Monday, July 6

Tiger Checks Off Another Golf Accomplishment

It’s my tournament, and I’ll win if I want to.
(Chase McAlpine/Flickr)

WINS OWN TOURNAMENT. OK, cross that off the Tiger list.

Granted, it wasn’t a great big deal, but it’s still something you want to do if you’re Tiger Woods. (Actually, you sort of expect to win every tournament you tee it up in.)

Tiger won the AT&T National on Sunday, holding off Hunter Mahan who blistered Congressional with a 62 to post 12 under. Hunter is the perfect name for that dude, who hunts down birdies and low scores like he’s playing a pitch and putt rather than the PGA Tour.

Mahan’s early charge only served to set the mark that Tiger knew he would have to beat. In the end, Tiger bettered Mahan by one stroke to notch his 68th PGA Tour victory. Just one shot back at the start, Anthony Kim got schooled in the final round. Still, it was a nice title defense for AK, who is sure to face his idol on future Sundays.

Only a few players have staged their own tournament. Very few event hosts have won. Bobby Jones never won the Masters. Jones’ best finish at Augusta National was a tie for 13th, although, in fairness, he retired from competitive golf a few years before the inaugural Masters.

Of course, the late Byron Nelson and Arnold Palmer were too old to seriously compete in the tournaments that bear their names. Ben Hogan, however, won the Colonial five times in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. Many considered Hogan to be the unofficial host of the tournament, but the event never carried his name.

And then there’s Jack Nicklaus. The Golden Bear has hosted the Memorial Tournament since 1976, and won it twice. Not that Tiger gives a bucket of striped Top-Flites about that. But you never know.

−The Armchair Golfer


Lancer said...

I think the argument about who may be the greatest player of all time is just about over.

The Armchair Golfer said...

Let's not release the celebration balloons quite yet. Tiger has a few more majors to win to surpass Jack. That's the yardstick for greatest, in my opinion.

Lancer said...

You are, of course, correct. However, thus far in his career Tiger has won 28% of the times he's teed it up. Jack won 11%. This, it seems to me, should also count in the argument. I am not really a Tiger fan, but I am impressed.

The Armchair Golfer said...

Lancer: I'm impressed, too, and expect Tiger to beat Jack's marks.