by Jeff Skinner
“It was a great week, even if I didn’t win.” Those were the words from Tiger Woods after he was out dueled by US Open Champion Graeme McDowell in a one hole playoff. If that is how he truly feels then there were two firsts at The Chevron World Challenge. First, Tiger had never been caught from behind when he was leading a tournament by three strokes or more but he gave up a four stroke lead and ended his first ever winless season. Second, that has to be the first time in history that a losing Woods ever said he had a great week. That isn’t normal operating procedure for Tiger. His loses are usually followed by curt, one word answers to the press, explanations on how his swing is close to being there or by a general disdain for all those that dare to question the great one.
This week was different. Even though he failed to hang on and win his own tournament he felt it was a great week. Maybe it was: he played well for three days and only a balky putter, early in the final round cost him the trophy. But more importantly, Tiger had a different tone afterwards. Could it be that this past year has sprinkled Tiger with a little humility? Could a year without a victory be the fix for Tiger’s oversized ego? Maybe, maybe not but one thing is clear: Tiger is playing better golf and it won’t be long before he is holding those three shot leads in a real tournament again.