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The More I Think About It, The More I Appreciate Tiger Woods – A Great, Great Golfer

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(Larry King News & Views-inspired headline)

In case you haven’t noticed, Tiger Woods is a pretty good at this golf thing. Woods stormed back from four strokes down to win the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield, despite posting a 74 in the second round Friday. The Greatest Golfer Who Has And Will Ever Live provided an exclamation point on his seven-under 65  Sunday by sticking his approach shot on 18  (video after the jump) and finishing birdie-birdie on the final two holes as the rest of the field choked their way through the final round.

If I could hit just one shot like that out golfing, I might just walk up to my ball, tap it in and never golf again. Jesus.

Of course, people are split on whether his victory was more due to Tiger’s brilliance (like me) or the rest of the field wilting under the pressure after Tiger birdied four of the first seven holes. From Jay Busbee’s post on Devil Ball Golf:

You can look at Tiger’s victory Sunday at the Memorial and see it however you want to see it. Tiger fans will see it as proof that their man is indeed the greatest legend in golf history. Tiger haters will point to the collapse of the field and note that if anybody had even shot a halfway decent round, Tiger would be settling for runner-up as he has several times this year. Fans of the game could sit back and admire Woods for doing exactly what he needed to, hole after hole, in order to nail this one down. And finishing with two birdies, including a brilliant approach on 18 that came to rest inches from the hole, was simply proof that he knows how to put you three strokes down before you’ve even taken a swing.

Either way, Tiger appears to have his game primed and running on all cylinders right in time for the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, which begins June 18th, making a return to the course where Tiger won his 2nd U.S. Open championship back in 2002. If he wins, it would be his 15th Major championship overall, leaving him only three short of Jack Nickalus’ record 18 major victories. One person who believes Tiger will once again hoist the trophy at the Black Course – Jack Nickalus, who like everybody else, was left in awe of Tiger’s mastery of Muirfield Village on Sunday, when Woods hit all 14 fairways.

“I suspect that No. 15 will come for Tiger Woods in about two weeks. If he drives the ball this way and plays this way, I’m sure it will. And if not, it will surprise me greatly.”

So there you have it. To the rest of the fellas on tour: you have been put on notice. It looks like the old Tiger is back after what appears making a full recovery from his knee surgery – hope it was fun while it lasted.

The Daily Wrap-up: Round 4, the Memorial Tournament [PGATour.com]
Morning Drive: Tiger’s win means whatever you want it to mean [Devil Ball Golf]
Tiger Woods’ Scorecard [PGATour.com]
The Official Site of the 2009 U.S. Open Championship [USOpen.com]
The Player to Beat? It’s Woods, as Usual [The New York Times]