Tiger Woods is tied for the lead after 36 holes at the U.S. Open, one of only three players at Olympic who were able to get under par through the halfway mark, along with David Toms and Jim Furyk. In Woods’ career, he is 8 for 9 in winning majors when he is tied or has the 36 hole lead. Of course, in all of those cases, he had the lead, and in only two of them (2000 PGA, 2006 British) was the lead only one stroke halfway through. His average lead when ahead at a major has been 3 strokes, so don’t simply pencil Woods in for his first major win since the U.S. Open four years ago. Treacherous and fast greens and 6 other players closer than 3 strokes will have plenty to say.
If Woods can survive the Open, then despite all of the drama of the last four years, the speculation about whether Woods can ever get back to where he once was, he will once again be ahead of Jack Nicklaus’ pace at the same age. Jack finished tied for 11th at the U.S. Open in 1976 at age 36, his worst finish in a major over an amazing stretch where he finished Top 10 in majors 22 of 23 times. Despite all those top 10’s, Jack would not win his 15th major until the British two years later at age 38. Tiger can get to 15 by Sunday. We don’t know how Tiger will age, but if he ends his majors slump (a slump most others would take), then the talk of Jack versus Tiger will again swing.
[photo via US Presswire]