While many a golf commentator had already awarded Tiger Woods the trophy for the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Phil Mickelson rained on that parade with a final-round 64 and his first title of 2012.
Don't feel bad for Tiger Woods, who after crawling within two shots of the lead early on fell off the pace with a final-round 75. What this means is that Tiger is once again ready to win on the PGA Tour in 2012, and, in my opinion, he will win more than once.
Tiger hasn't won here on the big tour since 2009, but Tiger isn't looking at it that way. "People may think I haven't won in two years but I just won a couple months ago," Woods said. "I look at that as a win."
Woods is still looking at his win at the Chevron as a real win--and I agree, it was. The Chevron boasted a tough field on a tough course and Tiger played well down the stretch.
Playing well down the stretch is apparently what it is going to take to get Tiger in the victory column again. Tiger always has a plan going into a final round and that was the case again Sunday.
"We were in a position today where we needed to get Charlie ... and Phil did," Woods stated in reference to third-round leader Charlie Wi, who finished second at 15-under.
Woods was playing well enough in the first three rounds to think he had a good shot at winning this event. He was driving well, he was putting well, and this fourth round was going to be played on one of his favorite courses, Pebble Beach.
Over the next few months, events and courses that Tiger will be playing also suit his game. The WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral and Arnold Palmer's event at Bay Hill are looming on the horizon for Tiger. Don't be surprised if he wins one of these events going away.
The Masters would be the next event for Tiger after Bay Hill and then the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow. By the time the Masters comes around, Tiger will be viewed as a favorite, and he has had plenty of success at Quail Hollow.
Yes, Mickelson beat Tiger by 11 shots Sunday and took away a title many thought Tiger would win, but Tiger appears he is ready to roar once again on the PGA Tour.
Rick Limpert covers sports, technology and events in and around Atlanta. He'll be following the progress of Tiger Woods throughout 2012.
- Tiger Woods