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Tiger Woods was really good in 2013 but that's not what matters

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Tiger Woods won five tourmanets in 2013 but it wouldn't have mattered if he didn't win any. (USATSI)
Tiger Woods won five tourmanets in 2013 but it wouldn't have mattered if he didn't win any. (USATSI)

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It was a Thursday afternoon in June, I remember that much.

I was driving home for lunch in time to watch Tiger Woods tee off at the Memorial. I was pumped.

I repeat, it was a Thursday afternoon in June.

Tiger Woods was great in 2013 -- at times elite, even. But I'll likely never be able to sway you from one side of that argument to the other.

If you think he was great because he won five tournaments, nobody will likely be able to change your mind.

If you think he was terrible because you still believe in 2000-Tiger and he didn't win a major and he never really came that close, I get that.

If you think he was great because his $531,000 per tournament played average dwarfed everybody else's, then you would be right.

And if you think he was terrible because you can't remember the last time he fist-pumped on a weekend, "terrible" isn't the right word, but I'll listen to your argument.

If you think he was great because he finished first in all-around ranking on the PGA Tour -- which seems like a statistic that should matter when, you know, ranking golfers -- then that's fine.

If you think he was terrible because he has as much faith in his driver as I have in mine and that is not very much faith, then yes, that's true.

If you think he was great because he finished fourth in top 10 finishes despite playing half as many tournaments as the three golfers in front of him, you would be right.

And if you think he was terrible because he only shot in the 60s twice on Sunday this year, well, ok, whatever.

If you think he was great because he led the Tour in scoring average and won the PGA of America player of the year award, then yes, you're right.

And if you think he was terrible because Old Tiger used to turn his nose at such awards, fine, you can feel that way if you want.

The point is that you are very likely set in your ways at this point and nobody, not the best sportswriter or analyst or highest form of intellect in the sports world (which, probably not that high!) will flip you.

There is no hope for you because you are going to think about Tiger the way you want to think about Tiger and there's no real point in me wasting words trying to convince you otherwise.

Which leads us back to me.

That Thursday I spoke of -- the one at the Memorial when I couldn't punch the buttons on my remote control quickly enough to watch Tiger tee it up and try for his (at the time) fifth win of the season -- it matters.

It matters because no matter what you think of Tiger's season -- and many (myself potentially included) will bloviate over the next three months about whether it was a good or bad season and somebody will call it the worst season ever and somebody will call it the best season ever and it will be tiring -- he's still the epicenter of golf.

Woods still stokes the fire for fans of this great game and that's likely all we'll ever agree on.

He's the only golfer alive (and maybe ever) that can get me or you or anybody else giddy for a Thursday afternoon of golf from Ohio.

He still carries the crown and that's almost always a great thing because he's a great champion and his epic career seems to know no pace -- it's like it could go on forever.

It certainly gets tiring when breaking down every shot becomes a necessity but in our vitriol for belaboring the details we often forget that we are witnessing the career -- and I mean the full career -- of one of the two best golfers in the history of the world.

For whatever reason nobody can sit back and enjoy that.

On Sunday in Atlanta, Georgia after Woods couldn't crack the top 20 at the Tour Championship, he reflected on his season. He thought it was a good one and he wants you to understand why he appreciated it.

"I wish I could have been a little more consistent in some of the events," said Woods. "There's certainly some weeks where I was just off."

Off with his driver and his putter and his irons, maybe that's true -- but this is golf in 2013 and in golf in 2013 Tiger Woods is most definitely always on.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

 
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