Unlike Rory McIlroy, whose confidence has been badly shaken as of late, Tiger Woods knows he is playing some incredible golf right now. And, when Tiger’s playing great golf, he is exceedingly tough to beat, or even contend with, for that matter.
Woods had opened up a six shot lead over Graeme McDowell with just three holes to play in the third round of the WGC Cadillac Championship. G-Mac then responded at the end of the round with three straight birdies. Tiger wasn’t worried. “After I made birdie on 15, I was looking pretty good with a six-shot lead, and with a drivable par 4,” Woods said. “Two holes later, it’s now cut down to three. I piped a tee shot down there, hit a little 9-iron there and was able to pour that putt in there.”
Tiger knows this tournament is his. It also seems like the rest of the field knows this is Tiger’s event to lose, too. Steve Stricker spoke about Woods’ position heading into the final round. “You know what kind of closer he is,” Stricker said. “When he gets the lead in a golf tournament, it’s tough. He doesn’t let too many guys in usually when he gets the lead. We’ve all got our work cut out for us. We’re going to have to go out and try to make birdies on a difficult golf course, which is hard to do.”
A four shot lead held by Woods heading into the final round of an event isn’t completely insurmountable, but it’s bordering on a sure thing. Tiger just doesn’t give up the lead when he takes it into the final 18. Had this been a few years ago, it might have been possible for someone to go low and catch him.
With his confidence brimming, however, Woods knows this is his tournament to lose. That’s not likely to happen. You can pretty much put this event as a mark in Tiger’s win column. It will be his 17th career WGC title.