Despite winning his first PGA tour tournament this year, Tiger Woods wasn’t exactly having a good 2012 season. Now? After winning the Memorial Tournament, going into the US Open? After hitting a magic kind of chip in the 16th hole? It’s starting to look much better.
Before you lose your head, people need to go back to the Masters. Woods won a tournament, his first in over two years, going into the first major tournament of the year. Everyone were high on Woods, going back to betting on him and backing him to win his first major tournament since the 2008 US Open, only to see that explode in their face.
He played terribly in the US Open and then started missing cuts to following tournaments. Everything good people said about him based on one win disappeared all of a sudden. People are quick to forget and turn their backs on athletes in sports.
And then came the Memorial Tournament, founded by Jack Nicklaus. Woods won there four times before, with 2009 being the last time. It looked like a perfect Sunday for Woods, leading him to win his 73rd tournament and tie Nicklaus’ all time record. If there was ever anything Woods could do to get the hype machine going again; to get those whispers about reaching the 18 major titles record going again, it was this.
But winning the Memorial wasn’t enough. Winning it impressively wasn’t enough, closing with 5 under par on the day and 9 under for the weekend. He had to hit a shot at the 16th that will probably be talk of the golfing world and for those who pick up their interest only heading into Majors in the coming 11 days.
Even better than that last shot? Woods birdies three of his last four holes. One spectacular shot is a great way to close the deal. A clinching, clutch performance is an even better confidence builder, and confidence in his swing and play is probably the most important thing for the 36 year old Woods, trying desperately to regain his dominance in the sport.
Just don’t call him a favorite heading into the 2012 US Open, and we might see more of what we saw in the Memorial tournament from him, which isn’t just a great thing for Woods; It’s a great thing for the sport of golf, always benefiting from Woods getting back into the mix.