The more Tiger Woods wins, the greater the expectations become for him to win a Major Championship. Golf has been played for over 100 years, so tradition points to the Majors — the British Open, U.S Open, Masters and PGA Championship. Jack Nicklaus won 18 Majors, the most all-time. Tiger has 14 and is number two all-time.
Sunday, Tiger won the WGC Bridgestone Invitational for a record-tying eighth time. He won by seven shots and has won five times so far in 2013. It’s the 10th time in his career that he has won at least five tournaments in a year.
That’s the best in history. Snead did it eight times. Sunday’s win was the 79th of Tiger’s career on the PGA Tour; he is now number two all-time to Sam Snead, who has 82.
World Golf Championships (WGC) are the biggest tournaments behind the four Majors since 1997, when the PGA started staging these elite field tournaments of which four are held each year. The WGCs are the HSBC, Cadillac, Bridgestone and Match Play.
These championships are comprised of the 70 top players in the world. There have been 41 of these championships, and Tiger has won 18 of them. No other player has won more than three times in these events. Since 1996, Tiger has won a tournament by six shots or more 12 times.
This week, the final Major Championship is the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Rochester. Tiger has not won a Major since 2008. It’s not as if he’s the only player trying to win; every player desires to win a Major. So, expectations have become unrealistic when Tiger does not win a Major. Some are too quick to say he’s not as good or that he’s done.
He just finished sixth in the British Open, and last month he was fourth in the Masters, so he has been close. Is this the week his Major drought ends? I think so. I believe Tiger is playing at the top of his game again after making swing changes and overcoming an elbow injury, and he has separated himself from the field as he has done before.
Last week on Friday, he flirted with shooting a 59 and settled for a 61; his 79th win at age 37 is remarkable. Snead did not win his 79th career win until he was 47. I think Tiger gets career win number 80 this week at the PGA, and his 15th Major, and ends nearly five years of 17 tournaments without a Major win.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.