Woods needs to win from behind

first_imgTiger Woods started the year out by claiming on his websitethat winning the Grand Slam this year was “easily within reason.”He then went out and made people believe he could win fourmajors in one calendar year by winning his first four tournaments worldwide onhis way to tying Ben Hogan for third place on the all-time career wins listwith 64 career wins.However, Woods didn’t allow the Grand Slam talk to grow whenhe finished three shots behind winner Trevor Immelman. Even though he was sixshots back entering the final round, Woods still had a chance to win — andshould have won — the tournament.Tiger Woods is without a doubt the greatest golfer of ourgeneration. He is also one of the greatest athletes of our generation, but ifhe wants to claim himself the greatest golfer of all time, he needs to dosomething he has never done before: win at least one major coming from behind.He had the perfect opportunity to do that Sunday and failed.Yes, he was six shots back, but the four players ahead of him (Immelman, BrandtSnedeker, Steve Flesch and Paul Casey) had a combined six wins between them andzero wins in a major. Immelman even admitted Saturday night that if Tigerstarted out with a couple of birdies it would have put even more pressure onhim.Despite being six shots back, you had a feeling that ifWoods applied a little pressure out of the gate, the field would come back tohim, and he would have won his fifth green jacket. But instead of applying thepressure, Woods came out and played one over for the first five holes. And hisputting — a strength during the five-tournament winning streak earlier in theyear — was un-Tiger-like all weekend long. Normally anything inside 10 feet isalmost a sure make for Woods, but on Sunday he missed five putts around thatlength, including two that were inside 4-feet.What makes this weekend so disappointing for Woods is thatthe field did come back to him as he earned his second-straight runner-upfinish at the Masters by shooting an even par 72. But had Woods made a few ofthe putts he normally makes we more than likely would be talking about hisGrand Slam chances.All his life, Woods has set his sights at Jack Nicklaus’record of 18 majors. With 13 already, he is well on his way to breaking thatrecord, but unless he is able to win at least one major coming from behind onSunday, he can’t be considered the best golfer in history. He would be, as SkipBayless calls him, “the greatest frontrunner in the history of thesport.”Nicklaus won seven of his majors coming from behind on thefinal day, including his improbable win at the 1986 Masters in which he shot aback nine 30 to win by a stroke. The Golden Bear was four shots back enteringthe final round and had much more experienced competition ahead of him. GregNorman (2 career majors) was the leader with Seve Ballesteros (5), Tom Watson(8), Tom Kite (1) and Nick Price (3) all ahead of Nicklaus.In his prime, Nicklaus also battled with Arnold Palmer (8),Gary Player (9) and Lee Trevino (6). Tiger’s competition hasn’t been thatstrong as Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh have the most major winsamong Woods’ competition with three apiece.If Woods gets a lead after three rounds in a major, it is aslam dunk that he will win, but it is almost getting to the point that if hedoesn’t have lead, it is a sure thing he won’t win.Until he proves otherwise, he can’t lay claim to being thegreatest golfer in history.?Greg is a senior majoring in communication arts. Let himknow what you think of Woods’ performance this weekend at gschmitz@badgerherald.com.last_img

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