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Originally published Monday, December 24, 2012 at 4:19 PM

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People in Sports |

Tiger Woods came off the 18th green after his second round in the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island tied for the lead. Again. It was the third...

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Tiger Woods came off the 18th green after his second round in the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island tied for the lead. Again.

It was the third consecutive major championship that Woods was in or near the lead at the halfway point.

This had once been a familiar sight — missing maybe for a couple of years, but for more than a decade before, the golf world knew exactly how Woods looked in command of a big tournament. And fans worldwide knew the frequent outcome: 14 major victories.

But in 2012, as good as Woods could sometimes be, there was one Woods on the weekdays of major tournaments and an altogether different Woods on the weekends.

His average score in the first two rounds of this year's majors was 70, while his average score in the final two rounds was 72.9. In the final three majors, Woods' average weekday round was 68.8. His weekend average was 72.8.

This was Tiger Woods, golf's ultimate closer?

As the third round began at the PGA in August, Rory McIlroy birdied five of his first nine holes. Woods answered by going 3 over par in his first seven holes — holes he had played in 3 under during the first two rounds.

In the final round the next day, McIlroy shot a 66 to win by eight strokes. Woods shot a 72 and settled for 11th.

"I've got to just keep putting myself in a position to win, and if it happens often enough, then I will win," Woods said, sounding like a rookie waiting to break through on the PGA Tour. Except Woods turns 37 on Dec. 30.

The New York Times

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