Growing up in the Tiger Woods era, I am spoiled.
The type of performance that Woods displayed in the final round of the Masters is something that, over the years, came with regularity.
So when Woods told the media after his third round that he still had a chance to win the Masters, many rolled their eyes in disgust. They must have thought to themselves, "how arrogant and delusional can one man be?"
But I knew better than to bet against him.
Throughout his career, Woods has delivered his best performances when we least expected them. The 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines was a prime example.
Going into the final round, I still believed that Woods had an outside chance to win his fifth green jacket.
After three holes, Woods was four-under-par. I started to get really excited.
When Woods made the turn in 31, I had visions of Phil Mickelson putting a green jacket on Tiger Woods as the sun went down over Augusta National Golf Club.
From there, however, Woods struggled to find a rhythm on the back nine to finish with a 67 for the day.
In the end, the effort left Woods four shots short of winner Charl Schwartzel.
While a tie for fourth is a good finish at the Masters, it's not what Woods or his fans had hoped for, which leaves everyone wondering where he stands among the best players in the world.
Based on his performance this weekend, however, it's clear that Woods is still among the top five players in the world.
Everyone knew he wasn't at his best this past week—he missed multiple putts from three feet!
Yet even with his "C" game, Woods managed to put himself in contention during the final nine holes of the Masters.
Currently, the top 15 in the world should appear like this:
- Martin Kaymer
- Lee Westwood
- Tiger Woods
- Luke Donald
- Phil Mickelson
- Graeme McDowell
- Rory McIlroy
- Paul Casey
- Steve Stricker
- Matt Kuchar
- Charl Schwartzel
- Dustin Johnson
- Ian Poulter
- Adam Scott
- Bubba Watson