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Tiger Woods Wins Again!

With Tiger Woods comes drama; that’s something that’s been proven time and time again since 2009. But as he was well on his way to winning the Players Championship this past weekend, it was still ever-present. This time it wasn’t with the women in his life, but rather another player on the course — Sergio Garcia.

Garcia and Woods have had a very public feud for nearly as long as Tiger’s name has been synonymous with the word “drama,” and they both put it on full display for the public this weekend. After Garcia had a disappointing day on Saturday, while Tiger enjoyed a very successful one, Garcia turned to the media to talk about how Tiger had ruined one of his shots.

It was on the second fairway, he said, that he was on his backswing at the par five green, when Woods pulled out his club and started to make his way towards his own shot. He got the crowd going enough to distract Garcia into a bad shot, and that was the one he made. Or at least that’s what Garcia says. Woods later said that he had already been told by the golf marshal that Garcia had made his shot.

The next day though, all seemed to be behind Woods, as he set back out on the course with a mission. He was here once again to win, something he hasn’t done in this tournament in over a decade. Birdying the 16th hole and making par at 18 was enough to do it, and was a dynamic end to an exciting weekend of golf.

It’s true that drama may still seem to follow Tiger wherever he goes. But it’s no longer true that he’s fallen out of the grace of golf, or that he’s even “back” in any form. What is true, is that drama or not, Tiger is still the best golfer in the world. Winning the Players Championship this weekend gave him his fourth win this year, and his seventh victory in his past 21 PGA starts.

Derek Ernst gets First U.S. PGA Tour Title

It was this past weekend that Derek Ernst wrote a page in his own career history book when he won the Wells Fargo Championship, his first ever U.S. PGA tour title. He wasn’t supposed to win, coming into the tournament as fourth alternate, with a world ranking of 1,207, and was called in at the last minute — while he was on his way to a PGA developmental circuit.  But as the big contenders fell behind, Ernst stepped up for the win.

Phil Mickelson was one of the biggest favorites coming into the tournament, and he remained so throughout most of the event. But while he could hang onto the lead for most of the round, he fell back into the third spot with a bogey on both the 16th and 17th holes. When he stepped up to the 18th, a 21-foot birdie shot far wide of the hole, and he missed the chance to go to the playoff.

That round would see Derek Ernst, who had been quietly creeping up from behind, and England’s David Lynn teeing off against each other. Shaking off the miserable weather and parring that last hole, Ernst took the title of the tournament, but that’s not what means the most to him. What he’s most looking forward to is simply being able to play on the PGA for the next two years; due to the exemption he gets from winning at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina at Wells Fargo.

“The money is money, it will come and go,” Ernst said right after his big win. “But winning and having a job and playing out here for the next two years, that’s what I want to do. I want to play out here, so that is the best part.”

Still, the $1.2 million he made from this weekend’s championship isn’t anything to sneeze at either.

Horschel Wins First PGA Tournament!

He’s been one of the best on the PGA Tour; but he’s also a player that had never won a tournament. That all changed this weekend though, when Billy Horschel arrived in New Orleans to play in the Zurich Classic. He knew it was his time to win, and that he did. And, he did it with just one putt, too.

The weather was miserable for most, with two different weather delays holding things up at TPC Louisiana. And while you would think that would make things harder for Horschel, it actually worked in his favor. Coming into the second round he was two shots behind the third round leader, Lucas Glover; but shooting six straight birdies gave him a slight edge over D.A. Points, the competitor that was the only one left fighting Horschel for the victory by the 18th hole.

At first it looked as though Points had it, knocking his ball out of a bunker to set himself up nicely for a 5-foot birdie. But Horschel stepped up to the task, and shot in an amazing 27-foot birdie. With a pump of his arms, and a brief burying of his face in his ball cap, Horschel had won his first tournament, with just one putt.

It was extremely fitting, really. Just last month Points had beaten Horschel and Henrik Stenson at the Shell Houston Open, also just by one putt.

“When a player goes out and shoots 8 under and birdies the last hole to win, hats off to Billy,” said Points, who finished the day with a 65. “He’s played great all year. He was one shot shy of me at Houston and I’m a shot shy of him here. It’s just the way it goes.”

Meanwhile, Horschel summed up his emotional win by saying, “Thank God I finally won.”

Tiger Wins WGC-Cadillac for 17th World Title

It was this past weekend that we all got to watch what we love watching the most — Tiger Woods in his finest form, and making the game of golf look easy. This weekend, at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Woods proved that free from both injury and scandal, he’s still the best golfer in the world. And for those who still doubt it, with 17 world titles won, and just one more to go, he’s about to tie Jack Nicklaus.

It’s something Nicklaus himself has been saying for some time is bound to happen, and it’s something we may be able to see next month at the Masters. If Tiger plays the same way we saw this past weekend at the Blue Monster course, it should be fairly smooth putting for him. In fact, over this weekend’s championship, it was putting that gave Tiger the most trouble. But, after heeding advice from Steve Stricker, he worked out those kinks and was the clear winner with three holes left to go.

If there was ever a time that he looked sloppy on the course in fact, it was only on those last three holes, which he ended up bogeying. But with the championship already won at that point, narrowing the margin for the win was a small price for watching Tiger play with such confidence, and maybe even having fun — something that’s been lacking for the past five years.

The Masters Golf Tournament 2013 begins in just about a month, on April 11, and it’s thought that this will be the tournament when Woods makes history, and catches up with the all-time golfing great, Jack Nicklaus.

Is There Any Hope of a Tiger Woods Comeback?

Tiger Woods is already a legend in the sport of golf — perhaps the greatest golfing success story of this generation. Tiger Woods could easily retire now and enjoy a magnificent legacy. And yes, that is precisely what some people think he should do!

Forget the fact that Tiger Woods’ name has been driven through the mud over personal issues. (After all, he is the very first famous athlete to ever cheat on his wife, right? Umm…sure) He has also lost endorsements and many of his ardent fans and been demonized by the press.

The question is, can he still play? Many in the industry are quick to say no! After all, he lost his #1 ranking nearly two years ago, and was ranked below the top 50 by the end of last year. He also managed to rake up a career long loss streak of 107 weeks.

Why just consider the dirt coming from Hank Haney, Woods’ former coach. In his new book The Big Miss he states bluntly that he doubts Tiger will ever recover from his career slump. He says that the scandal specifically affected the player’s game, going from “potentially irreparable.” Haney also said that Tiger, no longer a young man at 36 years of age, has learned that “realization creates doubt and in competitive golf doubt is a killer.”

Of course, it’s hard to deny that Haney has a personal issue against Tiger, not only because of money, but also because Haney (admittedly) didn’t like the way Woods always attributed problems to his coaching style.

Nevertheless, not everyone is giving up on Tiger Woods. Jeneé Osterheldt of the Kansas City star remains one of Tiger’s biggest fans and stated that “Tiger Woods is genuinely smiling. And people are smiling along with him.”

Why so? Could it be because Tiger is finally swinging success? As of March 2012, he won a 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, and this is his first win on the PGA Tour in over two years. He is now ranked #6 in the golfing world.

What do you think, sports fans? Does Tiger have another championship left or has he peaked before his time?

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