March 25, 2013

Tiger Woods Climbs Back to No. 1 Ranking: Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitation at Bay Hill Monday, a milestone for at least three reasons: The win is his eighth at Bay Hill (tying Sam Snead for most wins in a single tournament), his 77th in the PGA (putting him behind only Snead with 82) and puts him back at golf's No. 1 ranking, passing Rory McIlroy.

posted by rcade to golf at 12:38 PM - 3 comments

The eighth win of the same tournament is even more incredible in the context of how many times he's played it - he's won it precisely 50% of the times he's entered it. I'm not sure how many times Snead had to play the Greater Greensboro Open to win it eight times, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it was more than sixteen times in the 27 years between his first win in 1938 and his last in 1965.

Of course, the notion of Tiger's "slump" has been fairly misguided as I've waffled on about here before - yesterday's win was his sixth win in his last 20 PGA Tour starts, which would make his "slump" equate to most people's dream season - but there was a calm assurance about him at Bay Hill and at Doral a few weeks ago, that looked more like vintage Tiger. He had spells with those "lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin', until he bites ya..."

He's the favourite to win at Augusta, with no small justification. In his 16 professional starts there he has won four times and finished in the top-8 eleven times. Last year was his worst ever perfomance there when he finished 40th. I suspect the days of him winning it at a stretch have gone, but he will almost certainly be there or thereabouts come Sunday.

Someone who might not is Big Phil. His putting - which had seemed to improve so dramatically with his adoption of the claw grip - seems to have gone to hell overnight.

posted by JJ at 10:29 AM on March 26, 2013

I rooted against Tiger for a while, but I'm looking forward to seeing him at the Player's, if he comes. The last time I went he dropped out mid-round. I want to see him tackle 16-18 with fire in his eyes.

posted by rcade at 12:54 PM on March 26, 2013

In the 24 years that they've been keeping track of the World Golf Ranking, Tiger has held it for 624 weeks (and counting). The next highest is Greg Norman, at 331 weeks.

The 624 weeks is almost half the number of weeks his playing partner on Monday has been alive (Rickie Fowler, 1267 weeks).

posted by grum@work at 02:49 PM on March 26, 2013

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