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Tiger Ends the Year as He Began - Winning

It must be comforting for the world of golf to know that Tiger Woods is not going to win ALL the tournaments. He doesn't enter half of them. Of the half he enters in America, he wins only one of two. That means that someone other than Mr. T. Woods wins three out of every four on the PGA Tour schedule.

And that's just this country. That's not counting the European Tour, the Australian Tour, the South African Tour, the Japanese Tour, the Magical Mystery Tour, etc. He doesn't win, of course, because he's not entered. If he's entered, it's almost a given that come Sunday, he will be in the heat of the competition for the title.
On certain occasions, he enters a team match. His worth is less in these affairs, reduced to half because he only plays half the shots. There are events such as this past weekend, when he and David Duval teamed to win the EMC2 World Cup. It was one of the rare occasions when it was important for him to choose correctly, because he was not playing well enough by himself to win. Thank goodness for Duval, who hit the majority of drives and key putts and otherwise conducted himself like the real Tiger Woods.
Tiger, of course, has circumnavigated the globe the past two months, playing golf every step of the way. He faced a hot Phil Mickelson at The Tour Championship, the wicked 17th green at Valderrama, angry protestors in Thailand, edged out Vijay Singh in Hawaii, watched Davis Love III finally get it back together again in the Williams World Challenge. Eight straight weeks of playing golf and it's time to let someone else carry the load while you freeload a little. Duval was glad to oblige.

Woods, of course, stroked the decider in Argentina. With the U.S. lead down to the thinnest possible margin, one stroke over the host team, Woods rolled in a massive 40-footer on No. 11 to again right the ship. Argentina then bogeyed the 13th and 14th holes in the alternate-shot format and the world was blissfully in order again.
'I only made one putt,' said Tiger, perhaps stretching the scenario a bit. 'I didn't feel like I did much of anything.' For a zombie, he should have added.
Woods didn't say for certain that he will choose Duval again next year - he chooses because he will most assuredly be the highest-ranked player. But he sounded reasonably certain when he said, 'I would love to team up with David, if everything works out. We'll see what happens.'
Tiger now goes into hibernation. The world will not see him again until the second week in January, when he defends his title in the Mercedes Championships. In the interim, he will be hiding out, something he is extremely good at.
But he ends the year with 12 titles. That's almost three months of winning.
Duval, who was world No. 1 when Tiger took over, was most complimentary.
'I think the most amazing part about it is that it was not done in 28 events, it was done in 18 events,' he said. 'I think that kind of winning percentage is extraordinary.'
He was referring, of course, only to Woods' nine PGA Tour triumphs. But it's no less amazing that Tiger played as well as he did week-in and week-out. Now he gets to go sleep a little. When he emerges fully rested, watch out!
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