Mendoza: Rory goes from being chased to chasing Tiger

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Sunday, March 31, 2013


FROM a low of 58th in November 2011—some records say he was 58th in October 2010—Tiger Woods is back to No. 1 in the world.

Woods achieved that honor anew with his Bay Hill victory in Orlando, Florida, last week.

That tied his own record of eight victories in the same event (Torrey Pines) even as his eighth Bay Hill, the signature tournament of the legendary Arnold Palmer, gave him his third win for the year and his sixth in his last 20 starts.

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Britain’s Rory McIlroy, the man Woods had dislodged from the top, merely watched from the sidelines—still licking his wounds after some grievously ugly rounds punctuated by that walkout off the course in the Honda Classic’s second round.

But it was not exactly sulking time for Rory. He went to Miami not far from Orlando to also be with his girl friend, Caroline Wozniacki, herself the former world No. 1 in tennis.

I like Rory. After Tiger’s Bay Hill victory, Rory congratulated Woods via text in an exquisite gesture of sportsmanship.

Well, that’s how it should really be in golf, the game among gentlemen—supposedly.

Rory is currently playing in the Shell Open in Humble, Texas. If he wins, he will reclaim the No. 1 spot from Woods, who skipped the tournament.

But as I went to write this piece, Rory, obviously still struggling with his game, could only submit a first-round 73 and trail D.A. Points by 9 strokes.

There are still three rounds left and, in golf, you can never tell. In anything, it’s not over until it’s over. In a pub/piano bar, it’s not over until the big, fat lady sings. In golf, it’s not over until the last putt is dropped.

Thus, mathematically speaking, 9 strokes can be overhauled in three rounds. As the late, lamented Ben Arda once said, “Just one wayward shot hitting a tree or something can change everything.”

This year, McIlroy, after winning four times in 2012, including the PGA Championship that made him No. 1, is winless in four starts and has lost his No. 1 position that he held for 32 weeks since August 12, 2012.

By Monday, will the losing streak end for McIlroy?

Woods is an interested spectator.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 01, 2013.

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