Tiger Woods won last week for the first time in over two years. His game, which has steadily been progressing over the past couple months, seems to be back at an elite level. That used to spell doom for fellow competitors, especially with a major championship on the near horizon. As we all know though, things have changed.
When Tiger arrives at The Masters next week the pressure of the moment will rest squarely on his shoulders – not the rest of the field. If Woods wants to make that win last week matter, he needs to back it up.
Call me crazy, but I think Tiger needs to win next week. Winning the Arnold Palmer is nice, but a major championship is how the pendulum truly swings back toward greatness.
If Tiger falls short at Augusta, has anything really changed? We all know the guy’s a contender every week – but he’s not TIGER. Not the Tiger we knew. Not the killer instinct. Not the icy stare. Not the “I can will myself to victory” no matter what attitude. Not the fist pump and the swagger.
I’m still rooting for Tiger to catch Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors and then throw it in his rear view mirror. In my heart of hearts, I believe he’ll do it. But, next week is so huge. It’s the biggest moment in Tiger’s professional career since the wheels fell off in 2009.
In the spirit of Tin Cup’s Roy McAvoy, I’d call it a “defining moment.” The old Tiger would walk in and define the moment and make it his own. The new Tiger… well that’s what we’re all waiting to see….