For Tiger, many more wins to follow. Do you think Tiger has a chance of winning the Masters?
The signs have been pointing to victory for months. Tiger Woods, in fact, maintains that his win Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational was his second along the comeback trail, the Chevron World Challenge title not to be forgotten. No matter, he now has gotten the "official" distinction out of the way, which ought to lead to even more success.
Nobody should get carried away and think that Woods is going to go on a rampage and win six, eight tournaments a year. Those days, most likely, are done -- even if Woods scoffs at the notion. But his victory by five shots at a place where he has now won seven times gets him past a significant mental hurdle, and the way he has been playing sets up particularly nicely for the majors.
"This was coming," Woods said. "I've been close a number of times, basically since Australia. Just had to stay the course. We all knew the things that we were working on were coming together, and were starting to solidify because the golf ball was not moving, just going so straight and the ball flight is so tight. The hardest adjustment I've had to make is just getting my distances and hitting the ball further."
It's never a bad thing when a player is having to adjust because the ball is going too far. Woods routinely won in the old days because of a remarkable short game, sometimes making up for deficiencies in his long game. Now he is hitting it farther and straighter than he has in some time. Amazingly, he leads the PGA Tour's total driving statistic, and at Bay Hill he overwhelmed the field by hitting more greens in regulation than anyone else.
And what better recipe is there for major championship success? At venues where birdies are typically at a premium, giving yourself the most chances, the most looks, is paramount. Being able to hit a variety of shots in difficult conditions where setups are demanding typically separates the contenders. Even at far from his best, Woods tied for fourth at each of the past two Masters. His play of late suggests he'll be there again.
Still, there is room for improvement. Woods' wedge play -- seemingly the last piece -- has been a weakness. With his newfound length, the short irons are the scoring clubs. Look out if he gets those dialed in.
Meanwhile, Woods joins a long list of winners this season, with nobody having won more than once. Victories are tougher to come by, but he's tied for the lead in that category, now ranked sixth in the world and is filled with confidence. More victories inevitably will follow.
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