TRAILING PADRAIG HARRINGTON by three strokes starting the final round at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Tiger Woods began with par, eagle, par, birdie, birdie to race to a front-nine 30 and a two-shot lead over Harrington.
Paddy must have felt like he was hit by a bus. But he has a lot of grit, and when Wild Tiger (the one who sprays tee shots) started missing fairways, the stubborn Irishman slipped back into the lead. He was grinding hard — and not blinking.
Then came the par-5 16th hole. Both players missed the fairway. Both were well back from the green after their second shots — Harrington was in the rough.
Tiger launched a 180-yard 8-iron over the water that landed like a dart and sucked back to within a foot of the hole. Unbelievable? No. It’s Tiger, folks.
Tough but mortal, Paddy went on to make the dreaded Snowman. Game over.
(UPDATE: Tiger and Padraig were put on the clock on No. 16, which, according to Tiger, probably rushed his rival’s shotmaking on what turned out to be the pivotal hole. Too bad. It was a great duel up to that point.)
Who except Tiger can hit that 8-iron shot? There’s only one guy I can think of — Phil Mickelson — but he doesn’t do it nearly as often in crunch time as the world No. 1.
With the PGA Championship this week, will Tiger make it three W’s in a row?
−The Armchair Golfer
P.S. If you haven’t signed the Tiger Is Believable Petition, I would appreciate your support. Read why.