The only player to win three PGA tour events in 2012? Tiger Woods. Despite of disappointing many with his majors performances, Tiger Woods is once again one of the best players in the world, winning his 74th PGA Tour tournament (tying Jack Nicklaus), the AT&T National at the Congressional Country Club.
This puts Tiger on top of the money list for the first time in three years, and also placed him at number 4 in the world. His US Open (21st) and Masters (40th) performances were uninspiring, but that wasn’t just because of Tiger Woods himself. He has won a tournament just before each of the Majors so far, with the Open in Lytham, England, waiting, looming, just over two weeks from now.
On the way will be Woods playing at the Greenbier Classic for the first time in his career. Woods talks about how he feels confident but knows his game is far from perfect, especially for the links experience in Lytham. The question is how will the expectations of Tiger from his fans and haters be a burden for him on his shoulders? How will the media’s desire to show every angle of his return to the top or continuing mediocrity change, if any, his game?
Woods, for some reason, was considered the favorite heading into the Masters and the US Open. He collapsed at the Open after a good start, while it was terrible, from the first moment, at the Masters. He tried different things. Once it was his swing, the other time it was just that kind of bad weekend. Woods has been so bad for so long, and people forget about that. The assumption that he’ll never win again got thrown out the window in March, but finding consistency in his Golf is the next big obstacle.
Woods needed Bo Van Pelt to crumble and meltdown, giving up his lead as Woods got a grip of himself and pulled through for the victory. At those moments it’s far from skill. It’s about your head, your confidence, your belief in yourself. Woods has been struggling with that for quite some time. A good tournament in West Virginia, showing consistency over more than just one weekend for the first time in a long long time, might indicate that Woods is finally set to shine in a Major.
Give me a little bit of time, and I feel like this is what I can do. When you’re changing systems and have a totally different release pattern, it’s going to take some time, and there are times when, yeah, I revert back, but that’s happening less and less, and my ball striking is getting better and better.
No one’s guaranteeing smooth sailing from here on out, but there’s a feeling that after winning three tournaments, there’s more than genuine reason to be excited about Tiger Woods in the British Open.