Should our minds boggle? Or should we be unsurprised?
The answer, of course, is: Yes.
Yes, our minds should boggle. And, yes, we should be unsurprised.
It is remarkable what Woods has done since he smiled into the cameras at Milwaukee in late 1996 and said, Hello World, to us all in the week of his first event as a professional.
Its getting hard anymore to keep track of Tigers Top 10 or 20 or 30 moments. This latest, a hang-on, pure grind victory at the WGC-NEC Invitational at storied Firestone in Ohio was not a work of art. But it was artful for the amount of work Woods was willing to do to secure the championship.
At one point in the middle of the final round they could have named this thing The WGC-NEC Moonwalk. The entire field, it seemed was backing up. And it wasnt pretty.
Woods bogeyed the third, fifth, ninth and 11th holes. But when nobody stepped up and snatched victory from Woods jaws of steel, he drained a long curling birdie putt on the 70th hole, parred the last two and walked away with more than a million dollars.
Woods has now won more than $12 million in the state of Ohio alone thanks mainly to Firestone and Jack Nicklaus tournament at Muirfield Village. Which is why he is now saying: We need to keep playing more in Ohio. Its that simple. We dont have enough tournaments here. Maybe a major could come back to Inverness (Toledo) or something.
When they told Woods they would be playing this WGC event every year through 2010, his reaction was short and sweet. In fact, it was sweet.
Sweet, he said sweetly.
Anyway, none of this should really surprise us. And if you want to extrapolate, Woods will have 90 PGA Tour victories and 20 major championships before his 40th birthday.
Dont they say golfers are just hitting their peak in their 30s? Arent we always reminded that Hogan didnt win his first major until he was in his 30s?
The mind boggles.
Oh, and one last point: There were whispers last week after Phil Mickelson captured the PGA Championship at Baltusrol that there might be a legitimate debate over who the Player of the Year should be.
As Ken Venturi used to say: Next question.
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