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And Another Thing

Associated Press

A Tiger moment

So what are we to make of Tiger Woods finally showing up again Sunday, instead of that imposter we've been seeing wield a coal shovel on the greens the last few weeks?

Well, several things, actually, not all of which Tiger probably wants to hear:

1. When the man jars a few putts, he's as formidable as ever.

2. Which is the same thing you can say about anybody. Drive for show, putt for dough, right?

3. If his 62 on Sunday indicates anything, it indicates he's still capable of jumping up and strapping a low number on any track anywhere.

4. Which, again, is true of any number of guys on the Tour. They wouldn't be on the Tour otherwise.

5. That said, the significance of Sunday was not Tiger's charge. It was that the guy he was chasing didn't wilt like week-old lettuce in the face of it.

In fact, Rory McIlroy heard the roar, shrugged and went back to work, winning by two strokes. In the days of yore, that wouldn't have happened. The guy in front would have gone into cringe mode in the face of onrushing Tiger, and Tiger would have won going away.

But this is an older and less formidable Tiger now, going up against a lot of talented young sticks who aren't intimidated by him. And so what Sunday proved more than anything else is that, while he still has it in him to hold the game in the palm of his hand, closing his fist over it the way he used to isn't going to be nearly as easy.

Sunday showed that, yes, he'll win again. Just not as often.

Ben Smith's blog.