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Tiger Roars to Strong Start on PGA Tour

Posted February. 05, 2008 03:01,   


Golf phenom Tiger Woods is roaring on the PGA Tour with his fifth straight tournament win.

Last week, he won the PGA Buick Invitational for his fourth victory in a row and his first title of the season. He followed by claiming the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic Sunday.

He downplayed his victories, calling them an ideal start. Since last year, however, he has won seven out of eight tournaments he has played in. In the seven wins, he has beaten the runners-up by an average margin of four strokes.

Woods’ winning streak has largely come from his sinking shots at critical moments and the so-called Woods-phobia that intimidates his opponents.

Last year, several young golfers such as Rory Sabbatini bragged that they could beat Woods whenever they wanted to. Such boasts are hardly heard now.

In the Dubai Desert Classic, for example, Woods rallied from behind by hitting six birdies on the bottom nine, consolidating his lead on the 17th and the 18th holes with consecutive birdies. His main rival Ernie Els saw a repeat of his 1998 Johnnie Walker Classic collapse to Woods, when he blew an eight-stroke lead.

This year, Els dropped his second shot into the water hazard zone on the 18th.

Likewise, last year’s Dubai champion Henrik Stenson failed to defend his title, with double bogeys on the 17th and the 18th holes.

Woods has until Friday to decide to play in the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, though he will likely rest until the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona Feb. 22. Fortunately for Woods, the Accenture tournament is on a course he is familiar with.

The red-hot Woods has won 13 major titles, and has never lost one when in the lead. He said that though he likes come-from-behind wins, he prefers victories with a margin of seven to eight strokes.