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Golf Today 10th February
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Tiger on course for more landmarks

Reigning champion Tiger Woods goes into this weekend's Buick Invitational tournament in Torrey Pines ready to reach yet more landmarks.

His victory in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday, when he fought back from seven shots down with seven holes to play, drew him level with Ben Hogan's six consecutive tour wins, achieved in 1948.

And whilst Byron Nelson's incredible 1945 record of eleven consecutive tour wins is likely to remain out of reach, if Woods can retain his Buick title he would at least surpass Hogan's run.

Last year Woods won the Buick with an eagle on the final hole, to edge out fellow American Billy Ray Brown. An if he can repeat that achievement the seven consecutive wins won't be the only landmark he reaches.

For despite being only 24 years Woods stands only one win away from being the biggest prize money winner in American golf history.

And one more win will take him to joint second in the list of most tour wins, of players currently on the tour, only four years since his first tournament. He would move above Curtis Strange, who joined the tour in 1977.

The records don't stop there. In the latest world rankings, Woods has increased his record points average to 21.83, and had opened up the biggest ever margin between the himself and the World No.2 David Duval, who is 9.41 points behind. It would be difficult to name another sportsman so dominant in his field.

Such is the phenomenon of Woods, that his odds for winning the Grand Slam this year - all four majors - have been cut to 80/1. He is quoted at an amazing 5/2 for the US Masters at the end of March.

Should Woods achieve the unthinkable and win his next four tournaments, with the Nissan Open, Anderson World Match Play and the Bay Hill Invitational following the Buick, he would set up the intriguing possibility of equalling Nelson's record with a Masters win.

But can he really pull it off? His fellow professionals don't doubt that he has the talent, but believe he can't go on winning forever.

Richard Boxall said: "I'd like to see him do it, but what he's done all ready he has got to do all over again. And with everybody talking about it the pressure on him will be unbelievable."

Andrew Murray was similarly pessimistic about Woods' chances of achieving the record: "I think he can do it, he has the ability. But I don't think he will. I think he'll make it to seven this weekend, but not eight."

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