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Maginnes: Goliath will surely fall one day. Or will he?
Someday someone will step up and snatch a major championship away from Tiger Woods. It's inevitable. Or is it? PGATOUR.com's John Maginnes says until that day comes, all we can do is genuflect at the alter of greatness that is the world's best player.
By John Maginnes, PGATOUR.com Contributor
TULSA, Okla. -- We have run out of superlatives. Tiger's legend has become mythical, biblical even.
And while Tiger continues to play Goliath with such flair, the driving ranges are filled with would-be Davids. Bob May picked up the sling back in 2000 and gave it all he had at Valhalla. Interestingly enough, the name Valhalla is from Norse mythology. It is the home for those slain gloriously in battle. Bob did fight gloriously against Tiger that fateful day in Kentucky but in the end Tiger was too much.
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Chris DiMarco wowed us all at Augusta in 2006. He pushed Tiger to the limit, forcing the No. 1 player in the world to hit one of the most memorable shots in major championship history. That chip-in on the 16th hole must be the most replayed shot in history.
Others, too, have basked in the glow of Tiger's championship torch. May and DiMarco have gained notoriety and fame for the championships that were taken from them. Tiger has again proven that his clutches are impenetrable when he holds the lead in a major championship going into the final round. You are undoubtedly familiar with the numbers now; 13 times a 54-hole leader or co-leader, 13 times a major championship winner.
DiMarco and May can take solace, though, in the fact that they were able to do what few others have done -- hang with the greatest closer in the history of the game under the heat of major championship battle.
The inexplicable statistic for Tiger is the fact that he has never come from behind to win a major. It nearly happened at the Masters in April. He almost did it at the U.S. Open, but both of those tournaments went to first-time major champions in Zach Johnson and Angel Cabrera, respectively.
With performances like Tiger continually produces in majors, it seems unlikely that we are going to have a consistent rival. At times, the other members of the "Big Five" -- Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els -- have shown brilliance. Each has multiple major championships and seems destined for the World Golf Hall of Fame. In this era, though, there is only one man who can claim domination.
Knowing that doesn't change the fact that every player on the range dreams of a date with Tiger in the final group on Sunday afternoon. It was Stephen Ames who had the best view of Tiger's championship march at the PGA Championship. Ames birdied the final hole on Saturday to pull with three shots of Tiger and earn a spot in the final group. The 2006 PLAYERS champion said all the right things after the third round. Unfortunately, he was unable to hang with Tiger on Sunday.
The fact that no one ever has taken down Tiger doesn't mean that the players who make their living in golf are throwing in the towel. Every day players are working harder and dreaming bigger. Tiger knows as well as anyone that he has a bullseye on his broad sculpted back that everyone with their name on their bag guns for. The suggestion that today's players are scared or intimidated overlooks not only their talent, but Tiger's as well. He is simply the best. Furthermore, his list of challengers comes from the deepest pool of talent that the game has ever seen.
Eventually, a David will find the mark with stone and sling. Someday Tiger, like the giant Philistine warrior, will fall. However, the young shepherd boy of legend was preordained to be King of Israel. There is no preordination in golf. Or if there is, the 13-time major championship winner named Tiger is the one.