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Analysis: Numbers create fascination with Tiger

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

DORAL, Fla. — There is a fascination with numbers when it comes to Tiger Woods — a product of him winning so much over so many years.

He now has 76 wins on the PGA Tour, six short of the record 82 by Sam Snead. His two-shot victory at Doral was his 17th in the World Golf Championships. No one else has won more than three. The Cadillac Championship was the 22nd time he has taken at least a three-shot lead into the final round on tour, and he has won them all.

But there is only one number that matters.

Woods is measured by majors, and he has not made up any ground on the record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus in five years.

He remains stuck on 14.

Woods stamped himself as the favorite at Augusta National not so much because he has won twice before the Masters for the first time since 2008 but for the way he built big leads and never gave anyone else much hope. The less excitement about the way he wins, the more intimidating he looks.

And while he has won twice this year, his record includes a missed cut to start the year at Abu Dhabi, and a tie for 37th at the Honda Classic when he never broke par any of the four rounds.

How he fares at Bay Hill in two weeks — he could go back to No. 1 in the world with a win — will determine the degree of expectations going into the Masters.

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