And at last on a Sunday that mattered, Tiger Woods played that game, not the one even his peers couldnt recognize over the last sublime decade, the one that lead to 14 major wins while holding 14 third-round leads.
Not the one that produced 15, 12 and eight shot wins at those hallowed venues like Pebble Beach, Augusta National and St. Andrews.
That game had always been something altogether different.
Today, Tiger played the game you know ' confusing, frustrating and hard.
That he went this long without a blown Sunday boggles the mind. Over the course of a long career, this was going to happen; he was never going to run the table. He only made it seem that way, to his everlasting credit.
Hes still the surest, safest bet in sports. Hes still well ahead of pace to break Jack Nicklaus' record.
And the next time he takes a two-shot lead into a final round, hell be as much of a favorite as hes always been. But not invincible.
There are others capable of brilliance. We saw that Sunday at Hazeltine.
The day when Y.E. Yang produced an epic upset.
The day that gave birth to an all-time Asian sporting legend.
The most memorable day when Tiger finally failed, when he did not make crucial putts. He merely played a very difficult game, the one everyone else plays. Its called golf.
Golf, at last, exacted a toll on Tiger.