WHY TIGER WOODS HAS A GREAT CHANCE TO WIN THIS WEEK

Here’s a look at some of Tiger’s recent major championship performances:

2008 US Open (Torrey Pines)

Prep: NONE

Maybe this is different, because this was Tiger Woods pre-accident and scandal, but he still didn’t play between the Masters and US Open. After Torrey Pines,he shut it down for almost six months. I remember watching his 18th tee shot on Saturday after he had just holed that ridiculous shot and thinking that Tiger looked like he was in so much pain I don’t think he could make it. He eagled 18 and played two more full rounds.

That’s why I included this event. There is no way Tiger was close to 100% this week.

Result: WIN

Average: -1.13

2010 Masters

Prep: NONE

This was Tiger’s first event back after the scandal. He had no prep on the PGA Tour. God knows what he was doing between Thanksgiving and Augusta but he came out and played damn well. Phil Mickelson played incredible at -16, but realistically -11 (t-4) wins a lot of years and Augusta and save a few great performances Tiger put a good bit of distance between himself and the field.

Result: T-4

Average: -1.32

2010 US Open (Pebble Beach)

Prep (Memorial Tournament): Tiger had missed the cut at Quail Hollow, then withdrawn from the PLAYERS, before actually playing decently at the Memorial. He finished T-19 (-.66) in his prep two weeks before the US Open.

Tiger never fully looked together at the US Open at Pebble Beach, and ironically blamed Steve Williams for some Sunday mistakes, but he did hack it around well enough and throw together one exceptional back nine on Saturday to get into contention. The momentum didn’t carry over into the final round, but Tiger still finished top-5.

Result: T-4

Average: -.96

2010 British Open (St. Andrews)

Prep (ATT National): Tiger was pretty average at his own tournament two weeks before the British. He ended up T-46 (-.14) at Aronomink.

The British Open at St. Andrews was another one that was supposed to be dominated by Tiger. He came in playing poorly, but actually played a lot better than the T-23 finish indicates. His second round 73 was only a few groups apart from Rory McIlroy’s debacle. He played in an absolutely horrible conditions and came out with one of the best rounds of his wave.

Result: T-23

Average: -.73 (adjusted for weather.)

2010 PGA Championship (Whistling Straits)

Prep (Bridgestone Inv.): It might not be wrong to say that Bridgestone was the low point of Tiger’s life, as opposed to just his golfing career. He got embarrassed off the course by the world’s best golfers and seemingly didn’t give a crap as he posted a 18-over par (final round 77) four-round score and finished in 78th place (+1.06 average)

Tiger made early waves at Whistling Straits with a few straight birdies, before playing with that some good, some bad inconsistency that has marked his return to the PGA Tour. He had enough game to post a respectable (by almost any other PGA Tour golfer) finish, but not enough to ever really get in contention after the front nine on Thursday.

Result: T-8

Average: -.55

2011 Masters

Prep (Arnold Palmer Inv.): Tiger threw up one of his Phil Mickelson performances. Some good, some bad. In the end, T-24.

Once again, Tiger had the ability to step up his game for a major. His Sunday charge on the front nine, which momentarily put him in the lead (but still almost assuredly would have fallen short of Charl) was derailed on the back nine by some poor putting. Tiger had a chance to be higher on the leaderboard, but Charl closed with four birdies and that would not have been caught.

Result: T-4

Average: -1.07

So, this week, Tiger will head to another major coming off a mediocre performance. Since his return in 2010, Here’s a look at performance in majors compared to regular tour events:

Tiger Woods

Avg.

Rounds

Majors

-0.93411

20

Regular PGA Tour

-0.34313

49

I’m fairly certain that still makes Tiger Woods the best player in majors since his return in 2010. Tiger’s average for last week was about -.25 (basically the field average). Tiger has incredible physical ability to play golf. That’s not matched by anyone of this era. But what makes him special, I think, is over the last year or so, he has been able to figure out what he can and can’t do on the golf course and mentally commit to whatever level his game is 100%. Maybe Tiger won’t have every shot in the bag this week (his chipping and driving were awful at Firestone), but you can be pretty sure that he can figure out some way to get around the course fairly competitively.

In my opinion, I think Tiger is the favorite for this week.

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