first half of 2001, Woods won four straight majors -- in a ludicrous 65-under par -- and 13 total tournaments in 30 official starts.

So, are we on the verge of a repeat?

Before we attempt to answer that question, we need to consider that we've already been down this road with Woods in the last year or so. Tiger won three times last year but only threatened in one of the four most important events, and at Augusta this year Woods just never looked in complete control of his total game after the unfortunate -- and controversial -- penalty on the 15th hole of his second round.

In all honesty, Woods hasn't really handled the pressure of major championships very well since his overtime, broken-leg victory over Rocco Mediate five summers ago. Yes, it's been that long. And, until he answers that question to himself, it's actually impossible to predict what the rest of this season holds.

With that said, Woods' win at The Players was his most impressive since his victory drought came to an end last spring. He conquered a course on which he is normally uncomfortable, winning for just the second time in 16 professional starts on the Stadium Course. Throw in four wins in seven tournaments in 2013 and a putting stroke that appears to be returning to the glory days of yore and the ingredients are all in place for another historic run.

The United States Open is headed for Merion Golf Club in suburban Philadelphia next month, and at less than 7,000 yards, the course will resemble another shorter, major championship layout from a few years ago. The PGA went to Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2007 and it was thought that the course was too tricky, too technical for Woods' game. But, a second-round 63 led to an 8-under par total and a 2-stroke win over Woody Austin and Tiger's 4th PGA championship.

The way Woods is playing today, the only thing stopping him from another major championship onslaught is the pressure of living up to the hype. Frankly, it's what stopped him at Augusta as much as the three shots he lost due to the flagstick at 15 on Friday. If Woods can manage that and cross the finish line first at Merion, I think we're looking at another historic run.

Here's looking ahead to Father's Day for reasons other than another tie from the kids.

8 Comments

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  • OGE May 14, 2013

    He's won 4 of 7 tournaments he's been in so far this year... we are already in the midst of his revival.

  • OGE May 14, 2013

    View quoted thread



    He's too busy making arthritis commercials.

  • lanecc May 13, 2013

    Tiger is good for golf. But his antics are not. I hope this past weekend was a fluke. It makes me sick to see fans fall all over him as if he was some sort go hero.

  • NothingButNet May 13, 2013

    While Tiger looks poised to possibly make a comeback, I'm taking a wait and see stance. I have to agree that Tiger is good for golf - ratings trend upward when Tiger is playing.

  • sburks1906 May 13, 2013

    Tiger's back, and that is GOOD for golf!
    http://theklowntimes.net/2012/06/03/look-out-folks-tigers-back/

  • NCSU84 May 13, 2013

    Not really. He needs to go back to a Waffle House for eggs, hashbrowns and grits biscuit with sawmill gravy.

  • VT1994Hokie May 13, 2013

    Tiger had a complete game for these 4 days. Hard to beat him with a lead on Sunday. I wish Phil could get it together soon.

  • rushbot May 13, 2013

    no..i like him not!

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
HOU 4
BAL 1
Final
KAN 1
NYY 5
Final
MIA 1
PIT 5
Final
WAS 2
CHC 3
Final
CWS 9
TOR 10
Final
COL 1
CIN 2
Final
PHI 4
NYM 5
Final
SEA 7
TAM 6
Final
TEX 4
CLE 3
Final
BOS 1
MIN 2
Final
SFG 6
MIL 3
Final
ARI 4
STL 6
Final
DET 1
OAK 0
Final
SDP 4
ANA 0
Final
ATL 0
LOS 8
12:10pm Today
TEX
CLE
 
12:35pm Today
COL
CIN
 
12:35pm Today
MIA
PIT
 
12:37pm Today
CWS
TOR
 
1:05pm Today
KAN
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
BOS
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
PHI
NYM
 
1:10pm Today
SEA
TAM
 
1:40pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
3:35pm Today
DET
OAK
 
4:35pm Today
HOU
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
WAS
CHC
 
8:15pm Tonight
ARI
STL
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
 
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
Final
ATL 88
CLE 118
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
GSW
 
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
NYR 7
TAM 3
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR