A month ago at Pebble Beach, it seemed as though Tiger Woods was playing a different tournament than the rest of the field in the U.S. Open. In some respects, he has been playing a different tour all year.
There's the PGA Tour. And then there's the Tiger Tour.
No, he doesn't win every week. His tie for 23rd in the Western Open was his first finish out of the top 20 in a stroke-play tournament in 16 months, dating to the 1999 Bay Hill Invitational.
He doesn't own the rights to every dominant performance, every sensational comeback, every unforgettable shot. Still, everyone and everything else has become little more than a warm-up act.
"There are a lot of great players out there who aren't getting any credit because Tiger is taking it all," Nick Price said.
Heading into the British Open, the only reasonable manner in which to review the first half of the season is to distinguish between Woods and the best of the rest:
Tiger Tour -- Woods won his sixth straight at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the longest streak since Ben Hogan won six in a row in 1948.
PGA Tour -- Notah Begay won back-to-back tournaments, the first player to do that since Woods won three in a row way back in '99.
Best performance in a major
Tiger Tour -- Woods pulled away on the back nine of the U.S. Open. On Friday. He finished at 12-under 272 -- no one else broke par -- and his 15-stroke victory broke the record set in the '62 British Open. That's 1862.
PGA Tour -- Vijay Singh. OK, there's only been one other major. Still, his third round in the Masters was as good as anything Woods did in the U.S. Open -- a 2-under 70 in the nastiest conditions ever at Augusta National.
Tiger Tour -- Seven strokes down with seven holes to play, Woods goes eagle-birdie-par-birdie to win by two over Singh and a stumbling Matt Gogel at Pebble Beach in February.
PGA Tour -- Inspired by being paired with Woods at Pebble Beach, Jim Furyk rallies from six strokes back with seven holes to play to overcome Franklin Langham at Doral.
Best Sunday finish
Tiger Tour -- Woods holed a sand wedge from 99 yards for eagle and closed with a 63 in the Byron Nelson Classic, his lowest final round ever as a professional. Alas, he missed a three-way playoff by one shot.
PGA Tour -- Dudley Hart birdied the last four holes to win the Honda Classic, the same tournament where Jack Nicklaus birdied the last five holes to win in 1977. Only Hart never tacked this up on his bedroom wall.
Best Sunday clothes
Tiger Tour -- Red, or some variation.
PGA Tour -- Does anyone but Jesper Parnevik have the courage to wear hot pink pants? And keep a straight face?
Tiger Tour -- Just three strokes behind in the Nissan Open, Woods closes with a 1-over 72 and finishes in a tie for 18th. It's the only time in 12 tournaments this year he has shot over par in the final round.
PGA Tour -- Els had a three-stroke lead over Stewart Cink in the MCI Classic, but played the final 11 holes in 5 over.
Tiger Tour -- TV microphones caught Woods cursing up a storm when he pulled his drive into the ocean on the 18th at Pebble Beach.
PGA Tour -- TV cameras caught Craig Stadler slapping his ball away from the hole at the Houston Open after he missed a putt to extend his four-hole playoff with Robert Allenby. At least he waited for it to stop moving.
Tiger Tour -- Tied with Els on the 18th hole in the Mercedes Championship, Woods hit his approach into the 663-yard hole to about 12 feet and made the putt for eagle.
PGA Tour -- Els followed and hit a 2-iron inside Woods, then buried the eagle putt on top of him to force a playoff.
Best Sunday score
Tiger Tour -- Woods' 8-under 64 was the lowest final round by a champion in the history of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
PGA Tour -- Mickelson shot a 2 to win the BellSouth Classic. Of course, he only played one hole in a rain-shortened playoff over Nicklaus. Gary Nicklaus.
Worst TV decision
Tiger Tour -- The CBS affiliates who chose not to show Woods' dramatic comeback in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
PGA Tour -- CBS, which chose the "Jesus" miniseries over the final hole of a playoff between Davis Love III and Parnevik in the Nelson Classic.
Tiger Tour -- Twice this year, Woods has gone all of three tournaments without winning.
PGA Tour -- Love has now gone 51 tournaments without winning.
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