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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tiger's on the Verge

Could it happen again so soon?

Perhaps you wonder why I say "again." I'm referring to Stacy Lewis's unexpected leap to #1 in the Rolex Rankings after Yani Tseng seemed impossible to catch just a few months ago.

Now Tiger is poised to do the same thing to Rory McIlroy, who seemed so untouchable at the beginning of the year. If Tiger wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational today, he regains his position at #1 in the OWGR.

Let's face it... if he's going to do it anytime soon, Bay Hill's the logical place. Having won Arnie's event 7 times -- and being the defending champion at that -- it makes sense that he might do it here. Still, I didn't expect him to have a 2-stroke lead going into the final round.

At least, not after his struggles on Friday and Justin Rose's solid play the first two days. My, how quickly things change.

Perhaps even more surprising is that Justin isn't even the 2nd-place guy. When Tiger tees it up today, he'll be playing with Rickie Fowler. RICKIE FOWLER? I mean no offense to Rickie, but I simply didn't see this kind of play coming from him after his last four events. (He started the year with two T6s before he seemed to lose his form.)

Tiger and Rickie make one of those final-round pairings that probably has NBC execs salivating. I'm pretty stoked to see it myself...

Still, I won't be betting against the Big Cat today. And if he pulls it off, not only will he be #1 again but he'll chalk up his 3rd win of 2013. Can anybody remember the last time he won 3 events this early in the season? It was 2008... and he won a major that year.

Just for the record, he had only won twice this early in 2007, 2006, and 2005... and he won 1 major,  2 majors, and 2 majors, respectively, in those years.

Tiger may be on the verge of a lot more than just a return to #1.

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