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Devil Ball Golf

Tiger Woods’ win at Doral reminds us all he’s still the best in the world

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

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Tiger Woods — Getty Images

The interesting thing about Sunday at Doral was it seemed everyone, including Tiger Woods' playing partner, was convinced the tournament was already over before it started. That's the impact that Tiger has on golf when he's really, really honed in.

Woods won his second PGA Tour event of 2013 on Sunday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship with what appeared to be a victory lap instead of a final round thanks to a hot start and not much push from the players that were biting at his heels. Woods shot a final round 71 that included two bogeys over his last three holes, but the lead had increased so much those holes didn't matter.

Back when Tiger Woods was Tiger Woods we expected final rounds to look like this. Woods would go in with a big lead and you knew what was bound to happen. He would make some early birdies, hit a lot of irons off tees and make sure to find the fat part of every green because he was in such command of his golf ball that he was able to do that.

[Related video: Tiger tames Blue Monster for 76th Tour win]

The last few wins haven't been quite so comfortable. Sure, he rolled at Torrey Pines but he didn't have a lot of pressure from the best in the world. That wasn't the case on Sunday at Doral. Names like Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Graeme McDowell were behind him and a host of other of golf's upper echelon were just a few back of those names but it didn't matter. Tiger went out with a mission, and for the first time since 2008 he has the golf swing to accomplish that mission.

His win seems more emphatic than the other four have in the last year. This win was a message to everyone that he isn't just a big name that can win on any track, but he's the best out there and his golf swing, and putting stroke, are showing that.

It's fun to watch a guy find himself in the game of golf like this again. We've seen it happen to guys like Stricker, who basically forgot how to hit a golf ball for years before reinventing themselves on the PGA Tour, but it doesn't happen to the top name in the sport. Woods didn't know where the ball was going two years ago and now it seems he's as in control of it as he's been since the word "Tiger Slam."

Now all of our attention will move to Augusta National. Tiger has showed us that he can dominate big golf events, but he still hasn't been that comfortable on weekends at the majors. From what we've seen so far this season on tour, Woods is as ready as ever to get his 15th major and restart his run at Jack Nicklaus.

If this putting stroke shows up in Georgia, I see it happening. By a lot.

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