Tiger Woods letting his putter do the talking
March, 25, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Scott Miller/ReutersWith his second Monday win of the season, Tiger is one win closer to Sam Snead's all-time record.
With his win Monday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Woods ascends to the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time since Oct. 30, 2010. This is Woods' 624th week at No. 1 -- that's exactly 12 years. That's twice as many years as Rory McIlroy has PGA Tour wins.
In the past, the No. 1 spot in the world has been a sort of major championship curse. Only 13 majors have been won by players ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Fortunately for Woods, he has accounted for 11 of those majors.
Eight times a charm
Monday's win was Woods' eighth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, joining Sam Snead (Greater Greensboro Open) as the only players to win a PGA Tour event eight times.
Woods has now won eight times at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge, which becomes the second course (along with Torrey Pines) where Woods has eight wins. No other golfer in history has won at a single course more than six times.
Tiger appears to have regained his championship form, winning for the sixth time in his past 20 tournaments and the third time this season. No other golfer has more wins than Tiger’s six since the start of last season.
2013 marks the fourth time in Woods' career that he will have three wins entering the Masters. (This was his last event before Augusta.) In two of the previous three instances, he went on to win a major that year, but it wasn't the Masters.
Two of Woods' three wins this season have come on a Monday. Tiger won at Torrey Pines on a Monday when the Farmers Insurance Open lost a day to fog.
With his 77th career PGA Tour win, Tiger is five shy of matching Snead for the most victories in PGA Tour history. Snead won his 77th event at the Dallas Open in 1957 at the age of 45. Tiger is just 37 years old.
How he won
Is Tiger putting better than he ever has before? Woods registered a total of +2.81 strokes gained putting per round, a stat kept on tour since 2004. That's by far the best performance of his career. In fact, two of his three best weeks in the statistic have been in his past two starts.
Woods has dominated the par 5s at the Arnold Palmer Invitational throughout his career, and this week was no exception. He birdied all four par 5s in the final round, and played them 14-under for the tournament.
One final note, courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau. Woods now has won the same tournament in each of back-to-back years 21 times since his first victory at Bay Hill in 2000. Over that span, all other PGA Tour players have combined to win the same PGA Tour tournament in consecutive years 22 times. Phil Mickelson leads that group with four; no other player has more than two.