If you have not heard by now Tiger Woods won the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Dublin, OH. This is the tournament that is hosted by Jack Nicklaus. In winning, Woods equaled Nicklaus’ mark of 73 victories on the PGA Tour in his career. Tiger Woods now trials only Sam Snead on the all-time win list. Snead finished his career with 82 PGA Tour victories.
Woods began the day four strokes off the pace set by Spencer Levin. In a televised interview, Tiger spoke of how well he played in the final round. It was one of the few times that I recall Woods seemingly being satisfied with a round of golf. It was a 5-under par 67 and he should have been pleased with his play. While Woods certainly played well his fellow competitors can not say the same. Rory Sabbatini began the final round one shot back of Levin. He could only manage even par for the round. That was actually quite good compared to the other two leaders. Levin struggled to a 40 on the back nine and finished at 3-over par for the day.
Then there was Rickie Fowler. To say that he imploded is insufficient. He had a 40 on the front nine. Unfortunately, for young Mr. Fowler, that was his best nine. Fowler’s scorecard on the back nine looked much like one of mine as he ballooned to a 44 on the back. A little mental arithmetic tells you that Rickie carded an 84 in the final round. Just put that one behind you Rickie, better days are ahead.
Tiger Woods never ceases to surprise. Even though he had won at Muirfield Village on several occasions he was not a favorite in my mind entering this event. After playing poorly of late it was easy to see why he was not a pre-tournament favorite. Yet here we are at the conclusion of the Memorial Tournament and Tiger Woods has won yet again. He undoubtedly is resilient and coming back from four strokes behind in the final round certainly gave his fans a thrill. I got a text from a friend of mine who is on vacation. It said simply “Tiger baby!!” Word of Woods’ victory sure spread quickly, even to the beach.
Does all this make Tiger Woods the 2012 U.S. Open favorite? Before we get too hasty remember that Woods won at Arnold Palmer’s tournament prior to the Masters and was installed as the favorite to win the green jacket. It did not happen. In my mind Woods will probably not hoist the U.S. Open trophy on Father’s Day.
However, I am not going to count Tiger Woods out.
Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.