It was certainly vintage Tiger Woods on Sunday as he tore through the competition, shooting a 5-under 67 and winning The Memorial by two shots.
The improbable chip-in on the 16th hole and the fiery fist pump that followed definitely brought back memories of the Tiger who dominated golf for nearly a decade. The win was Woods' second on tour this season, and it moved him up to the number four spot in the World Golf Rankings.
So guess what? Tiger's a 6-1 favorite to win the U.S. Open next week. It's easy to get caught up in the 'Is Tiger back?' hysteria. The way he played when he won at Bay Hill in March had a lot of people making him the favorite to win the Masters. He came in 40th.
That won't stop the sports press from talking about Tiger and his chances at the next major. Now that he has two wins this year, there are (and will be plenty more) stories wondering if Tiger's back. He's not and he never will be. He's just Tiger now. He's never going to be the Tiger who won four consecutive majors, or the Tiger who was winning 8 and 9 times a year.
The U.S. Open will be played at San Francisco's Olympic Club starting on June 14th. The last time the U.S. Open was played there was way back in 1998. Lee Janzen won by shooting even par and took home a check for $535,000. Tiger, in his second full year on tour, shot ten over par to land in 23rd place, which earned him a whopping $41,833. For comparison's sake, last year's winner, Rory McIlroy, took home $1,440,000, and the seven guys who tied for 23rd each got $76,455.
They all owe a big thank you to Tiger for that, by the way.