It has to be asked: just how loud are Tiger’s footsteps? As we speak the man is six shots off the pace at-5, and – because there is always an “and” – he has never won a major when he is not in the lead after 54 holes.
Tomorrow’s first drive will mark hole 55.
There is also the pesky problem of the South African, Trevor Immelman, at11-under par who has 2 bogeys in three rounds of golf on what is quite the stingy track. Simply put, he’s on fire. Not even today’s rain delay could put a damper on him.
It’s not that I’m excited about the fact that it is a South African atop the leader board, well maybe a bit, but it’s more that the final two pairings are comprised of four players that have never won a major.
As exciting as this is, it’s terrifying as well. Because two holes ahead the Tiger is doing what he always does – hunting our fine feathered friends. And no one does it better. Or with icier resolve.
So we can look at the statistical evidence. Sixteen of the last seventeen winners at Augusta have come from the final pairing. And the guy that bust that all up was a guy named Zach Johnson (who is currently at-2) with a guy named Tiger Woods two groups behind him.
But who cares. Tiger has made a living out of defying statistical evidence, logic and every now and again physics. And then there is the issue of those thunderous footsteps which are only ever amplified by his adoring gallery.
Being in a group behind Tiger is not for the faint of heart. His growl and his swagger are good for at least a stroke each. Which means Mr. Immelman is at best only 4 strokes up with 18 to play.
As has been said in many different ways – it’s on….