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How much bettter can Tiger get?Posted Monday, February 25, 2008, at 4:08 PM
Just when you thought that Tiger Woods couldn't get any more scary good.
Enter Tiger Woods, father, husband and seemingly even more invincible than before.
If there were any doubts after he opened the year with back-to-back wins, he drops the hammer on the field at the World Golf Challenge over the weekend.
After seemingly having his back to the wall in an early round match, Woods bore down and sent Stewart Cink home with his tail between his legs on Sunday.
Woods beat Cink eight-and-seven in the 36-hole match play championship which means that Woods beat his opponent by eight strokes with seven holes to play.
In match play, a golfer wins a hole by scoring better on the hole than his opponent. On Sunday, Woods scored 14 birdies over the first 29 holes to win the match, the largest victory margin in the final round in the 10-year history of the event.
The victory was Woods fifth-straight overall dating back to Sept. 3, 2007 and brings into question whether he might be on par to have the greatest season in the history of the sport.
Ben Hogan has the record with 11 wins in a row, a record seemingly as untouchable as Ted Williams hitting .400 or Cal Ripken's consecutive games played streak.
But Woods seems to hitting another gear as he settles into fatherhood and is even more matter-of-fact when discussing career and season goals with the media.
Woods' win on Sunday gave him 63 for his career, surpassing Arnold Palmer. Yes that Arnold Palmer and Woods is only 32 years old, an age when most golfers are just getting into their prime.
Scary thought for opponents who are already being taken out behind the woodshed by Woods, who is approaching $100 million dollars in career winnings, never mind the endorsement riches.
Never before has the talk of a Grand Slam in a single-season seemed more attainable than this year considering no other golfers seem to be even within striking distance of Woods' current level of play.
Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and Jim Furyk appear to be fading so where is the challenge going to come from? Phil Mickelson could take his game up a notch and compete with Woods for the majors, but you have to wonder when any of the younger bucks are going to step into the limelight.
Sergio Garcia hasn't really made the strides that he appeared capable of a couple of years previously. Twenty-six year old Aaron Baddeley, he of BADDS.com fame when he arrived from Australia eight years ago, gave Tiger his best match, taking him to 20 holes before seemingly, inevitably succumbing.
No doubt, a number of golfers are capable of staying with Tiger for a round or two during a tourney, but El Tigre just wears opponents down and keeps making shot-after-shot.
Perhaps even more remarkable is that he's re-tooled his swing twice in his career. Something difficult in itself, but instead of falling apart during that transition period, he won just four times instead of like seven or eight. Now that he's settled into his new swing, it appears as if Tiger is here to stay at the top for quite some time.
Let the course designers have at it to Tiger-proof the major courses this summer.
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