They had him where they wanted him. Behind. Tiger Woods doesn’t win from behind. A refocused Ernie Els had the 54-hole lead after a 65, four shots clear of Woods and one ahead of Henrik Stenson.
It looked like someone other than Tiger would win the Dubai Desert Classic. Maybe it would be the Big Easy. Ernie was due.
And then a sudden powerful storm kicked up in the desert. On Sunday, after a lackluster 73 in the third round, Tiger tore through the back nine, demolishing everything in his path, making five birdies in his last seven holes, including a sloping 25-footer on the 72nd green.
The 31 inward nine gave Woods a 65 for a one-shot victory over the precocious Martin Kaymer who finished with a heroic 66. Another one slipped away from Els (71), who despite Tiger’s back-nine charge still had a chance until he splashed down at the final hole when he needed a birdie.
Heaven help Tour pros if Tiger starts winning from behind. Heaven help them regardless.
UPDATE: As a commenter correctly pointed out, Tiger has won several times from behind in regular Tour events, including at least four times in 2007. He has yet to come from behind in a major, not much of a knock considering his freakishly good record.
The Armchair Golfer