Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Tiger Woods won't really be the No.1 golfer in the world until he wins The Masters or another major

Tiger Woods: Comeback depends on majors
Perhaps the most overhyped sports occurrence of the year so far is Tiger Woods 're-gaining his spot as the world's No.1-ranked golfer.
Tiger hasn't won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open. If he doesn't win a major this year, his No.1 ranking will ring hollow. Don't believe it? Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald have ranked No. 1 in the world since Woods' slide, which happened after he had knee surgery and personal issues, which landed him as a daily headliner for TMZ as much as ESPN. Winning non-major tournaments recently has helped Woods in the quest to break Sam Snead's record for most PGA wins, but what matters most is the majors and Jack Nicklaus' record. Woods is 37. It is no longer such a given he will win the five more majors necessary to break Nicklaus' all-time record of 18 major titles. It is the most-coveted record in golf, and separated Nicklaus from all others, including Snead.
The Masters is this week. Augusta National is a course which traditionally sets up well for Woods' game. He has been winning lately because he is putting execeptionally well.
Will it continue this week? Woods' performance at The Masters, in reality, will determine his status as the world's No.1 golfer.
Regardless of what the rankings might say.


Blogger Al said...

Give me a break. Woods IS the number one player in the world. The ranking is a weekly snapshot based on the results of x number of weeks. How many players have won 6 tournaments in the past 15 months? How many have won 3 so far this year? Only one, my friend.

You would be better served to debate how much better Woods is than #2. The gap is now close, but he was #58 just a couple of years ago. I suspect that in another year the gap will be as big as it was 5 years ago.

Listening to the player interviews at the Masters, it is clear that the other golfers are resigned to the fact that Tiger is again head and shoulders above the rest of the field.

I think Tiger will end up winning at least 7 tournaments this year, and more than likely will win multiple majors. I would not even rule out a Grand Slam, which would be the perfect Tiger "in your face" response to his detractors.

10:32 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book, here is a question for your radio show tonight - "what professional athlete has ever suffered the amount of real humiliation that Woods has" - and then add" and risen back approach greatness again".

All I know is when the truly greats play - I watch. When Jordan played basketball, I watched. When Gretzky played hockey - I watched. When Nolan Ryan pitched - I watched. When Ali boxed - I watched.

Woods has reinvented himself more times than Madonna - retooling swings and overcoming humiliation.

When I rank a persons character - I also rank their ability to hold their head high while the rest of the world whispers behind their back. With Woods the jeers are not even whispers.

I know Woods did it to himself - and that his world stature made the looking glass more focused on him than anyone else probably in the world.

The guy was a jack-ass. But my point is that he is dealing with it better than I could imagine any man ever could.

I think that alone is a big deal.

I'm rooting for him this weekend, because I hated to see Jordan and Gretzky and Ali say good bye past their prime. I still think Tiger is in his.

And if he finished the Masters in the top 5 - he is still the best golfer.

12:55 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very spot on article and analysis on golf, Caputo.

Woods is statistically the best putter this year on the PGA.

He certainly is the favorite in the upcoming Masters. His only downside is his best shot this and past years is his "stinger", a low right-to-left draw that goes a mile. You can't hit that shot at Augusta. Instead you have to hit a high draw that holds the green.

He arguably has 40 more shots at a major in his PGA career. one in eight is a tall order. That's because of the large "depth of field" that can win a major.

Most experts argue that Nicklaus faced the best competition during his career (Trevino, Watson, Norman, Casper, Palmer, Miller, etc) However, probably only 8-10 could beat him in any one major. Woods now has 15-25 competitors that can compete and win.

Many more foreigners and even young 20 year olds that are competitive now.

Should be interesting. For us oldtimers, were are witnessing two of the greatest golfers in history (Woods, Nicklaus).

1:15 PM 

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