It has been over fifteen years since Eldrick Tont Woods won his first career PGA Major. It was the first of four green jackets he would win at The Masters. It was the first of fourteen major championship wins and only his fourth PGA Tour win.
What if I told you that fifteen years and seventy-four PGA tour victories later, he would be in the worst drought of his career? He has not won a major in over four years. His Arnold Palmer Invitational win in March was his first victory in nearly two and a half years.
Zero wins in 2010 or 2011. There was scandal, there was injury, and there was no Tiger. We saw glimpses of the old Tiger Woods in 2012 with three victories, but none of them Majors. What makes this upcoming 94th PGA Championship any different?
A win this weekend would make all doubters realize that Tiger is back. The highs and lows this season are what make for a storybook finish. Yes, he finished +5 and tied for 40th at The Masters, but who will forget his amazing shot on the 16th hole at the Memorial in June? Two weeks after a win there, after two rounds of the US Open, he's tied for 1st at -1. Then in the final two rounds he fell apart, and there would be no major in June.
Two weeks after Tiger's win at the AT&T National, he was at The Open Championship. He finished the first round and tied for 6th. The end of the second day was done in style, making birdie on the 18th hole from a green-side bunker. That birdie put him in sole possession of 3rd place. After day three he maintained his -6 but falls to 4th place. He was back five with one day left. This is Tiger Woods, he has come from behind before, but he could do it again? The fourth and final day Tiger moved up, but only to take 3rd place. It was his best Major finish in over three years. He has one more major in 2012, can he take it down?
Yes. Yes he can. Tiger has slowly been finding his groove this season, slowly climbing up the major ladder one round at a time. He has mixed in a few victories with a few vintage Tiger Woods' shots this past year. Which leads me to believe, that the weekend of August 10th, 2012 might be the weekend we all say, "yes, Tiger Woods is indeed back!" A win this weekend will not only give Tiger his 15th Major Victory, which would put him three away from tying Jack Nicklaus, but would make everyone stop asking, 'will Tiger Woods ever win another major?' Instead, they will ask, 'how many more majors can this guy win!?'
Tiger is the reason I picked up a golf club seven years ago. He is the reason that I, along with millions of others will be hanging by his every shot starting this Thursday. I hope to goodness that we get to see him defend his lead this Sunday. We will not be able to peel our eyes off him, while he marches up to the 18th green at Kiawah Island, wearing his red polo. Hopefully I, along with the millions of fans and CBS, get to see his victory fist pump and know that Tiger has returned to original form.
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