The consensus is that Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods is the favorite coming into this year’s event, and that is most likely for many reasons.
Could it be for the reason how he won last year’s tournament on a fracture leg and a damaged knee while forcing an 18-hole playoff, then forcing an extra hole to beat Rocco Mediate?
Or could it be for the reason for how he performed at the Memorial Tournament a couple of weeks ago where he hit 14 out of 14 fairways on Sunday, while being 4 shots back at the start of the day and making clutch shots at the end of the round?
Or maybe that when the U.S. Open was last played at Bethpage Black in 2002, he won it by 3 shots?
Or possibly that he has 67 wins, 14 of those being majors and has a flare for the dramatic? Does Bay Hill come to mind, 2008 or 2009 or the incredible chip shot on the 16th hole at the 2005 Masters?
Or how about when it comes to beating the world’s best in the game, he has won 15 out of 31 World Golf Championships?
Or that back in 2000-2001 he won what is now known as the ‘Tiger Slam’?
How about that he has only missed 5 cuts in his PGA Career? (224 for 229 cuts made) It helps to be around for the weekend to win a tournament, especially a major.
Or how about when faced with adversity, he has pulled through; winning the 2006 Open Championship a couple of months after the passing of his father, Earl Woods.
Basically the list could go on forever about all that he has done as a professional golfer, not to mention all the accomplishments he did as an amateur too.
The point is that Tiger Woods does things that not only leave me speechless, but everyone else as well and sometimes even his competitors.
When watching the Memorial Tournament a couple of weeks ago, I thought that I had seen everything he could possibly do, but I was dead wrong.
Approaching the last two holes of the tournament, he gave himself breathing room by making birdies on those two holes including the last hole where he hit a 7-iron within 14 inches of the hole.
My reaction, all I could do was laugh. And actually that has been my reaction lately to most of his showings, specifically his third round at last year’s U.S. Open and his clutch putt in the twilight at Bay Hill (of course it didn’t look like it with all the camera flashes going off).
The questions for this year’s tournament is what he will do that will leave us asking ‘How is that humanly possible?’ and ‘ What will be written in the next chapter of Tiger Woods’ legacy?’
My prediction, I think that he will win the tournament, then again I also pick him over the field, but if you ask me, I think we should wait for next year for his best year as a professional, why you may ask?
Have you looked at the schedule for the 2010 majors, obliviously the Masters at Augusta, but the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach where he completely destroyed the field by 15 strokes, the Open Championship at St. Andrews where he has won twice, and the only obstacle in his way of a true grand slam is the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits where he finished tied for 24th in 2004.
Bottom line: Tiger Woods will continue to amaze us with his golfing skills and always leave us asking if there is anything that he cannot do, and it seems to me that the answer to that question is…
No, he can practically do it all, things that you can’t even do in his own video game (even if you tired it 100 times).
Information about stats and schedule found on ESPN and Wikipedia