March 5, 2012

Tiger Woods puts it all together with incredible final-round 62 (4 PICS)

For more than two years now we've wondered if Tiger Woods would get back to his old form that made him not only the best golfer on the planet, but also the most feared.

Who knows if he'll ever get back to that level again, but for 18 holes on Sunday afternoon at the Honda Classic, Woods put everything together in a final round, firing darts at every pin and pouring in putts from all over to post an incredible 8-under 62, the best PGA Tour final-round total of his career.

Woods wasn't just good in the final round: He was stupid good. With the winds picking up on the front nine, the 14-time major winner shrugged off the conditions and eagled the third hole before rolling in birdie putts on the fifth and seventh to go out in 4-under and get within striking distance of the leaders.

We'd seen him get hot before on the front nine, but cool when he made the turn; however, this time around it seemed like Woods found that gear he'd been missing, as he birdied the 11th before closing things out with two holes that could go a long way toward boosting his confidence going into the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

After knocking it to 25 feet on the par-3 17th, Woods stepped over his putt and produced an emphatic fist-pump as he watched his 25-foot putt disappear into the hole for birdie.

It was classic Tiger, sure, but things got even better on the 18th, when Woods hit a laser approach shot to a tucked pin on the right side of the green (with the water definitely in play) to 8 feet for eagle.

After his round Woods said that shot resembled the one he hit from the fairway bunker to a tucked pin during the final round of the 2000 Canadian Open. After watching the shot replayed over and over again on NBC, it was hard to disagree.

But what made the shot even more impressive was that for the first time since last year's Chevron World Challenge, Woods actually made a clutch putt to close things out, rolling in the 8-footer for a birdie-eagle finish that will go down as one of the most impressive final-round finishes in Honda Classic history.

Let's be clear: Rory McIlroy was always going to be the story this week. He managed to not only win the Honda Classic, but also move into the top spot in the world rankings. But you can't help but be impressed by what Woods managed to do in the final round.

Woods needed a confidence boost with the Masters less than a month away, and he finally got it in the form of a near-perfect final round that got him to within a couple shots of the "New Tiger Woods" by the end of the tournament.

It's impossible to predict if this is a sign of things to come for Woods or another one-off — because, honestly, the guy has been impossible to figure out recently — but the way he manhandled PGA National today, hitting shots we haven't seen him hit in some time and finally putting it all together in one special round … Well, you can't help but get excited about what could be in store for not only Tiger Woods, but the golf world as well.

No comments: