What a difference a year makes. In 2013, Tiger Woods lit the PGA Tour on fire in much the same way he had a decade earlier, winning five times and, almost as importantly, taking back his title as the No. 1 golfer in the world.
This week, Woods is once again hobbled – to an unknown degree – by a bad back, and Adam Scott seems more than prepared to claim another elusive accolade at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
When Woods overtook Rory McIlroy late last March, it was easy to get caught up in the excitement. It had been nearly two and a half years since Woods had been No. 1, and he was just starting a campaign that would see him win five times and nearly take another FedEx Cup title. Sure, he didn’t win a major, but Tiger was Tiger again, and that’s all that mattered.
Three weeks later, though, Scott did win a major, and that win at the Masters equally propelled him to a level of the game he had never quite reached before. Really, with all due respect to McIlroy and Henrik Stenson, Scott has played some of the best golf in the world since last April, with two top-fives in majors and a handful of wins all over the globe. All that’s missing is for him to finish the job.
While the exact calculations are complicated, Scott can reportedly take over as No. 1 with a win this week, and a Woods finish anywhere outside the top five. Scott only has three career top-ten finishes at newly redone Trump Doral, but he did finish third there last year behind Woods. That was just the start of his run of incredible golf, so it wouldn’t be a surprise at all for him to improve this year.
If you weren’t already planning on following this week’s World Golf Championship, it’s become absolute must-see golf now. Keep an eye on Woods’s status, because if he does play, he’ll be joining Scott and Stenson on Thursday in the marquee grouping.