Wednesday, March 9
Good Old Days: Tiger and Phil’s Duel at Doral
REMEMBER THE GOOD OLD DAYS when Tiger Woods was the No. 1 golfer in the world and always seemed to win at the Blue Monster? (Doral, that is. White-sand bunkers, lots of water.) Tiger collected hardware on three consecutive visits, from 2005 through 2007.
The above highlight package from the 2005 tournament is a case in point. Tiger chased down Phil Mickelson in a thrilling final-round duel that wasn’t decided until Lefty rimmed out his birdie chip on the 72nd green.
Times have changed. Boy, have they changed. The automobile sponsor has gone from Ford to Cadillac. Tiger’s game has gone from Cadillac to Ford.
Tiger, now world No. 5, and Phil, now world No. 6, will be grouped in the first two rounds of this week’s Cadillac Championship, a World Golf Championship event featuring 69 of the best players from around the globe. The top 21 players will be grouped according to world rankings, which means Tiger and Phil will be joined by world No. 4 and reigning U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell. The top three of Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald will also tour the Blue Monster together on Thursday and Friday.
Can Tiger or Phil reprise their mid 00’s dominance and swagger? The question hangs in the air like a weak approach shot in a stiff Florida breeze.
−The Armchair Golfer