Among the many ways Tiger Woods has poiled us in his 18 years as a pro was making winning look so easy. The first 14 times he carried at least a share of
the lead into the final round of a major championship, he
won. But even the amazing Mr. Woods hasn’t been the
same since Y.E. Yang took him down in the 2009 PGA
Championship; he’s 0-for-the-majors since the 2008 U.S.
Open, despite multiple chances going into the weekend.
Another way Woods disrupted conventional wisdom was
discarding the notion that pros needed to build up the scar
tissue of defeat into their 30s before they learned to win.
At 21 he was the unquestioned best in the world. But with
a battered body and bruised belief system, Woods, 38, has
been demoted from one of the best ever to once again merely
best among his peers, and in doing so
has reminded us winning is difficult, a
realization that reinforces how lucky
we were to see Tiger at his best.
After 35 holes of the Arnold Palmer
Invitational last week at the Bay
Hill Club & Lodge, Adam Scott, the
33-year-old Australian who grabbed
his long-awaited first major at last year’s Masters, was 15
under par and eight strokes ahead. Victory was a foregone
conclusion. And if Scott won, he’d go into his defense at
Augusta National as No. 1, a spot he would have yanked away
from Tiger on March 31, after both had a week off and Woods
watched the points from his victories last year at Doral and
Bay Hill devalue.
Cleared for takeoff:
Every got a leg (or two)
up on his first PGA Tour