Golf Tidbits: Will this win be different for Tiger?
By Kevin Currie, Senior Golf Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Stuck in an unthinkable drought of not having won a major since 2008, pundits always look for that one win that will spark Tiger Woods to victory in the next major.
Will his comfortable win Sunday in Akron be that victory? We'll have to see how the week plays out, obviously, but we've been here before with Tiger.
After returning from his broken leg following the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods has won 11 events leading into the majors, but failed to win that next major.
Let's look at those 11 wins, and his results at the next major.
In 2009, Woods staged a miraculous comeback to beat Sean O'Hair and repeat as champion at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Woods was unable to carry the momentum into the Masters, where he closed with a 68, but missed the playoff by four shots.
Two months later, he fired a 65 in the final round to edge Jim Furyk by one at the Memorial. Two weeks later, Woods went 4-under par over the final three rounds at the U.S. Open and lost by four to Lucas Glover.
At his own tournament, the AT&T National, Woods fended off Hunter Mahan. Two weeks later at the British Open, Woods missed the cut for the first time in a major since 2006.
Leading into the 2009 PGA Championship, Woods beat three players by three shots at the Buick Open and cruised to a 4-stroke victory at the Bridgestone. The next week at the PGA Championship, Woods lost the 54-hole lead for the first time in a major as Y.E. Yang rallied for the win.
Later that year, Woods' life went into a tailspin. He had an accident on Thanksgiving night and that led to his divorce. That also sent his golf game into a tailspin in which he didn't win again until 2012.
Woods snapped a long winless streak in 2012 when he cruised to a 5-shot win at Bay Hill. At the Masters, he failed to break par and ended 15 shots out of a playoff.
He rallied to win the Memorial, but failed to compete at the U.S. Open at Olympic. Woods opened with a 69, but went 8-over par over the last two rounds to finish six behind Webb Simpson.
Woods claimed the AT&T National, but had an extra week before the British Open in 2012. He went 6-under through 36 holes, but closed with a 3-over 73 to end four behind Ernie Els.
Earlier this year, Woods again won at Bay Hill, but failed to carry that into a win at the Masters. He missed the playoff at Augusta by four.
Woods won the Players Championship leading into the U.S. Open, but unbeknownst to the rest of the world, he hurt his elbow during the victory. Woods admitted to being hurt at Merion, and he went 13-over par for the week.
Eleven wins leading into 10 majors since his last major championship victory.
There is a one difference from Sunday's win than there was in 10 of those 11 wins. Like his 2009 win at the Bridgestone, Woods' win in Akron on Sunday came the week leading into the next major. The other 10 wins had at least a week or two gap.
Phil Mickelson went back-to-back at the Scottish Open and British Open. And it's not like Woods hasn't done it before. He won the Bridgestone in 2007 and followed with a victory at the season's final major.
Here we are at those crossroads again. Will this win help Woods end his major championship drought?
If he continues to drive the ball like he did, especially in the first two rounds, Woods could cruise at Oak Hill. If he hits it all over the map? He'll contend, but likely won't snap that drought.
LEWIS ENDS PARK'S RUN AT MAJORS
Stacy Lewis birdied the final two holes on Sunday to win the Women's British Open, and snap Inbee Park's streak of three straight major victories.
Lewis didn't snap Park's streak as much as Park ended it herself. She was 6- under par through 10 holes of the opening round, but played the final 62 holes in 12-over par.
Park's run through the first three majors included nine of 12 rounds under par, one round of par and two scores over par. At St. Andrews, she failed to break par in the final three rounds to cost herself a chance at a remarkable fourth straight major championship.
As Park was struggling to a share of 42nd place, Lewis was battling Hee Young Park, Na Yeon Choi, Suzann Pettersen and Morgan Pressel for the title. Of that fivesome, Hee Young Park is the only one without a major championship title to her name.
Lewis made sure it stayed that way as she played alongside Hee Young in the final two rounds. It was anyone's game coming down the stretch. Lewis and Hee Young were five groups from the final twosome of Choi and Miki Saiki.
Choi, who was three clear at one point on the back nine, bogeyed the 14th to trim her lead to one over Lewis, who then played the famous road hole, No. 17, to perfection. She found the fairway off the tee and stuffed her approach shot inside five feet and drained the birdie putt.
Mind you this wasn't as easy as it sounded. For the day, there were only five birdies on the 17th and the par-4 was the hardest hole as it averaged 4.62 strokes. There were just 18 birdies on the 17th all week.
Lewis played the hole to perfection. She did the same at the last. Lewis hit her drive left of the green, then putted through the valley of sin to within 30 feet of the hole.
She was tied with Choi at the time, that didn't last long as Lewis poured in that birdie chance to end at minus-8. Hee Young finished two back. Pettersen and Pressel played themselves out of contention, and that left it to Choi.
Last year's U.S. Women's Open champion didn't have an answer. She bogeyed the 17th and parred the last two end two back.
The title for Lewis was the first major for an American woman since she won the 2011 Kraft Nabisco, a span of 10 majors. The longest drought in the history of the LPGA Tour for American women.
Lewis played at St. Andrews in 2008 on the Curtis Cup team, and was the first to ever go 5-0 in that event. Seems as though Lewis likes the Old Course as much as Tiger Woods does.
Can we get a sponsor to set up that 1-on-1?
* No 59s to talk about this week, but Jeff Sluman did birdie nine of his first 10 holes Sunday en route to a 10-under 62 at the TPC Twin Cities. The former PGA Champion made just birdie in his final eight holes and parred two par-5s. What a slacker!
* Michelle Wie was one of Meg Mallon's two captains picks for the Solheim Cup. Gutsy move as she was 13th on the points list, and was the 16th ranked American woman in the world rankings in this week's latest rankings. In 17 events this year, Wie has two top-10s (both ties for ninth) and has finished in red figures in four tournaments.
08/05 17:29:50 ET