Another feather in Tiger’s cap

Tariq Engineer

Tiger Woods’ win on Sunday made him just the third golfer in history to win back-to-back Masters titles. His win on Sunday gave him his seventh major championship at the tender age of 26. His win on Sunday was his sixth victory in the last ten majors.On Sunday, Tiger Woods went up against the best players in the world and made them look like the pretenders they are.and he wasn’t even at his dominant best. He didn’t run away and hide from the field. There was no birdie barrage, no string of red numbers. All Tiger did was go about his business, shooting a steady, if unspectacular, 71 to finish at 12 under par, winning by three strokes, and earning his third Green Jacket.

One by one, his so called challengers fell by the wayside. His playing partner, Retief Goosen, had broken 70 in each of first three rounds. Not only was he looking to win his first Masters, he was looking to become the first man in Masters history to shoot in the 60s all four rounds. Neither scenario materialized. Retief shot 74 and, though he wound up in second, never had a shot at the title.

Sergio Garcia never got it going on Sunday, shooting 75 to finish 8th. Phil Mickelson started with back-to-back birdies, and then made back-to-back bogeys. Mickelson would eventually finish with a 71 and third place.

Ernie Els had it to 10 under playing the ninth hole. His approach shot landed five feet from the hole, but drew back sharply down the slope and off the green. It was a mistake one just can’t afford to make at the ninth at Augusta. He ended up taking 5 to drop to 9 under, and then made a mental mistake on 13th that led to a triple bogey 8. The anguish on his face was plain for everyone to see.

Vijay Singh hit it into Rae’s creek on 13th but managed to get up and down for par. Then came 15, where Vijay hit it into the water not once but twice. There was to be no getting up and down for par this time. His final score on the hole: a quadruple bogey 9. Another Masters dream had drowned in Tiger’s wake.

What makes Tiger almost unbeatable? His enormous belief in himself, coupled with the doubt he creates in his opponents minds. Tiger simply refuses to lose. His opponents apparently don’t know how to win.