Tiger won his 2nd straight tournament yesterday at Firestone, his 7th victory in 10 tries at the tournament, and will again be an overwhelming favorite at the years final major next week. Tiger threw up a 30 on the front nine yesterday to seize the lead from Padraig around the turn. It looked like we were headed for an exciting battle down the stretch between the two when Tiger stumbled with 2 straight bogeys early in the back nine. Harrington drained a 15 foot par save on 13 to regain a 1 shot lead. But Tiger pulled it together in vintage Tiger fashion, stuck an 8 iron to within tap in distance from 180 yards on the par 5 16th. Both he and Harrington hit errant drives, but after that Paddy did nothing right. Following a failed layup attempt, Harrington air mailed the green in to a brutal position, facing a slick down hill chip with the water sitting perilously close behind. His wedge bounced off the grass and he skulled into the water, on his way to a triple bogey 8 that handed Tiger the tournament.
After missing the cut a few weeks ago at the British, Tiger has claimed 2 straight victories, and has “reasserted” his dominance (as if he had to) to all those who were sent into a panic by his performance at Turnberry. Fact is, Tiger is the one guy that you simply cannot overreact to anything he does either way. He is the best there is and everyone comes to expect him to win every week. But it’s golf, and sometimes the shots just aren’t there. Off 2 straight victories, all those who panicked two weeks ago will be back on the bandwagon, expecting Tiger to roll his way to another major.
But this is a major. These weeks are different. If Tiger brings his A game he will win the tournament, but there are too many variables when it comes to playing on courses of this difficulty. Tiger has now won his last tournament before each major this season, and all things point to it being his week. But we’ve heard that plenty of times before. Pretty much every major actually. And the major champions this year are as follows: Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, and Stewart Cink. So let’s reserve are judgment here, at least for now.
I’ll dive into the PGA Championship at Hazeltine, more on Wednesday, when the worlds best will tee off for glory’s last shot in 2009.