Tiger Woods' victory at Bay Hill was his 72nd on the PGA Tour. For the 36-year-old, that’s two victories for each year of his life.
The reality is that he’s now been in the winners’ circle on his home circuit 72 times in nearly 16 years on Tour. Pretty special and just one short of the legendary Jack Nicklaus and 10 behind Sam Snead's all-time record.
That he has come through a torrid time these last two and a half years, mostly self-inflicted, and re-emerged in the style of old, gives hope not least to himself regarding his next challenge: that of winning a major championship for the first time since the U.S. Open in 2008.
All eyes are on Augusta National next week and his bid to win a fifth Green Jacket at the Masters Tournament. The stage is set for one of the all-time great Masters, with so many of the world’s elite peaking for the first major of the season. FULL POST
Tiger Woods remains the biggest attraction in the world of golf. Despite a lackluster run that has lasted two full years, and being dogged by his off-course dramas, the former world No.1 has proven yet again why he can pull in a crowd with his season-opening appearance in the Middle East.
Abu Dhabi is an unusual place for him to start his season, but there were several key factors in his decision to begin the year on the European Tour. FULL POST
Tiger Woods' erstwhile bagman, whose brain has clearly not engaged with his mouth since being set free by his old employer, has done it again - but this time it’s way more serious.
It was almost forgivable when caddy Steve Williams lost the plot last August, letting his emotions get the better of him in the aftermath of new boss Adam Scott’s impressive victory at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. FULL POST
Professional caddies do much more than just carry a bag for tournament players, what they provide should not be underestimated.
Caddying is a very well paid job for those good enough to attain the best bags and the individuals who chose this nomadic existence now come from a wide variety of backgrounds and not just the caddy shack clique of years gone by.
Australian Steve Elkington was so pleased with his caddy Dave Renwick’s performance at the 1995 PGA Championship, where he defeated Colin Montgomerie in a playoff; he presented the Scot with his entire winnings. FULL POST
It’s a grand slam of sorts already for Rory McIlroy and the 111th U.S. Open has only just begun. With his imperious opening effort of 65 at Congressional Country Club, he has now contended in all four Majors, and all in the space of the last 11 months. Despite his notorious capitulation at this year's Masters, here is a player moving to new level in his career.
The U.S. Open is designed to find you out, to level the playing field and offer a grueling slog, where level par is the desired winning number. We only have to recall Graeme McDowell’s winning performance of three over par last year at Pebble Beach and his grinding closing effort of 74 (three over par) to win the title, leaving Gregory Havret, Tiger, Ernie and Phil in his wake. FULL POST
It is one of the most international leaderboards ever at the Masters. Fittingly, on the 50th anniversary of the first-ever win by an international player; the odds are certainly in the favor of an overseas victory here at Augusta National.
South Africa’s Gary Player won the first of three Green Jackets in 1961 and on Monday, he told me that his pick of bunch this week was none other than Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. FULL POST
Saturdays in professional golf are traditionally called "moving day," but it all took off in the second round here at Augusta National as the tournament stepped up several gears. And how!
Rory McIlroy slept on the joint overnight lead and came out of the blocks perfectly on Friday here at the Masters, racing to 10-under par with the ease of a veteran. That his putter didn’t reward him on the back nine is an issue, for he could not have struck the ball better. FULL POST
I’d like to tell you that I’ve known Rory McIlroy since he was a little kid but I haven’t, well not really.
When I first saw him play as a 13-year-old (one-handicapper) at the Hermitage Golf Club outside Dublin, in the Irish Boys Championship, it struck me that although small in stature and very boyish in looks, he was actually a man in a boy’s body, playing with the authority of a seasoned veteran and clearly destined for bigger things.
It’s not often that Mozart returns in the shape of a boy golfer from Holywood (pronounced Hollywood) in County Down. FULL POST
Tiger Woods may have dropped to seventh in the latest world rankings, but should he secure a priceless victory here in Augusta on Sunday evening, his return to the top will be secured.
In fairness, should any of the players ranked between two and seven - bar Paul Casey at six - don the green jacket this week then they all have a chance of reaching the summit after the conclusion of the year’s first major.
One Augusta legend will be striding the fairways this week for his 50th crack at the Masters. He not only knows this verdant pasture like the back of his hand, he knows his hometown of Augusta even better. To say he has seen it all before, literally from both sides of the fence, is probably an understatement.
Carl Jackson may not be a household name in world sport, but here - on the grounds of Augusta National - he is an integral part of the tradition of both the golf club and the tournament. FULL POST