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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Number Two Tiger

Betting on Tiger Woods to win The Masters this week was, if nothing else, safe.
Safer than a five-shot lead with three holes to go for the next great South African major winner, who was, surprise, surprise, not Rory Sabbatini.
When Tiger shot even the first day, the trendy response was, 'He's just waiting for Saturday to really make his move. It's like Jack Nicklaus said, you can't win the tournament on the first day but you can lose it.'
So the modest 71 on Friday didn't raise any red flags, if anything it made viewers more inclined to believe that Tiger would be hunting for the yellow flags all weekend. And he did.
And he failed.
Failed in the sense that he didn't win the first leg of his secondary-to-elipsing-Jack goal of winning the calendar year Grand Slam.
But he finished second, a very Jack-esque consolation in a major.
He shot even par 72 on a Sunday in which only four players broke par.
Only Stewart Cink, Woods' Sunday playing partner, matched his impressive feat as the only other player to not shoot an over-par round during the tournament.
A second-place finish may mean Tiger will lose some sleep until the next major, but fans shouldn't lose sight of the fact that a second-place finish in The Masters is nothing less than impressive on a week that many say the safest statement of all was to call it a failure.

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