Tiger wins at Bay Hill – Again
Did Tiger win it, or did Sean O’Hair lose it? I think maybe a bit of both. Clearly Tiger had to make that 16 footer on the last hole to win, but O’Hair dumped one in the water on 16 to give Tiger a free pass. It’s easy to sit here and play Monday morning quarterback; wondering what could have happened if Sean did this, or Tiger did that, but a few things are certain. It seems that no one is able to play well on the back nine on Sunday in the presence of Tiger, and no matter how long he has been away or how he played up to that point, Tiger is the most opportunistic player of this generation. When an opening presents itself, few players in history are able to seize the moment like Tiger. One great example of this was the clutch par save on 16 after O’Hair dumped a ball in the water.
That hole was the pivotal point in the round to me. Even though his play was sloppy and he was obviously nervous, O’Hair was still in control and ahead by one shot. After Tiger pushed one into the trees requiring a certain lay up, Sean O’Hair hit a ball that came up 2 clubs short and rolled back into the water. You could clearly see that Tiger knew he had been let off the hook and given an opening. He responded with a great hook spinning wedge shot and a par to O’Hair’s bogey, taking the lead into the 17th. O’Hair has been here before. At the ’08 Player’s Championship he dumped 2 balls in the water at 17 to lose to Sergio Garcia. However – That day he was behind and going for the win by shooting at the flag. Sunday, he was defending a lead and going at the fat side of the green. Despite a Woods bogey on 17 to draw back even with O’Hair, after the approach shots into 18, I could sense that O’Hair new he was defeated. With the sun setting and the flash bulbs popping, there wasn’t a true golf fan in the world that thought Tiger would miss that putt.
So, did Tiger win it or O’Hair lose it? Most of the time Tiger gets credit for winning tournaments. I think this time Sean O’Hair lost it. Better luck next time Sean. Maybe next time your final round opponent will be Phil the Thrill…
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