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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#1 Again, Is Tiger Back?

Wild on Sports
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/files/2013/03/tigerwoods13.jpg
#1 Again, Is Tiger Back?

For the first time since October 2010, some 2 1/2 years ago, Tiger Woods is the #1 golfer in the world.

Monday marked his second win in consecutive weeks as he claimed the Arnold Palmer (Bay Hill) Invitational, a tournament he has now won a record tying eight times. The win gives Tiger his 3rd on the season as he heads to the Masters in his most "Tiger-like" form since career threatening injuries and derailing personal issues.

Is the real Tiger back?

He has been no stranger to winning tournaments in his career. Even during his times of struggle he still managed a couple of wins.

"If I get healthy, I knew I can play this game at a high level," said Woods Monday after his 2-under 70. "I know I can be where I'm contending in every event, contending in major championships and being consistent day in and day out -- if I got healthy. That was the first step in the process. Once I got there, then my game turned."

OK, so the health is back, what about the superhuman who's confidence and swagger alone would make those playing with him drop off the leaderboard faster than a speeding bullet? 

Well, we may have seen a bit of that on Monday as well. On the 12th hole Monday after playing partner and then 2nd place Ricky Fowler sunk a 40-foot birdie putt to get within two of the lead, Woods dropped a 25-foot birdie of his own creating the first real Tiger roar from the crowd of the day and sending Fowler to the next tee with a dumfounded smirk and tail between his legs. From there Woods cruised to victory.

The real test will come in a few weeks in April when he goes for his first green jacket since 2005. He has said all along that the only record he cares about is Jack Nicklaus' major championship record of 18 wins. Tiger sits at 14, but has not won one since the 2008 US Open.

So, for a third time -- is the real Tiger Woods back? Signs are pointing in the right direction. A green jacket in two weeks would scream a resounding YES!

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