The full text of this column can be found over on Pulse Wrestling – Daniels
You just have to shake your head sometimes. Over the last decade, we’ve seen Tigger do everything, right? Well, he did something Sunday that no one will ever match, until Tim Finchem or his successors get another wild hair up their asses and change everything around. He three-peated two tournaments at the same time.
Yes, you read that right. He three-peated two tournaments at the same time. How is this possible? Well, this year, the entire format of the PGA Tour changed when the FedEx Cup was began. The nearest comparison to the FedEx Cup is NASCAR’s season-ending chase for the title. Players build up points all year, and the points winner gets a big bonus. This has meant a realignment of tournaments to get the biggest tournaments (and thus the biggest names) in the hunt for the cup. It led to the death of the International, for instance, and the renaming and moving around of the Western Open (something I will remain very, very bitter about until such time as it’s back at Cog Hill permanently). One of the tournaments affected was the Amex, a World Golf Championship event. The WGCs are the official second-tier events, just below the majors and of near-equal standing with the Players’ (which was moved from March to May because of the FedEx Cup and the desire to put a big tournament in between the Masters and the US Open). It was renamed the CA Championship for its new sponsor and moved from September to March. This year, and for the next three years after, it will be played at the Blue Monster instead of being a roving site.
Tigger was the two-time-defending champion at the CA Championship (winning in San Francisco two years ago in that thrilling playoff with John Daly and in England last year). He was also the two-time-defending champion of the Ford Championship, Doral’s traditional tournament. Thus, he defended his CA title and his title at Doral successfully, at the same time. Only Tigger, man. Only Tigger.
Now, though, the question has to be asked: is Tigger a Horse For A Course? Out of his 56 Tour victories, 18 of them have come at five courses: four at Augusta, four at Bay Hill, four at Firestone, three at Muirfield, and three at Doral. Out of his 12 majors, eight have come at three courses: those four at Augusta and two each at the Old Course and Medinah. He’s obviously looking forward to the US Open in 2009 and 2010. They’ll be held at Bethpage and Pebble respectively, where he’s already won US Opens. He’s trimmed down his schedule to the point where he’s only playing the courses he likes. In fact, I only see one course this year he’s going to play that he outright doesn’t like, and that’s Southern Hills. Of course, he has to be there because he’s going to defend his title at the PGA no matter what (plus, the PGA is the closing tournament for the FedEx Cup, and not even Tigger would turn down the chance at pocketing that bonus cash). I don’t really blame him for not liking Southern Hills. Given the weather in Tulsa that time of year, the fairways there are like asphalt.
The stabilization of the CA Championship has also given Tigger a chance to break a record sooner than anyone thought. It was believed that Sam Snead’s eight victories at the Greater Greensboro Open would be an untouchable record, given the level of competition these days. Given Tigger’s love for Doral, it’s not only touchable, but conceivable that it will be broken. This was Tigger’s sixth CA victory. The CA will be at Doral for the next three years. Tigger Hearts Doral, and Tigger gears up for the WGCs like he does for the majors. It’s not beyond belief that he can accomplish a six-peat at the CA and make it nine wins at the same tournament. Thus, he’ll already have that record covered at Masters Week 2011, where he’s going to make certain that that Masters will be his seventh and his 83rd tour victory.