by Jeff Skinner
If anyone is surprised that Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational today they just haven’t been watching golf lately. Tiger’s game had been close, he always says it is close, but recently he was right. His game was tight with his driver hitting the fairways, his irons darting the greens and his putter looking like the Tiger of old. Woods completed his comeback with a very solid two under par 70 to take his seventh Arnold Palmer Invitational and his 72nd PGA Tour victory.
Graeme McDowell was his only real threat but he stumbled right out of the gate with a punishing double bogey on the opening hole. McDowell righted his ship with an eagle at the sixth hole but Woods who just missed his own eagle took birdie and then got another stroke up on McDowell with a bird on the eighth. In essence the day was won for Woods there as McDowell played the last ten holes in three over par. Woods had only one error over the back nine with a bogey at the par three fourteenth.
When Woods teed it up on the eighteenth tee he had a five stroke lead but it wasn’t until his approach hit the fat part of the green did he let a smile cross his lips. A fist pump and a few screams punctuated his clinching putt and Woods acknowledged the massive crowd surrounding eighteen with a wave of his hat as they chanted ”Tiger,Tiger,Tiger.”
It has been 30 months since Woods last won an official PGA Tour event at The 2009 BMW Championship and this ends a slump started with injuries and exacerbated by his personal scandal. In the past year more injuries contributed to his dry spell and Woods has had to overcome confidence issues as well as his most recent swing changes with Sean Foley.
Today it all came together for Woods as all aspects of his game were working almost perfectly. Tiger said afterwards that while this win does feel very good it’s not a major championship. He’ll try and change that in two weeks at The Masters as he peaks at the right time and begins another phase of his professional golf career.