Time for Tiger to end his drought

2013-08-09 00:00

WHEN you read this column, the first round of the fourth and final major trophy of the year will have already been played.

The United States Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) tournament is being played at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. Oak Hill is the only club to have hosted the big six in men’s golf — U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, Senior PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

There will be just over 150 players in the field, of which about one third stand a chance of winning. In the rankings, there are nine golfers in the top 20 who have not yet won a major and there may well be a first-time winner.

However, Tiger Woods is the clear favourite to lift that big Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday afternoon. Everybody knows that Woods has a career mission to win more major tournaments than Jack Nicklaus, who won 18. Nicklaus won five PGA Championship titles. Ironically, the first one was exactly 50 years ago and his last was at Oak Hill.

Woods is the favourite to win most tournaments that he enters and that includes the majors. He won his 14th major, which was the U.S. Open, at Torrey Pines in 2008. He has been stuck on 14 for five years, and there are some pundits who believe that he is running out of time and will not reach Nicklaus’s record.

For this tournament, the positives appear to be stacked in Woods’s favour. He is back to the number one ranking, he is leading the Fedex Cup standings and has five wins already this year, including a comfortable seven-shot victory last week in the World Golf Championship at the Firestone course.

He will not be short of confidence and will be well prepared for this one. Surely it’s time for Tiger to end the drought and silence the sceptics.

There is one interesting aspect to watch out for — Woods has won all 14 majors by leading after the third round. In other words, he is a great front runner, but has never won coming from behind.

The defending champion is Rory McIlroy, who has been struggling with his new equipment. However, you never know in golf and you can’t write off anyone.

From the 19th hole:

Sam decided to tie the knot with his long-time girlfriend.

One evening after the honeymoon, he was cleaning his golf shoes. His wife was standing there watching him. After a long period of silence she finally speaks. “Honey, I’ve been thinking — now that we are married, I think it’s time you stopped playing golf. Maybe you should sell your golf clubs.”

Sam gets a horrified look on his face. She says: “Darling, what’s wrong?”

Sam replied: “For a minute there you sounded like my ex-wife.”

“Ex-wife?” she screams. “I didn’t know you were married before.”

Sam says: “I wasn’t.”

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