Friday, April 11, 2008

Grand Slam: On the record

I've said this for years, but it isn't documented anywhere, so I need to get it in now.

Tiger Woods will win the Grand Slam.

It might not be this year (although I'm certainly not ruling it out), but it will happen. I have been convinced of this ever since he got the Tiger Slam in 2000-01. I know it's never been done before, but this is Tiger. I've said before that we are too quick to label athletes or events as the Greatest Of All Time, but not in this case.

Why might it be this year? Because the major venues are favorable for it. Tiger has a history of performing well at each, which include Augusta National, Torrey Pines, Royal Birkdale and Oakland Hills. And Tiger has won three of his four events this year against good fields. He has crafted his swing to near perfection and is incredibly focused, even by his standards. A few years ago, it appeared that the other top players had caught up, but over the past year, Tiger has made the gap wider than ever.

Why might it not be this year? Well, it's kind of hard to do. One bad round--heck, one bad shot--and it's over until next year. And while Tiger has certainly distanced himself from the pack, there are more guys than ever vying for the title of Best Golfer Not Named Tiger.

But even if it doesn't happen this year (and again, I'm not ruling it out), Tiger is just now entering his prime. That thought is enough to give Mickelson, Singh, Garcia and the rest nightmares. And enough to make Sabbatini say something stupid again.

Get ready for history, golf fans. And take time to appreciate what we are witnessing.

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