As everyone and their moms expected, Tiger captured his 10th major championship at the grass-covered lunar landscape of the Old Course at St Andrews. I finally guessed the winner of a major correctly, even though it wasn't much of a stretch. But I'm only allowing myself to select Tiger to win a major once a year, and this was the one that I chose for 2005. As all veteran golf fans know, predicting the winner of a golf tournament is a little like predicting the next earthquake (here in CA). You can have all the expert knowledge and statistical data in the world at your disposal, but it usually doesn't mean squat. But in the case of this year's British Open, so many things pointed to Tiger's unchallenged victory that it seemed like a no-brainer to me:
- Unlike other British Open venues where "unknown" champions are as abundant as pollen in the springtime, the game's greatest triumph at St Andrews including Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods.
- Tiger has always won when Jack has pulled a Michael Jordan (announced his retirement from the game).
- Tiger won by a landslide the last time he teed it up at St Andrews in 2000.
- Tiger has been playing well in the majors this year with a win at the Masters and a close 2nd at the U.S. Open.
I was sold. I couldn't even think of anyone else who could upset Tiger. He was so favored that my bookie only had two bets available on who would win the British Open after Tiger held the 2nd round lead by 4 strokes - Tiger at 10-11 odds and anyone else at 14-5 odds. The "anyone else to win" bet is known in the betting world as a "sucker's bet." So, of course, I wired some cash to my bookie and took the 14-5 odds. At the time I thought, Tiger is heavily favored, but there are still 2 rounds to play. This is golf for crissakes, so anything can happen. 14-5 odds for the entire field to overtake Tiger's 36-hole lead seems like a good bet.
You can just call me sucker.
Tiger is now well back on pace to eclipse Jack's previously-thought-to-be- untouchable 18 major championship record. To me, it's just a matter of time. As Tiger becomes more comfortable with his new swing, he may replicate his dominance of 2000. As long as he doesn't overhaul his swing for the 3rd time
in his professional career, I think that Tiger will win at least one major per year, on average, over the next 10 years. We won't know for another 10 years whether I'm correct, but just like my British Open prediction, it's not much of a stretch.
Labels: British Open, Tiger Woods