Mike Graham: Tiger's recipe for golf success

Tiger Woods looks at his shot on the 17th green during the final round of The Players championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass, Sunday, May 12, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.  (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Tiger Woods looks at his shot on the 17th green during the final round of The Players championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass, Sunday, May 12, 2013 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

I know the secret to Tiger Woods' recent success.

Woods, a Martin County, Fla., resident, has won four of seven 2013 starts and seven of his past 21 PGA Tour stroke play events.

Woods has earned $5,849,600 this year alone ($106,800,300 for his career) and his FedExCup points lead over second-place Brandt Snedeker already is pushing 1,000 points -- 2,340 to 1,474 -- after Sunday's win at The Players Championship.

Chew on these 2013 PGA Tour stats: Woods is No. 1 in average finish (11.14), scoring average actual (69.17), par 5 birdies (61.36), holes per eagles (61.71) and 4th in putts per hole (1.69).

So, why is Woods playing so well again?

Could it be as simple as a turkey sub on wheat bread with lettuce and tomato?

Don't know about the mayonnaise, because that's when the nice folks at Hobe Sound Deli -- where Woods routinely stops after his Medalist Golf Club practice rounds for a snack -- said on Monday they wanted to "respect the privacy of their customers" when I asked what else the world's No. 1 golfer liked on his sandwich.

OK, maybe there is more to this second coming of Tiger Woods than a sub sandwich -- mayo or not.

Other factors that could be playing into his comeback are that new Jupiter Island home -- which has its own four-hole layout that Woods works out on endlessly -- membership at the Hobe Sound Medalist Golf Club (where he plays practice rounds with the likes of Ahmad Rashad and Michael Jordan, plus a slew of other PGA Tour players), and new girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, who was there with him on Sunday for his 78th career win in his 300th PGA Tour start.

Seriously, though, here are three ingredients that I think have fueled Woods' return to the top -- he is healthy again, he practices as hard as any other golfer in the game and he is at peace with himself after the mistakes he made earlier in his life.

When a reporter on Sunday asked if he was surprised by his strong play this year, Woods fired back.

''Am I surprised? No," he said. "I know a lot of people in this room thought I was done.

''But I'm not."

And while Woods' game has improved steadily since he moved to Martin County in the summer of 2011 -- when he was ranked No. 58 in the world -- the question still lingers about his lack of success in major events (his last major win came at the 2008 U.S. Open).

His next attempt to end that drought will come June 13-16 at the 113th U.S. Open at the east course of the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.

Woods said Sunday he has never played the Merion course, but I'll bet you a sub sandwich -- with mayo -- that Woods will be favored to win.

(Contact Mike Graham at mike.graham@scripps.com; Twitter: @TCPalmMGraham.)

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