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Returning to the tour after surgery to repair a shredded left knee, Woods has now won six times in 16 starts. His results in the last six events he played -- three firsts, two seconds and an 11th -- would be a career for lots of guys.
Just this past March, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia -- both mentioned as potential rivals in the last decade -- had a chance to capitalize on Woods' absence for the second half of last season and move into the No. 1 spot in the world ranking. Six months later, Woods has more than doubled his point lead over the current No. 2, Steve Stricker, who also owns the second-highest win total, three.
Then there's this: None of the top four finishers in last year's Fed Ex Cup race -- Vijay Singh, Camillo Villegas, Garcia and Anthony Kim -- have won this year, either, and none will be around for this year's finale at East Lake. After a week off, Woods will arrive in Atlanta with the other 29 golfers there knowing their best chance depends on him having an off week.
"I haven't won as many times as I did in 2000, didn't win any majors this year, but ... I've never had a year where I've been this consistent, either, this many high finishes in the number of events I've played," Woods said.
Someone asked Woods whether, no matter what happens at the Fed Ex Cup, there was "any doubt in your mind that Tiger Woods is the Player of Year."
Woods grinned ear to ear.
"Well,' he finally replied, "we'll let the players vote on that."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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