In a time that feels so long ago and far away, Tiger Woods won the 2008 US Open in dramatic fashion over the loveable Rocco Mediate. Tiger is winless in Major Championships since the 2008 United States Open, a streak that is over five years in length.
Much has been talked about from injury to martial issues to endorsement deals but one thing has remained consistent. Tiger Woods is resolute and has always believed he would return to the top of his game.
While many argue that he will not win a major I am not a member of that camp. Tiger, like many at the top of their sport, have one thing that other lack and that is responsibility. You see players like Tiger understand that the only reason they win is because of them. They also understand the only reason they lose is because of them. Sure there are external factors but they will hold true and say it falls on them and nothing else. That mental acumen is the key especially returning from the depths Tiger had previous ventured into. While not the youngest on tour he is still the most talented and when at his best he is still head and shoulders above the field. Consider the following.
In 2013 Tiger Woods won five PGA Tour events en route to making the cut in all 16 events including 10 top-25s, eight top-10s and a runner-up at The Barclays. He won two World Golf Championship events at the Cadillac Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational while also capturing the Players Championship which is regarded by many to be the unofficial fifth major. At the 2013 Masters, Tiger was a bad bounce followed by a bad drop from breaking the streak.
Tiger is close and the time is now. I believe the 2013-2014 PGA Tour season will see he winless streak at Major Championships come to an emphatic end. Tiger Woods will not win a Major this season, he will win two. Just take a minute and think about the Major Championship venues this season.
Augusta is self-explanatory as Tiger has four green jackets at Augusta National and has been close numerous times. He knows how to handle Augusta National and was close last year as previously mentioned. A win in Georgia would be far from a shock to anyone that even remotely follows the game.
Pinehurst No. 2 has been returned to its roots during the renovation in preparation for this year’s US Open. However, Pinehurst No. 2 is a venue that has seen Tiger finish second and third in the past. Also consider the lack of high rough that will be prevalent at this year’s US Open creating more opportunities to avoid the dreaded “dead-off-the-tee” concept normally implied with a US Open. The setup of Pinehurst No. 2 will be determined greatly by its challenging greens. If Tiger can get his flat stick rolling than the field should be ready. Will Pinehurst be easy? Of course not, but it is a venue where he can excel.
Royal Liverpool will be the host venue of The Open Championship (or British Open if you aren’t proper) where Tiger Woods captured the title the last time it was contested there in 2006. Not only did he capture the title he did it with thinking man’s golf. The driver was only used once with the 2 iron leading his charge. He learned how to place the ball around the bunkers at Hoylake and there is no reason why he cannot do that again.
The final Major is the PGA Championship which returns to Valhalla where Tiger last captured the 2000 edition of the event in a playoff. Is it the same Tiger as 2000? Of course not but when you take a player of his talent level and put him on a course that breeds fond memories than that concept becomes problematic for the field.
While nothing is a guarantee, Tiger Woods has four incredible chances to win multiple Major Championships in 2014. While it might sound odd do not be shocked if it happens. If Tiger wins early in the season that will only compound the prevailing issues for the rest of the field in all four events. Let’s enjoy the 2014 season and see if my crystal ball is clear or full of dense fog.