Monday, September 10, 2007
Tiger Woods did it again..
Tiger woods did it again. Coming from behind to win by 2 strokes. His never give up attitude is what separate him from others. At the age of 31, already won 60 competitions which includes 13 major titles. At the moment, he is The Man in golf.
LEMONT, Ill. -- Remove yourself from all the hype and hysteria surrounding the FedEx Cup. Forget about playoffs and Player of the Year awards and piles of cash. Consider the number 60.
It used to be pretty special in baseball, and remains so in golf.
Tiger Woods does not swat home runs, but he does pile up the PGA Tour hardware. And his victory Sunday at the BMW Championship means that one version of golf's Mount Rushmore will have to make room for the man who threatens to break every meaningful record in the game.
Woods matched the tournament 18-hole record by shooting an 8-under 63 at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, becoming the first player to do so twice. He posted the lowest four-day total (262) in 104 years of tournament competition -- which beat the previous mark by five strokes. He won the tournament that used to be known as the Western Open for the fifth time, just one behind Walter Hagen.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Woods has now won five times at Cog Hill.
And he joined Sam Snead (82), Jack Nicklaus (73), Ben Hogan (64) and Arnold Palmer (62) among those with 60 victories or more in PGA Tour events.
All at age 31.
Even Woods, master of the routine, never one to be overly impressed with himself, acknowledged it is pretty special.
"I never, ever would have dreamt that this could have happened this soon," Woods said. "I've been out here, what, 11 years? This is my 12th season. And to have this many wins ... I just never could have foreseen that.
"I've exceeded my expectations and it's been a lot of fun to enjoy that whole road, that whole process, to get to 60. It's been a lot of work. There have been some changes along the way, you know? But I think that's all been great."
There have been swing changes and equipment changes. He got married, lost a father and brought a child into the world.
But other than a few brief dry periods along the way, not much changes when it comes to winning. Nobody does it better -- or more often -- than Woods. He now has won at least six times in a season five times. This year, four of his six wins have come at the biggest tournaments -- a major (PGA Championship), two World Golf Championship events (CA Championship and Bridgestone Invitational) and now a playoff event.
And his other two victories came at two of the more popular regular tour events, the Buick Invitational and Wachovia Championship.
Perhaps just as remarkable as his number of victories is the speed with which he got there. Nicklaus was 36 years old when he won his 60th title in 1976. Palmer was 41 in 1971 when he won for the 60th time. Woods could take the next five years off and still be on pace to surpass Nicklaus, Hogan and Palmer.
Or, as Justin Rose put it, "I'd have to win 15 times a year for the next four years to get there by the time I'm 31."
Rose played with Woods on Sunday and witnessed a clinic. Trailing by one when the day began, Woods made four birdies on the front nine but could not wrestle the lead away from Aaron Baddeley and Steve Stricker. When he failed to birdie the par-4 10th and the relatively easy par-5 11th, Woods simply became more determined and birdied four of the next five holes. And nobody could catch him.
For the tournament, Woods was third in the field in driving accuracy at more than 80 percent -- a scary proposition when you consider how wayward his drives can be at times. He also never had a three-putt and played just three out of 72 holes over par.
"You could just see him suddenly go into another gear," Rose said. "His focus was on to another level."
It is doubtful that Woods has ever fixed much of a gaze on the highly-promoted FedEx Cup race. He led the points standings for much of the year, stayed away from the first playoff event and fell to fourth in the standings, finished second to Phil Mickelson last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship and watched Lefty ascend to the top spot, and now has it all to himself.
There will no doubt be some fallout from the fact that Woods could be in position to win the $10-million retirement bonus that goes to the winner of the Cup without playing all four tournaments. And he has rendered this week's Tour Championship at East Lake a virtual money grab for all but four other players. Only Stricker, Mickelson, Rory Sabbatini and K.J. Choi will have an opportunity to overtake Woods to win the FedEx Cup.
Given his penchant for paying attention to detail, however, you can bet that Woods will know what he has to do this week to be the inaugural FedEx Cup champion.
Then again, the best way to get there is the only way Woods wants to get there.
"Winning takes care of everything," he said.
And nobody knows that better than Woods.
Bob Harig is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com. He can be reached at BobHarig@gmail.com.