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Home Peer review: Tiger Woods will win majors again

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods will go head to head again for the first two rounds of the BMW Championship. Nick Watney will do his best to get in their way, but its safe to say the focus will be squarely on his playing partners. Woods and McIlroy could quite easily be the future of golf. The current world #1 captured his fifth PGA TOUR victory last week, while at the same time the former world #1, who is poised to go to #2, crossed over the $100 million mark in career earnings.

Both are members of the PGA TOUR and could quite conceivably enjoy a long and healthy fight for supremacy before its all said and done. The 23-year old, McIlroy believes through first hand experience that Woods is going to stand in his way for more major championships.

 “I played with him in our first event of the year in Abu Dhabi, and I thought he played really, really well,” McIlroy said. “He got himself in contention. He didn't quite win, but after seeing the performance there, I expected some great things from him this year, and obviously he's won three times. He's had his chances in the majors going into the weekends, and it just hasn't quite happened for him. But for sure he's going to keep putting himself up there in positions, and he's going to have a lot of chances to win tournaments and majors,” he predicted.

McIlroy joined Tiger Woods (2007) and Vijay Singh (2004) as the only players to win the Deutsche Bank Championship in the same year of a major championship title. His victory at the TPC Boston also matched Woods as the only two players with three wins on TOUR this season. Since 2010, the only other player with three wins in one season is Jim Furyk in 2010. “There's some weeks where golf does seem simple. It's very difficult to play like that all the time, and that's why the great players learn to win when they're not playing their best,” McIlroy continued. “That's something, I still feel like I'm learning to do. I think I sort of did that for a little bit of last week. I struggled to close out the tournament, but a couple of crucial up-and-downs on the way in, which helped, and that's what the great players do; they find a way.”

There are some who think that Woods can only win when he has his “A” game. Last week, his third place finish can largely be attributed to his performance on the putting greens. As pointed out in the September 4th issue of Web Street Golf Report, Woods used his putter 114 times over the four rounds, while McIlroy needed his only 103 times. The 11 shots difference is revealing given McIlroy beat Woods by only two shots.

Bo Van Pelt is someone who played junior golf with Woods and added some insight on the topic as well from a first hand experience. “I played with him the last two rounds at AT&T, and I think he went 41 holes without a bogey,” Van Pelt said. “He was still working on stuff and his rhythm was great. I think he's had some really good form. He gets the putter going a little bit, look out. He hasn't putted as well as he used to, and I think it's just a case where when you're working that hard on your golf swing you only have so many hours in the day. You don't have as much time for your short game. But it seems like he's got a pretty good handle on what he's trying to do with the golf swing. I think he's just going to continue to play better and better. I say all the time, he's the best player, the best putter that there's ever been. It's a big drop to No.2. He went 12 years, (where) I never saw him miss a putt that mattered, so that's a pretty good statement.”

When the day comes and Tiger’s putter starts heating up, golf fans could be in for a real treat. He’ll have a new foe in McIlroy to duel against several times over the course of a season. One of his old adversaries echoed what Van Pelt and McIlroy believe. Phil Mickelson was asked whether he sees Woods winning majors again? “Oh, yeah, unfortunately,” he promptly replied.