Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Woods needs to win from behind

Tiger Woods started the year out by claiming on his website
that winning the Grand Slam this year was “easily within reason.”

He then went out and made people believe he could win four
majors in one calendar year by winning his first four tournaments worldwide on
his way to tying Ben Hogan for third place on the all-time career wins list
with 64 career wins.

However, Woods didn’t allow the Grand Slam talk to grow when
he finished three shots behind winner Trevor Immelman. Even though he was six
shots back entering the final round, Woods still had a chance to win — and
should have won — the tournament.


Tiger Woods is without a doubt the greatest golfer of our
generation. He is also one of the greatest athletes of our generation, but if
he wants to claim himself the greatest golfer of all time, he needs to do
something he has never done before: win at least one major coming from behind.

He had the perfect opportunity to do that Sunday and failed.
Yes, he was six shots back, but the four players ahead of him (Immelman, Brandt
Snedeker, Steve Flesch and Paul Casey) had a combined six wins between them and
zero wins in a major. Immelman even admitted Saturday night that if Tiger
started out with a couple of birdies it would have put even more pressure on

Despite being six shots back, you had a feeling that if
Woods applied a little pressure out of the gate, the field would come back to
him, and he would have won his fifth green jacket. But instead of applying the
pressure, Woods came out and played one over for the first five holes. And his
putting — a strength during the five-tournament winning streak earlier in the
year — was un-Tiger-like all weekend long. Normally anything inside 10 feet is
almost a sure make for Woods, but on Sunday he missed five putts around that
length, including two that were inside 4-feet.

What makes this weekend so disappointing for Woods is that
the field did come back to him as he earned his second-straight runner-up
finish at the Masters by shooting an even par 72. But had Woods made a few of
the putts he normally makes we more than likely would be talking about his
Grand Slam chances.

All his life, Woods has set his sights at Jack Nicklaus’
record of 18 majors. With 13 already, he is well on his way to breaking that
record, but unless he is able to win at least one major coming from behind on
Sunday, he can’t be considered the best golfer in history. He would be, as Skip
Bayless calls him, “the greatest frontrunner in the history of the

Nicklaus won seven of his majors coming from behind on the
final day, including his improbable win at the 1986 Masters in which he shot a
back nine 30 to win by a stroke. The Golden Bear was four shots back entering
the final round and had much more experienced competition ahead of him. Greg
Norman (2 career majors) was the leader with Seve Ballesteros (5), Tom Watson
(8), Tom Kite (1) and Nick Price (3) all ahead of Nicklaus.

In his prime, Nicklaus also battled with Arnold Palmer (8),
Gary Player (9) and Lee Trevino (6). Tiger’s competition hasn’t been that
strong as Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh have the most major wins
among Woods’ competition with three apiece.

If Woods gets a lead after three rounds in a major, it is a
slam dunk that he will win, but it is almost getting to the point that if he
doesn’t have lead, it is a sure thing he won’t win.

Until he proves otherwise, he can’t lay claim to being the
greatest golfer in history.


Greg is a senior majoring in communication arts. Let him
know what you think of Woods’ performance this weekend at
[email protected].

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