Eye of The Tiger on Royal Lytham
What are Tiger Woods’ chances at the 2012 Open Championship? Quite good. But how much is the stigma surrounding the former World No. one affecting our perception of his ability to reclaim the Claret Jug?
Comments (1)|0 Liked It
What are Tiger Woods’ chances at The 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club? Very good; in fact, the bookies on the other side of the pond have him as the 10/1 favorite. But many people seem to believe that TW is done, even after he has reconstructed himself into the kind of golfer we used to know-one who is currently leading the money list, FedEx Cup points, scoring average, and PGA Tour season victories (3).
With the name TW comes several precedents and standards. And not to be lost among all of them is the ubiquitous criticism, both in terms of the almost militant or carceral self-discipline from Woods, and the relentless popular expectations for the former World Number One. With the precedent that Woods set for himself and for the modern game of golf, intense scrutiny from the media and the greater golfing community alike will inevitably continue. But, as a result, critics and pundits can tend to focus on the enigma and the celebrity the living legend, rather than on his current form.
And make no mistake: Woods is the best all-around golfer on the planet today, despite his status as Number Four behind Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, and Luke Donald according to the official World Golf Ranking system. Spectators have watched his ascension since December’s triumph over Zach Johnson at the Chevron World Challenge. It was an unofficial PGA tour win, but Tiger’s first since his calamitous fall from grace in 2010, albeit a victory in which Woods was forced to hole a slippery, vintage birdie putt to put his hands back on a trophy.
From there, he proceeded to shoot a flawless, PGA tour career-low 62 at The Honda Classic on Sunday, finishing T2 behind McIlroy. It was another vintage showing from Woods that was rather undermined by the young McIlroy’s metaphoric anointment as boy who would be handed the baton from Woods, himself!
Then, of course, came the three victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, The Memorial, and AT&T National. The win at Jack’s place resulted in career win number 73 on Tour, which tied him with Nicklaus for 2nd of all-time, and professional win number 100 overall.
It also included this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O1bSFf8ndU
Royal Lytham will present a strict test for the golfers this coming weekend. With 205 pot bunkers, narrow fairways, and fescue that could easily pass for your grandmother’s beard, analysts suggest that the 2012 Champion Golfer of the Year will likely be someone Major-tested. For this reason, Tiger should have at least as good of a chance as anyone else in the field, as he seeks his fourth Claret Jug and fifteenth Major.