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Roaring into form

Rob reflects on Tiger's latest win and looks ahead to this week's action

Rob Lee Posted 4th July 2012 view comments

Tiger Woods' climb back to the top of world golf continued with a hugely impressive win at the AT & T National last weekend - the question now is can he go back-to-back?

His two-shot victory in Maryland was his third success of the year and took him to 74 career titles - one clear of Jack Nicklaus and second on the all-time list behind Sam Snead.

The win didn't move him up the world rankings - he still sits in fourth spot - but it helped him close in on Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and, ultimately, Luke Donald. It also tees him up nicely ahead of the Open, which gets underway on July 19.

Three and easy: Woods won again last week to surpass Nicklaus' record of tournament wins

Three and easy: Woods won again last week to surpass Nicklaus' record of tournament wins

Of course, he warmed up well for both the Masters and the US Open as well. Nothing really happened at the Masters for him and he had two magnificent days at the US Open, so let's see if upping the ante before the Open works this time.

Looking at his performance last week, it's really hard to fault him. It was a tough course, playing like a US Open venue. In the end it was between him and Bo van Pelt, who had a fantastic four days, but Tiger had just enough to win, playing two great shots into the last to finish it off.

Tiger went for a shot which potentially could have hurt him or broken his club - and played a blinder! It was a real Tiger special.

Rob Lee
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We also got to see some Tiger magic on that last day. He was 170 yards or so from the pin, very close to a tree and many people would have just chipped out onto the fairway.

Instead, he went for a shot which potentially could have hurt him or broken his club - and played a blinder! He hooked it round the corner, hit the green and nearly turned it into a birdie. It was a real Tiger special.

This week Tiger, like the other big hitters from America, is competing in the Greenbrier Classic.

This will be the last PGA tournament for many of these players ahead of the Open. After this I imagine they'll fly across and either play in Scotland or get some practice in in British conditions.

French test

Meanwhile, the European heavyweights are heading to the French Open. This tournament has been in this slot for quite a while and it's one all the players love.

The course is great, there's risk and reward all over the place, it's fun to play and will host the Ryder Cup in 2018. The field is always a good one here because of its place on the calendar and we should see some great golf played.

It comes on the back of a fantastic Irish Open, where Jamie Donaldson claimed a wonderful win. He was very impressive and won it in fine style. After 255 attempts waiting for that win he's testament to perseverance in golf and just shows if you keep on believing your day may come.

The crowd were amazing, too. There were over 130,000 through the gates during the week and that gives a tournament such a fantastic feel. They were all there to see their four heroes: Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington.

It would have been great if an Irish player could have really challenged for the win and taken the Irish Open title but it wasn't to be. It was still a fantastic four days, though.

Rob's Sky Bet tips

French Open - I've got a hunch Rafa Cabrera Bello will do something special. He's already won this year, keeps putting in good rounds and may win another event this year. Of course, Lee Westwood will be tough to beat - as always - and he's done pretty well round here before. He's the man to beat but I've got a feeling Rafa could do it. He's 40/1 with Sky Bet.

Greenbrier Classic - Webb Simpson is full of confidence after his US Open win, Dustin Johnson is trying to get back to performing consistently after his injuries... there are lots of talented names to choose from. Can Tiger win back-to-back? That's the next step for him. I think he can - I'm going to back Tiger to double up! He's 100/30 with Sky Bet.

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