Based on yesterday's performance it's obvious that fatherhood has taken a huge toll on Tiger Woods. With a 12-stroke victory in his grasp, he flailed away to an embarrassing 71, finishing with a deeply unsatisfying 8-stroke margin.
Needless to say, that's meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but it shows to what lengths you have to go these days to bring Tiger back down to human level. Based on his demolition of Torrey Pines this weekend, it's hard to imagine him not winning the U.S. Open there in June. In all likelihood, the biggest challenge will be the pressure that comes with being the heaviest favorite in the history of the event.
At the age of 32, Tiger has already laid his claim to being the greatest player of all time, but as Gary Van Sickle reminds us, there are a few records left for him to play for:
· Ben Hogan, 64 career victories
· Jack Nicklaus, 73 career victories
· Sam Snead, 82 career victories
· The Grand Slam
· Sam Snead, 8 victories at the same tournament
· Jack Nicklaus, 18 majors
· Byron Nelson, 11 wins in a row
· Most consecutive victories in a single event
· Byron Nelson, 18 wins in one season
For more detail head to the link, but of these records, it will be a major upset if Woods doesn't end up with all but two - 11 wins in a row, and 18 wins in one season. The Holy Grail of golf, the Grand Slam, may also be out of his reach, but the stars and the schedule have aligned this year to make 2008 what may be his best shot. Truth be told, it's one of the few things that makes this season worth looking forward to.