Just when it seemed he was running out of accolades to attain, Tiger Woods joined yet another limited group of professional golfers when he won The Players Championship on Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, Woods became only the sixth player in PGA Tour history to win The Players Championship (formerly the Tournament Players Championship between 1974 and 1987) twice in his career. And while the event is known for its unpredictable nature, this list isn’t exactly a group of nobodies. Tiger joins Hal Sutton (who actually defeated Woods here, paired together in 2000), Steve Elkington, Davis Love III, and newly-minted World Golf Hall Of Fame member Fred Couples with two titles. Who’s the only player with three? The same man Woods has his sights set on for another historical record: Jack Nicklaus.
What I think is most impressive about this victory is how Woods handled some of the difficult situations he found himself in. When he hit his tee shot in the water on the 14th hole, I’m sure I wasn’t alone in flashing back to Augusta National and the drop on number 15. Of course, in this case at least, there weren’t any obvious issues with his drop. Woods went on to make double-bogey, allowing the rest of the field back into the tournament when he had a fairly commanding lead.
When push came to shove, though, Tiger was steady. He took his medicine on 14, made birdie on 16 to gain a stroke and then made pars when he needed to. Even despite Sergio Garcia‘s epic collapse on 17 and 18. That consistency allowed Woods to keep pace, despite pushes from David Lingmerth and Kevin Streelman, whose Sunday 67 put him into a three-way tie for second with Lingmerth and Jeff Maggert.
Regardless of whether you love Woods or hate him, golf is just more fun to watch when you have him at the top of the field, being challenged by opponents old and new. The rest of the players on Tour are going to have to be on their game when Tiger comes to town, because this is a run of golf like Woods hasn’t had in years. If not, they’ll just have to sit back and enjoy the show.