Mendoza: Woods proves it again: Putting key to victory-A A +A
Monday, March 11, 2013
WHOEVER said Tiger Woods isn’t back yet, he’d better eat his words quick.
Woods won the World Golf Championship yesterday in Florida and, with that, he has won two in 10 weeks’ time.
You don’t call that back in the groove for the one struggling since 2009 to recover his genius form?
Have that head examined, I tell ya.
Woods was already back the minute he dropped his last putt to win in January at San Diego’s Torrey Pines.
Now that he was victor anew with his conquest yesterday of Blue Monster, how would you call that?
He was up by four shots going to yesterday’s last round.
His modest 71 was good enough to make him win running away.
Not even the final-round 65 of world No. 1 Rory McIlroy was a factor. McIlroy finished eighth.
Woods’s 19-under-par total might be the blast that could finally end his five-year losing streak in his hunt for a 15th major.
That could end with a victory in the Masters, which is set April 1215 (Manila time).
Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer until Woods became a threat after nailing 14 majors, curiously said Tiger could still “break my record, despite the slump he’s been into these past years.”
That’s what I like in Nicklaus. Never has he been selfish, if not self-conceited.
Woods’s slide began when his sex indiscretions were unearthed in 2009, leading to his divorce and a huge $100-million settlement with his wife, Elin Nordgren.
But the bigger impact of his victory is that it was made possible by a putter that got razor-sharp because of Steve Stricker’s tips.
“If not for Steve, I might not have won this,” said Woods.
Stricker gave Woods last-minute tips on putting on the eve of the tournament.
Ironically, the biggest threat to Tiger’s victory was, yes, Stricker. Stricker finished two shots behind as runner-up.
“At times you kick yourself,” Stricker said with a laugh. “He’s a good friend. We talk a lot about putting. It’s good to see him playing well.”
If Tiger gives Steve a token of appreciation, I believe he’d win Bay Hill in two weeks time and become No. 1 in the world again.
Gratitude is the highest virtue on earth.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 12, 2013.