Turning Onto a Solitary Road
It's been resoundingly decisive.
Within a five-year period unlike any other in the 600-year history of the game, Tiger Woods has completely eviscerated the landscape. He's flattened his opponents. We're talking about an 'on their backs and they cannot get up flattening.'
There's been no, repeat, no resistance.
There have been flare-ups-Bob May at the 2000 PGA, David Duval and Phil Mickelson at this year's Masters---but they've been quashed. All of them.
So what and who lay ahead for Tiger the conqueror? Potentially a solitary road. One nobody has ever driven before, one reserved for winners of five straight major championships.
Already, he's run into and shared space with the great and nearly ancient figures at every hallowed turn.
At Pebble Beach he said hello to Old Tom Morris. In 1862 Morris won the British Open by 13 shots. 138 years later Tiger won the U.S. Open by 15 strokes.
At St. Andrews Tiger joined a cozy little club that hadn't taken on a new member in some 35 years. He convened, youngest of all, with Jack, Ben, Gary and The Squire.
At Augusta he pulled up alongside Bobby Jones, the only two men to have won the four most important championships of their day.
Furthermore, the venues-Pebble, St. Andrews and Augusta--combined with what he achieved at each place is comparable to what, hitting a World Series game seven, 9th inning homerun at Yankee Stadium, a game seven buzzer beater at Old Boston Garden, throwing a touchdown pass with time running out to win the NFC title game at Soldier Field in the cold?
You have to seriously wonder if anyone ever again will meet Tiger on the road he's headed for should he make it there.
From that vantage point, a healthy Tiger will visit Nicklaus and his 18 majors, as well as Sam Snead and his 81 wins.
But again, such an astounding feat is five-in-a-row that it becomes difficult to imagine it being duplicated in our lifetime, or perhaps several lifetimes, who knows?
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Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double
Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open
Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open
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