Thursday, February 01, 2007

Could Tiger chase record at Quail Hollow?

It’s possible – and there’s a John Daly-sized difference in what’s possible and what’s probable – that Tiger Woods could come to the Wachovia Championship in May attempting to win a PGA Tour-record 12th straight tournament.

Dealing in hypotheticals is dicey, but so is hitting a 4-iron over water, so let’s take a swipe at it.

Tiger has won seven straight PGA Tour events, four shy of tying Byron Nelson’s seemingly unassailable record of 11 in a row. Now the question is where he’ll play and if he’ll keep winning.

For Tiger to go for No. 12 at Quail Hollow, it would probably have to happen this way, with the mind-bending assumption that he keeps on winning:

  • He would have to skip the Nissan Open in Los Angeles, an event he’s played every year since 1996. But he played coy last weekend when asked if he would play Riviera this year, raising doubts about his appearance there.
  • If he passes on L.A., Tiger goes for No. 8 at the Accenture World Match Play Championship.
  • Then he goes for No. 9 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in his backyard.
  • No. 10 would be at Doral.
  • If it reached that point, it would send Tiger to the Masters trying to tie Nelson’s record – and everyone likes Tiger’s chances at Augusta.
  • If Woods got to 11 in a row (without playing L.A.), the question is whether he’d go for No. 12 at the EDS Byron Nelson Invitational in Dallas or wait until the next week and chase history at Quail Hollow where he’s likely to play. Tiger has been loyal to Nelson’s tournament through the years – because of Mr. Nelson. He’s not fond of either of the two courses used at the Nelson but, if he were in such a history-making situation, would Woods skip the event honoring the man whose streak he’s attempting to break? It would be tough to do, especially in the first playing event since Nelson's death last fall. But it could happen.
Imagine the Wachovia if Tiger were chasing No. 12.

And if you’re wondering, tickets ( are almost gone already.