Tiger Woods first hole may have golfers to lose their confidence

2013 WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral, Final

On Sunday, Tiger Woods began the first hole in a fashion that might have caused other golfers to lose their confidence.  The first hole is the easiest on the course.  It is a par 5, but nearly everyone holes it in 4. He had to scramble for a par.

But Tiger’s iron play and putting were near perfect.

Teeing off on the 16th hole, he had a 4 stroke lead.  Hitting only an iron off of the tee, he was trying to “play it safe”.  His tee shot went off to the right, and he eventually made bogey for the hole. Steve Stricker was now only 3 shots behind, in sole possession of second place.  He continued to make pars, playing with Phil Mickelson ahead of Tiger and Graeme McDowell.

Tiger made par on the 17th, as Stricker finished the day at 17 under par for the tournament.

The 18th found Tiger’s tee shot far right once again.  He chipped his second into the fairway, playing for a bogey.  His third shot was short of the green on the left front, and nearly rolled back into the water.

He eventually made bogey and won by 2 strokes, 19 under for the tournament.

This was PGA tour win #76 for Woods.  Tiger made 27 birdies in the 4 days, one short of his best of 28.  He needed only 100 putts in 72 holes.

The win gave him 550 points towards the FedEx Cup, and put him in second place behind Brandt Snedeker, who has been idle with a shoulder injury.

Although Tiger Woods was victorious at the WGC in Miami, the story might be Rory McIlroy.  He had lost his confidence until today.  He shot a 65, which was 7 under par.  He’s back!

His frustration was evident when he walked off the Honda Classic a week ago Friday.  And, as he began this weekend, he was erratic and lacked the necessary self-assurance to be in contention.  But Sunday he found his stroke.  He shot a bogey free round, for a 4 day total of 10 under par.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express


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