The Locker Room

Ohio may as well be Tiger's home

Posted by Tim Hall August 5, 2013
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For all of us amateur golfers out there, and by amateur I’m not only referring to professional status but also the group that rarely if ever shoots in the 70s, playing the home course has sizeable advantages.

You know the course like the back of your hand. You know the speed of the greens. You know the break of the greens. There’s just a certain level of comfort that comes from the repetition. Then the opportunity strikes to play a course for the first time and it’s like learning the game all over again.

You may have already realized but Tiger Woods doesn’t operate that way. Tiger has a ton of “home” courses. He’s so good he has “home” states. And Ohio is one of them.

When Woods surged ahead on Friday with a 61 at Firestone he almost assured himself his 8th career victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He backed it up with a walk-in-the-park 70 on Sunday to take home a seven-stroke victory, like it was nothing.

Add the eight he’s won in Akron to the fistful he’s won at Jack’s tournament in Dublin and that gives the man 13 PGA Tour victories in Ohio. Take a look at some of the men who haven’t won 13 times in their careers: Paul Azinger. Justin Leonard. Steve Stricker. Payne Stewart. Zach Johnson. Stewart Cink.

And what’s more astonishing is that Ohio is really Tiger’s third home. Because he’s won 14 times in the state of California (eight wins at Torrey Pines), and 16 times in Florida (eight wins at Bay Hill, seven at Doral). can't even keep this infograph up-to-date.

One could only dream to have that kind of home cooking at so many different places.

Now onto what everyone is talking about in Tiger’s world. Will his strong performance at the Bridgestone mean anything if he doesn’t win the PGA Championship this week? I don’t even think it’s the right question to be asking. How about, are we confident that the Tiger Woods we saw last week is a guy who can find five major championships in a 10-year span?

I don’t give a flip about four days in August in 2013. It’d be great for Tiger to bust the slump now as opposed to later. But has anybody realized that the guy is No. 1 in the world and has five wins on tour this year? One of those wins was the pay-you-more-than-a-major Players Championship! And during his major drought that hasn’t seen him win one since the U.S. Open in 2008, he’s finished in the Top 6 nine times at majors.

It’s not a question of does he need to win this week. It’s not a question of will he pass Jack. It’s a question of when.

It’d be pretty dangerous betting against someone that good.