To which my reply is: I cant count that high.
Seriously, I was comforted slightly Sunday when my Golf Channel colleague, Frank Nobilo, admitted he was having a hard time getting his mind around the fact that Tiger Woods has now won 11 major championships in 11 attempts when leading after 54 holes.
This statistic is truly one of the most powerful numbers in all of sport. Cal Ripken played in a zillion straight major league baseball games. And Lance Armstrong pedaled his way to Paris a bunch of times in a row.
But Woods streak, that reached its newest level Sunday after he won the Open Championship by two shots over Chris DiMarco in England, is a different kind of record. Its more like UCLA winning 10 NCAA mens basketball championships in 12 years.
Only its better.
The joke around the halls at The Golf Channel late Sunday was that Woods will never become a complete player until he learns to win a major from behind.
Judging by what I saw at Royal Liverpool, he may never have to. For that matter Woods has won 11 of the 39 major championships he has played in since turning professional in late 1996.
If any Tour pro won 11 of 39 regular Tour events, wed be nominating him for the Hall of Fame. Woods has captured 11 of 39 MAJORS as a professional.
Some day, some way, somebody will take Woods down from behind on the last day of a major. Maybe. But we may have to wait a while. The latest victim of Woods steely Sunday superiority was Sergio Garcia.
Playing in the last group with Woods, Garcia, who started just one back, missed short putts on the second and third holes and virtually disappeared.
There is no next Tiger Woods on the horizon. And there may never be another like him. Same with Michael Jordan. We may have to wait until somebody like Philip Francis, the newly-crowned U.S. Junior Amateur champion, reaches the peak of his skills.
Francis is only 17. By the time he is 27 he very well could be the best American under the age of 30. By then Woods will be 40. Maybe we will be able to detect a slight decline in Woods skills by then. Maybe we wont.
Meanwhile Tiger Woods now has won 49 times on the PGA TOUR and made more than 60 million official dollars playing golf.
I cant count that high either.
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