COMMENTARY | Upon the conclusion of this week's PGA Championship at Oak Hill on August 11, another major championship season will come to a close.
After the final putt is holed and the Wannamaker Trophy is hoisted that Sunday afternoon, golf fans everywhere will be chomping at the bit to opine if Tiger Woods' season was a success or a disappointment.
Let me make this very simple for everyone: Tiger's 2013 season is already a huge success. Period.
That declaration is not meant to excuse Woods should he play poorly this week. There is no doubt that he has been anything but memorable in majors over the last five years. For one reason or another, Tiger has not been able to card major No. 15, despite being the consistent tournament favorite (this week's PGA is no different). It is a trend that is both frustrating and disappointing for those of us who want to watch him succeed.
It is easy to overlook all that Tiger has accomplished this season. However, we would be wrong to do so.
Five tournament victories in one season is something any professional golfer would love to accomplish once in his career. With his victory at last week's WGC Bridgestone Invitational, Tiger has now accomplished that mark 10 times. His wins this season include The Players Championship -- widely referred to as the "unofficial" fifth major -- and two World Golf Championship events. He is basically a lock to win Player of the Year honors. Not only is Tiger winning huge tournaments, but he is also doing so against the best players on the planet.
Yet, as Yahoo!'s Brian Murphy points out, there are those who feel that it's all about the majors, baby.
There are two trains of thought one could follow on that point. On one hand, players of any sports should focus most on winning "The Big One." Golf is unique in that there are four opportunities to do so every year. Tiger himself has repeatedly said his main focus is to peak four times a season and win majors. He once said winning a major makes one's year "great"; anything less falls short of that designation. By that end, Tiger has technically given us the blueprint by which he wants to be measured. How nice of him.
On the other hand, all of this talk about "Jack's Record" has taken away some of the pomp and circumstance surrounding Tiger's pursuit of Sam Snead's win total (82 career PGA Tour wins). While Tiger is still four majors away from tying Nicklaus' 18 trophies, he only needs three tour wins to tie Snead. He could literally do that by December.
If we are to go by how Woods would like to be remembered -- major victories -- then we are possibly depriving ourselves of recognizing his real greatness. There is a reason why the same man does not hold both records. The mere possibility that Woods still has an opportunity to break both is astounding.
No, Tiger Woods does not have to win the PGA Championship to have had a great season. He would just make it easy for everyone to say he has by winning No. 15.
Adam Fonseca has covered professional golf since 2005. His work can also be found on the Back9Network. Follow Adam on Twitter at @chicagoduffer.
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