Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tiger Feels The Mojo

After all the talk yesterday of Tuesday's come-from-behind wins in the NHL, it was fitting to see Tiger Woods grab the reigns of that sled and ride it to a thrilling comeback against J.B. Holmes in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana, Ariz. El Tigre was down three holes with five to play, but then went on an birdie binge, nailing mid-range putts on Nos. 14, 15, and 16 to square the match. Keeping his foot on the gas, the world's No. 1 player fired a majestic five-wood onto the 17th green to set up a 38-foot eagle try. Holmes left his eagle bid short, and then watched Tiger charge his putt into the center of the hole for his first lead of the day. Holmes had a shot at sending it into extra holes, but he ran his 8-footer for birdie at the last well past the cup. Handshake time.

For the rest of the field, now reduced to 32, this result can't be a promising bellwether. Tiger has already hinted that the 2008 season could very well be his best yet, and now that he has momentum heading into today's square-off with Californian Aaron Oberholser, even money has to be on Woods taking home the title for the third time in his career. The No. 8 seed in the Bobby Jones bracket, Oberholser topped Mike Weir yesterday 3 and 1 to advance. Woods and Oberholser grew up together on the Golden State's junior golf circuit and they actually faced off in the 1996 U.S. Collegiate. San Jose State's Oberholser bested Stanford Tiger by six strokes in the event.

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