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Tiger Woods wants to rewrite record books

Timing is everything for Tiger Woods and his runaway victory at last week's WGC-American Express Championship was no exception.

Five days after the death of golfing great Byron Nelson, Woods clinched his sixth consecutive title on the PGA Tour to remain on course for yet another possible date with sporting destiny.

Nelson, a five-times major champion, is best known for the extraordinary form he displayed in 1945 when he triumphed 18 times on the PGA Tour, including an astonishing 11 in a row.

The rampant Woods, who has won against much better fields in terms of strength in depth, is now five short of that target.

Although he has often said Nelson's magical 11 would be unattainable in today's game, Woods hinted at achieving the impossible after romping home by eight shots at The Grove in Hertfordshire, England on Sunday.

"It's still a long way away," he told reporters. "If you look at it, I'm barely halfway.

"What he did was absolutely remarkable, and I'm just thrilled that I've been able to win six in a row twice. That to me is a pretty neat accomplishment in itself."

Five days earlier, the world number one had virtually ruled out any chance of matching Nelson's feat.

"The competition is so much deeper now," he said. "Back in his day, and I actually talked to him about this, he said he had to beat four or five guys every week.

"When you're hot, that's not that hard to do. That's not the case anymore. It's 40 or 50 now, so it's a lot different."

Since he turned professional in 1996, Woods has made a habit of rewriting the record books and it would be unwise to bet against him winning his next five starts on the PGA Tour.

He is unlikely to play again until the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta next month, after which his next outing would be the season-opening Mercedes Championships in Hawaii from Jan. 4-7.

Both tournaments are limited-field events, which further increases the odds of victory for Woods.

Apart from a sudden and unexpected loss of form, the only thing standing between Woods and another five PGA Tour titles in a row is the performance of his closest rivals.

But if the 12-times major champion plays anywhere close to his 'A' game, the influence of his rivals is all but rendered null and void.

This season, Woods has triumphed eight times in 15 PGA Tour starts and is back to the dominance he enjoyed in 2000 when he won nine titles, including the last three majors of the year.  

October 5, 2006


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