Tiger Woods should pick his next green jacket at Augusta

Tiger Woods holds the trophy he won when he regained the World’s Number One position on March 24, 2013. Photo/AFP
Tiger Woods holds the trophy he won when he regained the World’s Number One position on March 24, 2013. Photo/AFP 

In 2008, a one-legged injured Tiger, claimed his 14th Major win. Describing it as the “greatest ever championship” Tiger Woods played through pain to win the US Open, beating Rocco Mediate in a 92-hole duel that included a 20-hole play off.

Five years later, Woods, the number one golfer in the world, is still in search of his next major victory.

Next week, Woods will tee it up at one of his favourite hunting grounds, Augusta National at the Masters, the first Major of the year; and only a foolish man will bet against a 15th Major title for Woods.

Years of injury, a broken marriage, scandal, numerous swing changes and a change in swing coach have taken their toil on him, but the man we are seeing in 2013 reminds us of the champion we once knew.

Woods has won 77 official PGA Tour events, second only to Sam Snead; he has won 14 Majors, second behind Jack Nicklaus and is among an elite list of five players, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, to win all four Majors — a career grand slam.

Woods is the only player to have won all four Majors in a row, a feat he accomplished in the 2000-2001 season — the Tiger Slam.

And he didn’t start winning yesterday, Woods won the US Amateur three consecutive times from 1994 to 1996, becoming the only player to do so.

His first major victory was at Augusta in 1997, winning by a 12-shot margin over Tom Kite and announcing his arrival on the global golf scene at 21 years. This winning margin is the record at Augusta.

In 2001 he won by two shots over Duval at Augusta and he successfully defended his title in 2002 beating Retief by three shots.

US Open

Woods won the 2000 US Open with a huge 15-shot margin, leaving Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez wondering if there were playing the same game.

In the same year, he won the Open Championship with an eight-shot margin over Thomas Bjorn and Ernie Els and he beat Bob May in a playoff at the 2000 PGA Championship. His victory at the 2001 Masters completed the Tiger Slam.

In 2012 Woods finished T40 at the Masters, but his recent victories on the PGA demonstrate that he is back.

He won the Farmers Insurance Open in January, the WGC-Cadillac Championship in early March, his 17th victory at the World Golf Championships and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill two weeks ago.

Will Woods triumph at the Masters? The records would seem to agree. In six of the seven years Tiger had multiple wins prior to the Masters, he went on to win a major that year.

Woods is putting very well, he is back to the top of the world golf rankings and he has a new girl friend — the world is at peace!

He is on top of his game and his world. He is motivated, he is mentally and physically well and his swing is on song. All being equal, Woods should pick up his fifth green jacket at Augusta.