Torrid Times At Torrey Pines


Tiger Woods got to 62 PGA TOUR victories about six months before George W. Bush, our countrys President got to 62 years old.
In writing parlance, thats known as a new angle.
And its pretty much come to that when the task is putting a new spin on Woods dominance and coming up with fresh superlatives to describe how high he continues to set, and clear, the bar he jumps over almost every time he shows his game face in public.
A lot of people thought Woods 8-stroke victory Sunday at the Buick Invitational was boring. They missed the point.
Much of Tigers career these days is about milestones. He is now tied with Arnold Palmer for wins on our tour. Thats a milestone.
But that kind of misses the point, too.
What I saw for four days on soft greens made bumpy by a lot of play and a lot of rain was perhaps the best 72-hole display of winter poa annua putting in the history of the game.
Watching Tiger is like watching history unfold in living, breathing, color. Tiger Woods is high-def golf.
Its almost as if the aura emanating from Tiger is catching. Catching, if you possess the golf swing thats technically closer to Woods action than anybody else on the planet.
That would be a reference to Adam Scott. Scott birdied the first five holes Sunday, cruising to a final-round 61 and a three-shot victory over Henrik Stenson in the Commercialbank Qatar Masters.
By the way, the59 watch prompted by Scotts fast start didnt end until the 72nd hole when he decided to lay up on his second shot from well inside his go zone.
I had a really good yardage to go for the green, Scott said. And I would have had no problem reaching the green. But I was more worried about winning the tournament at that point.
The critics will second guess Scotts decision. A well struck second shot on the last hole followed by a one putt would have produced a 59, a score that has never been posted on the European Tour.
But Woods is one who would not second guess. Winning, Tiger reminds us on a regular basis, is what hes talking about.
In Scotts defense there was water left of the 18th green Sunday. Water left is where Scott infamously put his approach on Sunday at the 2004 PLAYERS. Only a testy up and down saved that victory for him.
And who could forget Ernie Els misfortune last month at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa. Standing in the middle of the fairway on the 72nd hole two shots clear of the field with a 6-iron in and his hand, Els imploded.
The result was a triple bogey-8 and a shocking victory for a man called John Bickerton.
The fact that they dont give style points, just trophies and checks, will never be lost on Phil Mickelson who learned his lesson that hard way at the 2006 Winged Foot U.S. Open.
Woods, meanwhile, will always get style points whether he wants them or not. Perhaps nothing at Torrey Pines was as stylish as the way he rolled his golf ball with his flat stick. Woods needed just 52 putts the first two days.
And even he was pleased with those results.
Anyway, to repeat, Tiger has now won 62 times on the PGA TOUR. Adam Scott shot 61 Sunday. And at least one writer--this one--is giving partial credit for Scotts number to Woods.
Maybe its a reach. But these days in golf, nobodys reach extends farther than Woods.
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Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Buick Invitational