x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

No high in Tiger Woods' five wins without a major hit

With five PGA Tour victories, Woods is the front-runner for the top-player award. Yet he has not won a major in more than five years.

Tiger Woods missing a birdie putt that would have put him in a tie for the lead in the final round of the Barclays tournament. Gary Hershorn / Reuters
Tiger Woods missing a birdie putt that would have put him in a tie for the lead in the final round of the Barclays tournament. Gary Hershorn / Reuters

Tiger Woods did not quite claim The Barclays title last week, coming up a shot short of Adam Scott, but he nonetheless strengthened his grip on the No 1 ranking.

Still, for the sport's most divisive player, was the week a figurative win or a loss? We're not sure Confucius could figure out this one.

Eliciting wisecracks, Woods claimed he hurt his back last week while sleeping on a soft hotel mattress, and was suffering spasms during the final round, including when he theatrically dropped to his knees after a shot into a pond on the back nine.

Did he deserve credit for soldiering on, or was he being a diva? It depends upon which side of the Woods fandom fence the gallery is standing.

With five PGA Tour victories, Woods is the front-runner for the top-player award and the FedEx Cup's US$10 million (Dh36.7m) bonus. Yet he has not won a major in more than five years.

Two weeks ago, when he tersely insisted that 2013 represented a "great year" by his definition, it was noted that in the past, he had maintained that great seasons required a victory in a major.

Consider what Woods said at The Barclays last year, during a three-win season: "I see it as, absolutely, it's a good year. But I think winning a major puts it into a 'great year' category. I've said that countless times prior."

He used to say it, anyway. As ever, Woods's stock is being judged against the toughest standard of all - his past deeds. Now, increasingly, by comparison to his own words, too.

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