What Tiger Woods accomplished at the 2019 Masters at Augusta National this year was incredible and marked a serious shift in the world of professional golf. The historic come from behind victory officially marked Tiger’s return to prominence. It proved he can still win Major golf tournaments and has since re-ignited his quest to break Jack Nicklaus’ all-time Major wins record of 18. Tiger will attempt to add to his Major total by winning the PGA Championship held at the legendary Bethpage Black golf course in New York from May 16-19. Let’s take a quick look at some of the pros and cons Tiger is facing in his quest to win the seasons second major.
Pro: Tiger Has Won at Bethpage Before
In 2002, Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in convincing fashion. Bethpage Black is notoriously known as the hardest public golf course in America and it showed in 2002 as Tiger was the only golfer to finish the tournament with an under-par score. In his other three tournaments at Bethpage Black, Tiger has accumulated a 70.2 scoring average and has shown that the course fits his game well.
Con: Stiff Competition
One thing Tiger did not have in 2002 is the caliber of competition that he will face at the 2019 PGA Championship. The game of golf has seen a youth movement over the past decade and these kids can really play. Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Jon Rahm are just a few of the names that could realistically win the PGA Championship this year. Many of these young guns grew up watching Tiger play and will now attempt to slow down his lifelong Major quest.
Pro: Tiger Is Playing Very Well Right Now
Given his impressive win at The Masters, it’s quite obvious that Tiger Woods is playing some really good golf right now. Tiger’s always had some accuracy issues off the tee, so it will be imperative for him to continue to have confidence in his driver at Bethpage Black. If Tiger can continue finding the fairway with his driver like he did at Augusta, he will be in a very good position to take homeb his 16th Major title.
Con: Driving Accuracy Is Crucial
One of the signature designs of Bethpage Black that makes it so difficult are the bunkers that cross the fairways, thus creating very small landing areas for tee shots. With these bunkers, golfers have to not only be accurate, but also have to be precise with their distances. This is very difficult even for the pros and it shows in that players find the fairway bunkers at Bethpage Black at a rate 30% higher than the tour average.
Pro: He’s Tiger Freaking Woods
Honestly, this is Tiger Woods and it makes no sense to doubt him when he’s motivated, healthy, and chasing greatness. Although it’s very difficult and rare for a golfer to win back-to-back majors, it would be foolish to doubt him at this point. Whatever happens, it will be extremely fun to watch the drama play out at Bethpage Black very soon.
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