Tiger Woods No 1

March 26, 2013 by  

Tiger Woods No 1, The world hasn’t moved on that much winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill-a course he’s come to dominate-Woods crept back to the No. 1 ranking, once again casting him as golf’s alpha predator and a favorite to win at Augusta National next month.

Tiger has endured such Federer-esque “is he done?” speculation since The Crash, the rise of a new ruling class of young golfers such as Rory McIlroy and Keegan Bradley, and the growing gap between now and the last time he won a major-2008, if you’re counting. There are plenty of reasons for how he got there-the stability of a new girlfriend, a retooled swing-but it’s key to note that the ranking isn’t a trick of the numbers. “It’s taken six wins in his last 20 PGA Tour starts, it’s taken the miracle resurrection of a putter last seen in George W. Bush’s first term, and it’s taken the convenient digression of Rory McIlroy’s career arc, but Tiger is back to being, well, Tiger,” writes Yahoo’s Brian Murphy. “By that, I mean The Big Kahuna, El Grande Queso, His Tigerness. No, he doesn’t need to win a major to regain his status as the Elvis Presley/Mick Jagger/Jay-Z of golf. He’s back in players’ heads already, back rattling their comfort zones, back to the point where his name on the leader board causes bouts of gastric discomfort among the field.” Statistically speaking this is shaping up as one of his more impressive years-it’s the fourth time he’s won three tournaments before the Masters, the other instances coming in happier, pre-Crash years when Tiger’s dominance was more matter of fact.

While that elusive fifteenth major isn’t a given-few things are, unless we’re talking LeBron James MVP campaigns-it’s hard to imagine any other golfer who’s more likely to take home the green jacket. “Tiger’s revival required patience, and extreme discipline: he switched coaches, rearranged his swing again, pounded away at his putting. Once again, he’s the man to beat at the Masters, which starts on April 11,” writes Time’s Sean Gregory. “He might not win his fifth Green Jacket. But once again, Tiger Woods is the best in the world.”

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