Last week on ESPN.com, Rick Reilly blogged about whether or not, since he didn’t win in his first two events back from reconstructive knee surgery, we should wonder whether Tiger Woods is really human.
On Sunday, Tiger proved once again that he is super human, and is the greatest golfer of all time. He staged the greatest Sunday comeback of his career, coming from five down against Sean O’Hair at the start of the day. Then he sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole of the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational to claim his first win since last year’s U.S. Open.
What, you say? There’s no way that we can regard him as better than Jack Nicklaus? Until he wins 18 majors and 73 tour events, we can’t draw that conclusion? Jack had rivals, and Tiger doesn’t?
Tiger has ten major titles at the age of 33. Jack had 16 when he wanted to retire at 40 years old, and won two more after 40. If a reconstructed Tiger wins one major a year between now and the time he’s 46…when Jack won his last major…he’ll have 23.
With Sunday’s win, Tiger has 66 career victories. He might get to Jack’s victory mark of 73 THIS YEAR! He’s that great, and he’s that much better than the other players on tour.
While Tiger was out with his injury, Vijay Singh won three tournaments, Kenny Perry won three, Camilo Villegas, Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy and Padraig Harrington (The British Open and PGA Championship) won two each. Without Tiger, there’s great parity on the PGA tour. There are tons of great golfers capable of winning every week, and winning at a high level. Tiger doesn’t have one rival, he has numerous rivals…as Sean O’Hair showed again at Bay Hill.
The media can get fired up all they want (too quickly in my book) about dominant athletes losing their mojo. But Tiger has earned the benefit of the doubt. Until he proves he ISN’T the greatest golfer in the world, he is. And for the rest of time, he won’t be considered mortal in my book.
The Masters is in two weeks. Who do you think is going to win?