Tiger Woods hasn't won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open, but winning his second career Players Championship is a step in the right direction.
Woods finished with a 13-under-par 275 en route to victory at the 2013 Players Championship on Sunday. In the process, he conquered a course that has given him troubles throughout his career.
Tiger hadn't won The Players Championship since 2001 before Sunday's victory. Last year, he finished 40th at the tournament. He had to withdraw from the tournament in 2010 and 2011 due to injury.
Tiger exorcised his demons on Sunday, at least for one day. But it's about more than that. The Players Championship resembles the fifth "major" of the year for many golfers. It has become somewhat of a glorified tournament. It's treated a lot differently than many tournaments outside of the Big Four. Tiger's victory on Sunday signified a big moment for the great.
The 2013 U.S. Open is scheduled to begin on June 13 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Penn. Last year, Tiger finished 21st in the tournament at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, which turned out to be a brutal course. But his fourth-place finish at the Masters this year coupled with his win at The Players Championship figure to boost him to his first major in five years.
Headed into The Players Championship, Woods ranked first on tour in scoring average, first in putting (strokes gained), 20th in sand-save percentage and 24th in driving distance, via PGATour.com. He ranked 154th in driving accuracy, but, then again, that's never been his strong suit, even when he was winning all those majors.
At The Players Championship, Woods ranked first in the field in sand-save percentage, third in greens-in-regulation percentage, 19th in driving accuracy and 22nd in driving distance, via CBSSports.com. He struggled with his putting game in Rounds 2 and 3, but he started well and finished well with his putter.
Woods was also able to keep himself out of trouble for the most part. He had a double bogey on hole No. 14 on Sunday, but he posted a grand total of five bogeys in the entire tournament, tied for first in the field. He also notched 18 birdies (tied for 15th) and one eagle in the second round.
Tiger is playing very well right now. He's also been able to avoid going through bad stretches that take him out of tournaments entirely. You'd have to think the time is coming for him to capture his 15th career major.
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