Technique, tenacity keeps Tiger at the top of the PGA

Prior to the Bruno’s Memorial Classic at Greystone this spring, Hale Irwin, the 2001 champion, noted that technology is changing the game of golf, resulting in much better equipment.

However, it isn’t technology but technique that keeps Tiger Woods going along in his incredible PGA career.

Irwin said that perhaps all professional golfers should be required to use the same type ball, a one-fits-all deal.

Improve the clubs, lengthen the courses, have a mandated ball &045; it is doubtful such changes would matter to Woods.

He is this generation’s answer to previous standard-setters in pro golf such as Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Woods hasn’t reached some of their accomplishments, but he seems to be on the way, and his youth, 26, with plenty of golf years left, means he just might one day hold insurmountable records.

His latest accomplishment, of course, was the three-stroke victory Sunday in the U.S. Open on Long Island, despite the length and difficulty of the course and the rowdiness of some of the fans.

In fact, Woods was the only golfer &045; and all of them are good or they wouldn’t be in such a tournament &045; to finish below par.

He was followed by hapless Phil Mickelson, whose par round wasn’t small potatoes, considering no one else finished at par or below.

Woods now has taken the first two legs of this year’s Grand Slam, the Masters and the Open, has won eight major championships and holds seven of the last 11 majors, something no one else has accomplished.

Mickelson, meanwhile, continues to be a bridesmaid, largely due to Woods.

Mickelson has finished in the top three seven times but still doesn’t have a major tournament trophy.

His attitude after Sunday’s finish was upbeat and optimistic, which was commendable.

Now, the next major for Mickelson will be the British Open in less than five weeks, but here again the Tiger will be prowling.

Then there are a lot of other top-notch golfers who will be trying to overcome Woods and his technique and tenacity.

Just don’t bet the house on any of them