For the first time in more than a decade, Tiger Woods has been a conservative major champion for a year. For the first time in his career, Woods spent a year not only as an influential figure in golf, but as an influential veteran politician. And for the first time in many years, Woods has made in a year that he not only hopes to win big tournaments, but also hopes that he will.
Woods began his 2,021 season at Torrey Pines at the Pharma Insurance Open on Thursday, where he won what seemed to be his final major: a dramatic one-leg 20U U.S. win against Rocco Mediate. He threw 3-under 69 in his inaugural round in San Diego, thanks to three birdies in the final nine holes of the day on the North Course.
Now, though, he is coming off a win at the 2020 Masters, and he holds Sam Snad the most PGA Tour winner ever, with 82.
So what does Woods have to do? Really, from a career point of view, it’s all about clubbing at this point. When he retired a decade ago, he would become a legend. Now, after pulling off one of the best comebacks in sports history, he is as close to immortality as anyone can get. At this point it means all the house. But here are the risks for Woods in 2021:
Major. Woods is three behind now in the long-standing record of Calorie’s big-hitting Jack Nichols, and Woods has disagreements on how much he means at the moment, if he chooses another green jacket or carat jug this year, each big will be a Tiger show for the next half decade. (If that’s a good thing, decide for yourself) Over the past two years, Woods has made it to the top six at least once in three out of four majors. The win that Masters wins may not be the end of the story.
Heavyweights For all his recovery skills, Woods is still not level with talent with the most in the game. In one season Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and others could outrun him. The question is how they fought directly in the singles tournament, and so far Woods has shown he can hang on. He was able to face McElroy almost every time and he just had to stay out of the reach of Kopka. Of course, typing is easier said than done.
Of all the things he has done in his Olympic career, Woods has never played at the Olympics. But the truth is that if he plays a short schedule, he will have a hard time making the team. The Olympic Formula Award wins for Tokyo, so if he can win a few big wins in the spring, he’s in it.
The mark of victory all the time. Say what you want about Snead’s all-time PGA Tour mark – let’s just say that some of those wins came against the low-full-strength field – it stands as a benchmark for golf excellence. And Woods got it … and it should pass soon. When That’s the question. It may come right away this weekend or it may extend into the summer. Beyond the majors, Woods will not play many events in the soon-to-be-discovered Midwest Manufacturer Classics – but he does have opportunities at Bay Hill, Monuments and several other familiar courses. It won’t be a total of 19 majors, but 83 tour wins will only add to the legacy.