With four consecutive wins at the Buick Invitational, Tiger Woods owns Torrey Pines in January. But what about June?
That’s the question as the golf world marvels at Tiger’s most recent exploits at the famous muni on the Pacific Coast. He made it look ridiculously easy, as only Tiger can, an eight-shot victory that ties him with Arnold Palmer with 62 career wins. Only Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead have won more on the PGA Tour.
Early in the telecast I heard this from Nick Faldo in the CBS booth: "Tiger Woods will win the Grand Slam this year."
Of course, Grand Slam talk is an annual ritual in the Tiger era. Tiger believes he can win it, and some seem to have already conceded it to him. The Grand Slam chatter is definitely trending upward.
I can’t hop on the Grand Slam bandwagon. It will take tremendous good fortune along with the skills of the greatest golfer of this generation (and likely ever) to win all four majors in a calendar year.
Possible? Yes. Probable? Um, no.
The U.S. Open may be the key to it all, a major Woods hasn’t won since 2002. Torrey Pines will be a much different (and diabolical) golf course in June -- long, fast and gnarly.
Tiger rode a hot putter to his eight-shot victory this past weekend. In June, all facets of Tiger’s game will need to be sharp, most notably his tees shots so he can hit approaches that assure pars and allow for occasional birdies.
One thing’s for sure: Tiger loves Torrey. Will the romance continue in June? I’m sitting squarely in the wait-and-see camp.
The Armchair Golfer