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Confessions Of One Who Has Doubted Tiger

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Today's sermon is 'The Media and Mister Woods.' No, there's no problem with the writers and Tiger. But there is a problem with perceptions of same.
 
You are no doubt aware of 'the streak.' You no doubt are aware of the media. There seems to be some concern that it's been seven tournaments since Tiger won.
 
Of course, Tiger has won overseas since his last victory here. But some journalists have noted Woods hasn't been able to get over the hump on the PGA Tour since September at the Bell Canadian Open. Tiger himself hasn't made a big to-do over it - after all, he's finished in the top 10 every time save once, when he finished in a tie for 13th. He tied for fourth at San Diego last week. Not bad at all, you're probably thinking.
 
Anyway, some have raised the 0-for-7 issue. Others have reacted with disbelief towards the ones who mentioned the fact, incredulous that anyone would note the length of time that has gone by since Woods had a victory. Seven tournaments and counting - and some gents are wondering? Guess everybody expects perfection nowadays.
 
Well, yes, when it comes to Tiger Woods, everyone does. He has 'raised the bar,' we're incessantly reminded. He has set his own standards, like it or not. He isn't judged by anyone else's standards now. Tiger has performed at such a high level that it is perfectly understandable when some mild concern would be raised over the lack of a win in seven trips to the well.
 
We're not talking about just another very good golfer here. We're talking about Tiger Woods. We're not talking about Phil Mickelson or Davis Love or Ernie Els or David Duval. Those are excellent golfers, yes. But only one or two in the history of golf have had 15 months like Woods just had. When you talk about winning 17 tournaments in just two years, you are judged accordingly. THAT is the standard I'm talking about, not one where you win four or five times a year.
 
Tiger won nine times last year on the PGA Tour. That's a ratio of nearly one win every two times he teed it up. That, my friends, is exceptional. What are Tiger standards? Nearly one out of two. That's what we mean, not five wins in a year, not Phil Mickelson's standards or Ernie Els' standards.
 
He did win some tournaments at the end of the year. A skins game, the World Cup with Duval . but people, that simply does not add up. That does not compute to one win every two or three times he goes out. One-out-of-two is Tiger stuff - not a record we would remotely expect anyone else to achieve, but when you're talking about Tiger Woods, well, yeah. He did it once, remember.
 
Tiger never claimed he was as good as last year's record. But it was all there on paper. Last year was exceptional, there's just no other way to say it. Could it be that it's really as good as it's going to get? At age 24, I certainly would hope not.
 
Maybe Tiger will start a new streak. Maybe he will win the Nissan Open in his next start, then finish the year with TEN victories. Maybe the putts did just 'lip out.' Maybe there won't be any need to discuss the issue any further.
 
That isn't the point, though, for those of us who have gently reminded that it has been seven times since he teed it up on the PGA Tour and won. And that isn't by any means 'bad' when you are talking about the average good golfer.
 
When you are talking about Tiger Woods, though, it's worth a mention. If I were Tiger, I would expect now to be held to those standards. He has left the realm of those who are merely 'good.' He now belongs in a once-in-a-century category. When you go from nearly one-in-two to one-in-seven, it's news.
 
To tell it otherwise is to say that's he's just a good golfer, not Tiger Woods.