Two great victories dominated play this weekend, with Tiger Woods winning the AT&T National title at Congressional, America, and Wales’s Jamie Donaldson winning his first European tour title at the Irish Open.
I firmly believe that that win shows Woods to be back to his best. He required his mental strength to first overcome the overnight leader, Brendon de Jonge, and then when he and Bo Van Pelt were so close by the end – no one else was near them and they were even with two holes remaining, so winning at that point showed what he is about.
The victory was Woods’s 74th PGA Tour win and takes him above Jack Nicklaus’s record. For him to do that at 36, and to still be in such good physical condition, I would definitely also back him to surpass Nicklaus’s Major win record. Woods, on 14, needs five more victories to do so, but he’s got time on his side – Nicklaus won his last Major at the age of 46.
If Woods were to stop playing tomorrow I’d already put him in the top three players of all time, but he’s now said that he is targeting Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA tour victories. Though it’s a case of one step at a time and that’s how it should be treated, again, at his age, he can certainly do it.
Donaldson’s was also a great result. He’d said he was using the event to prepare for The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes later this month and it brought his first European tour title. Aged 36 and with that being his 255th
European tour event, he thoroughly deserved the win and the tournament truly belonged to him.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. He has won 21 European Tour titles in a career spanning 40 years and famously sank the putt that clinched victory for Europe in the 1985 Ryder Cup. He also captained Europe to glory in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam