Sunday, February 3

Tiger Woods Storms Back

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


Anonymous said...

Nobody has ever played the game like Tiger. He may lose, as all golfers do, but the winner will know that he's been in a fight.

Patricia Hannigan said...

I've got to say I don't see much in the way of "rivalries" for this year.

Patricia Hannigan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Its awesome to see Tiger at the top of his game isn't it? When he's on there is no one as fun to watch!

mshjas said...

It is almost impossible to see some of the things he does. I hope he can sustain this momentum. Is it April yet?

Anonymous said...

Two starts for Tiger and two very different wins. If I was a tour player seeing him come back like this is scarier than seeing him run away with a tournament.

Anonymous said...

Woods is such a phenomenal front-runner that people fail to realize that he has nearly 20 (PGA) tour victories where he's come-from-behind on the final day.

The Armchair Golfer said...


Yes, you're right, he does win from behind, too. I just read this about his 2007 win at Cog Hill:

"And while he is known as the best closer in golf, it was his fourth victory this year when starting the final round from behind."