Monday, August 21, 2006


T Woods extended his record to 12 for 12 in majors when he holds or shares the lead after 3 rounds. He went out and birdied 4 of the first 8 holes, making 2 40 foot birdie putts, and Luke Donald was unfortunate to have putts lip out on 2, 3, and 4, and that was it. It was over early, and the last 10 holes was just going through the motions really. Tiger put it on conservative cruise control on the back nine and shot 68 to win by 5; the 3 players within 3 shots of him at the start of the day (Donald, Oglive, Weir) all shot over par.

So he's two thirds of the way to Jack's record of 18 professional majors, and an even closer three quarters for those who like to include the US Amateur as a major (15 to Jack's 20). Dude is thirty, and it is generally accepted that golfers do not peak until their mid thirties - many players did not win their first major until their mid thirties, most notable Ben Hogan who won his first of 9 at age 34. Pretty scary to think that TW might get better, when you consider that in his last 8 majors he has 4 wins, a 2nd, a 3rd, a 4th, and the missed cut at the US Open which many attribute to the loss of his father 1 month prior.

One other thought: as yet another major passes by where the challengers fall by the wayside, the legend of Bob May just grows and grows. He really is the only guy who stepped up, played out of his skin, and dueled TW shot for shot in the final round of a major: 2000 PGA at Valhalla, May shot 66 to Woods 67, both men shot 31 on the back nine, and May lost by 1 in a 4 hole playoff. Note that this was in a year when Tiger won the US Open by a record 15 shots and the British Open by 8 shots.

As time passes, the legend grows.

Actually, Dimarco did pretty much the same thing at the 2005 Masters, but isn't quite as epic only because as well as the Gator played, Woods finished bogey-bogey to create that playoff.

After a few years in the wilderness my Tiger at 3-1 vs. the field in all 4 majors bet has paid off handsomely for the 2nd year in a row. If he wins 1 major in a year then I break even, and anything above that is winnings. I'm already looking forward to renewing this wager with SD in 2007.

Lastly, this makes 3 wins in a row for TW - the third different time in his career that he was won 3 in a row. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it going this week at the World Golf Championships at Firestone.


ATL_eagle said...

People also forget about Rich Beem at the PGA. He wasn't paired with Tiger, but Tiger was one hole ahead and put on a charge, yet Rich didn't fold and held on. I think it is the Mays and Beems of the world -- with nothing to lose -- who stand a better chance than the guys with pedigrees.

Kanu said...

Yup - I am a dumbass for failing to mention that since I was at Hazeltine that day. They didn't play together, and Justin Leonard started the day in the lead, so it wasn't a true duel. But still, Beemer held on and did what he needed to do over the last 4 holes after Tiger's amazing finish: he fell way out of it and needed to birdie the last 4 to have any chance, and that is exactly what he did, finishing birdie-birdie-birdie-birdie. But Beemer stood up to it, draining a 30 footer for birdie on 16 giving him a 2 shot cushion, so his bogey on 18 allowed him to still beat TW by 1.

And I got to see the Sox beat the Twins in the Twinkie Dome that same weekend with Wakey throwing. Good stuff.