After finishing in third place at the British Open, Tiger Woods is now ranked number two in the world.It’s probably not much of a consolation for Woods considering he lost a major championship that could have been his if he had just hit his putts a little bit harder. (He was putting right on line, but leaving putts short, or playing them so softly that the break was exaggerated and his putts missed the cup.)
Forget that disappointment, and ignore the number two ranking. The fact of the matter is that Tiger Woods — who looked utterly lost this time last year — is once again the best player in the world.
Most people will scoff at that proclamation because this isn’t even the best Tiger Woods that’s ever existed. It doesn’t matter that this isn’t the best Tiger we’ve seen. No one else in the field is as consistent, or threatening right now.
Tiger isn’t back, back, but he’s back enough. No one else has won three times this year. He’s been in position to win two majors.
Yet, he’s still a work in progress. From inside of 130 yards, he’s a mess. He can’t drill it in close with the “scoring irons” like 8, 9, and pitching wedge. Considering the progress he’s made with his driver and long irons, we expect he’ll have solved the problem with the shorter irons.
Once he figures out that last piece of ball striking, watch out.
For all the talk of the field catching up to Tiger, none of the guys on tour are closers. No lead is safe. Adam Scott had a four shot lead with four to play and he couldn’t seal the deal.
Tiger might not be the Tiger of old. But the good news for Tiger is that no one is the Tiger of old. Despite his many flaws, he is the best we’ve got right now.
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