It ended just as I predicted two weeks ago—Tiger Woods won the 108th U.S. Open. It didn't much matter that he needed 91 holes rather than the customary 72, Tiger just scored his 14th career major championship.
It also didn't much matter that Woods' first full eighteen holes since his knee surgery were played on Thursday.
At times, Tiger grimaced and winced in severe pain, but true to his style, he prevailed to hoist his third U.S. Open trophy.
Although the 45-year-old veteran touring pro Rocco Mediate stuck with Tiger the whole way, it seemed almost inevitable that Woods would grab the title. Give it up for Mediate, for his class and talent kept him it the chase all week, but Tiger showed why he is light years ahead of Phil Mickelson and company.
Woods is now 14-for-14 when leading after 54 holes in major championships. That stat is quite telling, as it shows that Tiger has the staying power not to relinquish such important leads.
As a sports fan, this was one of the most exciting events all season in any sport. To see Mediate go toe-to-toe with Woods for eighteen holes, and with dramatic shots aplenty, it was a truly must-see television.
Next year, the competition doesn't really have much to look forward to. The 2009 U.S. Open will be played at Bethpage Black, which just happens to be the site of Woods' second U.S. Open title.
If anyone thinks they can catch Tiger, they better do it fast, because he is slowly easing into the prime of his career. If that competition never comes, it may be lights out for years to come in these major events.
For god's sake, Woods was playing on one knee, commentators called it his "C" game, and he still won.
I don't think there is much else for players to do these days except to take the Mediate idea of playing for second while having fun.
For now, I am glad I stuck with my gut with Woods as my favorite, because now I get the last laugh.
Twelve days ago, I received a comment on my article handicapping the field. It said, "Woods is the favorite? Are you drunk?"
Well to you, Andrew Kneeland, Woods can enjoy his sippables all night long while he celebrates this masterful win.
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