Tiger Woods just almost won a golf tournament for the first time in 378 days.It took two incredibly clutch putts from Graeme McDowell to shut down Tiger in a sudden death playoff.
Woods lost to McDowell but he did play his best golf of the year this weekend, with three straight rounds under par.
He squandered a four-shot lead on Sunday, but didn’t fold. He rallied to tie the Chevron World Challenge on the 17th hole, and if it wasn’t for McDowell’s amazing performance on back-to-back holes, he would have had his first win since the Australian Masters in 2009 — two weeks before his car accident.
With his divorce, his injuries, and his fear of Twitter behind him, Tiger may have finally found the winning stroke that made him the richest athlete in the world. And the most feared golfer on the tour. His performance in this tournament is just what he needed to get his competitive juices flowing and catapult him into next year.
Too bad it wasn’t a real tournament. The Challenge is not an official PGA Tour event, partly because it only has 18 competitors. The event is actually hosted by Woods, with a portion of the proceeds going to his charitable foundation.
But the rest of the offseason will be dominated by “Is Tiger Back?” stories and predictions of 2011 being his year. Of course, winner or lose, it’s always Tiger’s year on the PGA Tour. As ratings prove, no one else matter more.
His next appearance will likely be at the Farmers Insurance Open on January 27, at his favourite course, Torrey Pines.
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