Wednesday, February 27, 2008


The Patriots couldn't pull it off. The Memphis Tigers couldn't get the job done. Hell, not a single team in Division I-A football could do it and the National Championship was won by a two-loss LSU team.

Leave it to the greatest athlete in the world today to toss his swoosh-emblazoned hat in the ring and embark on a quest to complete the rare undefeated season.

Blasphemy you say? No golfer could make it through the PGA Tour season without losing a single tournament. The fields are too deep and too many things could go wrong along the way for that to every happen.

Or could it?

While I agree that the likelihood of Tiger Woods ripping off 13 or so more wins, including all four of golf's major championships is quite low. Something tells me that the man himself believes in his heart that he could accomplish the seemingly impossible, and that means a lot.

He's already admitted that he thinks completing the regular season Grand Slam is within his reach and when asked if he could eclipse Byron Nelson's record of 11 straight wins he simply grinned and replied, "Mmm Hmm" as if to say, "you ain't seen nothing yet".

Consider that Woods already owns PGA Tour win streaks of six and seven in a row and his current streak of four is actually six if you count his wins at the Target World Challenge and earlier this year in Dubai, both of which boasted high-quality fields.

In fact that "strength of schedule" may be the one thing that keeps Woods from running the table in 2008 as it has been his custom to only play the highest profile events with the deepest fields in golf.

That coupled with the uncertain nature of the game would seem to put the undefeated season outside of his considerable reach.

Personally I don't think it's all that outandish to believe that Woods could win every time out in 2008. In his three starts so far he's won in a myriad of ways from run-away victories at the Buick Invitational and the Championship Match at the World Match Play, to stirring comebacks in Dubai and the first round of the World Match Play.

His stats are nearly as impressive as his ability to gut out wins so far in 2008.

Woods ranks first on the PGA Tour in greens in regulation, putting average, scoring average and average birdies per round. All while ranking 176th in total driving. Which means when he gets his driver warmed up he really could be unbeatable.

People will of course point to the erratic nature of his driver as ultimately the reason why he couldn't possibly remain undefeated in 2008, but I would argue that he can only get better (he finished 45th in 2007 in total driving) and when that inevitablity finally comes to pass he will be so far out ahead of everyone else that it won't matter if he misses some fairways.

I'm not going to walk out on the plank here and say that it's a foregone conclusion that Woods will run the table, but should this streak continue through April and the Masters and then into June and U.S. Open one would have to concede that an undefeated season is a real possibilty for a man that up to this point has done nothing but exceed expectations at every turn.

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