Tiger Woods Will Try to Make History at Arnold Palmer Invitational

John LewisSenior Writer IMarch 13, 2008

Tiger Woods tees it up Thursday in the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, FL.

In a tournament that he won four straight times from 2000-2003, Woods is looking to make history in more ways than one.

First, Woods is threatening Byron Nelson's record of 11 straight PGA Tour victories, once thought untouchable. Impossible, some would say, but the upcoming Tour schedule says otherwise.   

Every tournament Woods is expected to play between now and the U.S. Open will take place at a venue at which he has already won a tournament.

So you can see why some are anxious over the prospect of Woods continuing his winning streak right through Torrey Pines and tying Lord Byron.

However, if you take a closer look, Bay Hill has not been kind to Woods in the last couple of years. Since Woods won the event four times, he has not finished any higher than a tie for 20th, including last year when he shot 43 on the back nine for a closing 76 and a tie for 22nd.

"I just haven't played well, it's as simple as that," Woods said Wednesday after playing in the pro-am at the Bay Hill Club.

After Bay Hill, Woods will play next week at Doral, where he has won three straight years. Then it is on to the Masters, where he has had four victories.

Woods will be defending his title at the Wachovia Championship in May, followed by the Players Championship, where he won in 2001 but has not finished in the top 10 since.

Then comes the Memorial, which he has won three times, and the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. At Torrey Pines, he has won four straight Buick Invitationals, and six overall.

So if Woods is able to win the Masters and the U.S. Open, he would undoubtedly have his sights set on finishing what he started...the Grand Slam.

The British Open will be played at Royal Birkdale, the famous challenging links course that last hosted the Open Championship in July 1998, when Mark O'Meara beat Brian Watts in a playoff. That year, Woods finished in third place, just one stroke off the lead.

If Woods is successful in the first three majors, the stage will be set for a showdown at Oakland Hills, the site of the 2008 PGA Championship.

Woods has only played this course as an amateur at the 1996 U.S. Open and at the 2004 Ryder Cup. In the '96 Open, Woods shot a four day total of 294 for 82nd place.

At the '04 Ryder Cup, Woods had a 2-3 record.

This will certainly be the toughest test in Woods' career. But as Arnold Palmer stated, Tiger has the game of golf by the throat.