Tiger wins the british open
Ten for Tiger
Woods pulls away for five-shot British Open victory
Posted: Sunday July 17, 2005 10:28AM; Updated: Sunday July 17, 2005 2:15PM
Tiger Woods got off to a slow start Sunday, missing a birdie chance on the first green on the Old Course at St. Andrews.
• British Open Final Leaderboard
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) -- Sunday brought yet another grand crossing over the Swilcan Bridge. The defiant return of Tiger Woods.
Two days after Jack Nicklaus bade an emotional farewell to the majors, Woods took another step toward the Golden Bear's record with another ruthless performance at St. Andrews, closing with a 2-under 70 to win the British Open for his 10th career major.
He won by five shots, the largest margin in any major since Woods won by eight at St. Andrews five years ago. This one had a sense of inevitability, as Woods took the lead on the ninth hole of the first round, and no one caught him over the final 63.
He joined Nicklaus as the only players to win the career Grand Slam twice, and Woods' second major of the year restored a dominance that had been missing over the past couple of years.
Even after he won the Masters in a playoff, there were questions about whether Woods could blow away the competition the way he did five years ago, when he captured seven out of 11 majors.
But that's exactly what happened on the Old Course.
Woods was challenged briefly by Colin Montgomerie and his flag-waving gallery, but pulled away on the back nine with one perfect shot after another to finish at 14-under 274.
Montgomerie closed with a 72 to finish second at 279, his highest finish at a major since he was runner-up at the 1997 U.S Open at Congressional. Jose Maria Olazabal lost his way in gorse and pot bunkers and shot 74, making birdie on the last hole that gave him a tie for third at 280 with Fred Couples (68).
Woods didn't stop and pose atop the Swilcan Bridge as Nicklaus did on Friday. Instead, he walked swiftly over the stone arch, removed his cap as he walked up the 18th fairway and sent a powerful message to the world of golf: He's back.
Maybe those swing changes weren't such a bad idea.
"This is one of the reasons I made the changes," Woods said, "so I could be back here again and be at this level."
He held the silver claret jug aloft under the clouds that gathered over the gray old town. He and Nicklaus are the only Americans to win the Open twice at the home of golf, but that's not the record Woods wants.
Nicklaus won the 10th of his record 18 majors when he was 32, so Woods is ahead of pace in his pursuit of a standard that few expected ever would be touched.
"He knows as well as everyone else does that he's on his way to Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 and a record that we said would never ever come close, never mind be broken," Montgomerie said. "And he's over halfway now. Who knows? It will be very interesting over the next few years to see what happens."
The final round was hardly a nail-biter. Woods twice turned away threats by making two-putt birdies, then marched along as a strong cast of contenders, either major champions or players who have been ranked in the top 10, collapsed around him.
He played so well on another windswept afternoon along St. Andrews Bay that he was the only one to break par among the final 14 players.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Re: Tiger wins the british open
He's so good, he's the object of scorn!
Why is There Such Hatred For Tiger?
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Here are some Google statistics for you:
Hate + Terrell Owens = 29,400 Google hits.
Hate + Randy Moss = 65,600 hits.
Hate + Mike Tyson = 163,000 hits.
Hate + Barry Bonds = 135,000 hits.
Hate + Tiger Woods = 349,000 hits.
Seem a bit out-of-kilter to you? Me, too.
I studied this on the heels of a Los Angeles Times article by Bill Plaschke criticizing Tiger, and an eloquent riposte by Michael Wilbon (not incidentally, these articles came to my attention on the Sports Central Message Boards). In the Plaschke article, the writer says people just plain ol' don't like Tiger, and it's because "Woods is not simply a golfer anymore, he is Microsoft, he is Coke, he is Steinbrenner, and that isn't fun. He is not as beloved as much as he is feared. He draws fewer embraces than stares."
Wilbon replies by pointing out that it's a sign of progress that black athletes can finally get endorsement deals commensurate with their talent and TV ratings, and he laments that, per Tiger's critics, "...it's not enough to win major championships, to win so much, and with such style it revolutionizes the entire game and elevates the profile of the profession — no, he's got to smile the way they want him to smile, accept only as much money from Coke and Nike as they want him to accept.
First off, to an extent, Plaschke's charges are a fair cop, but Tiger is who he is. When it comes to his golf and his life available to the public, he's stone-cold serious and that's that. He hasn't made any major faux pas (except for his inaccessibility to fans) and I would be surprised if he does make any serious missteps in the future. I, for one, was
rooting for him last week at the British Open over Colin Montgomerie, who is a sour choad.
Another thing to remember is that Tiger's dominance in a white sport as a black guy makes him Jesus Christ to some and the ultimate enemy to others, and the unscientific Google study I did, I think, speaks to that. If you go to the more populous golf message boards (like the one The Golf Channel hosts), you'll see that everyone seems to either deify or despise him to a ridiculous extent. One commenter said, "Watch for the crime rate to be significantly lower tomorrow (Sunday), because Tiger's in contention so the country's blacks will be at home, rooting for him." Consequently, comments like these made me stop going to The Golf Channel's message boards.
So I'm sure that when Tiger does avail himself to the public, he has to deal with a surfeit of certified lunatics that no other golfer could even dream about having to deal with. I don't blame him for withdrawing from that.
And then there's Dad, Earl Woods. "Tiger will do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity. ... He is the Chosen One. He'll have the power to impact nations. Not people. Nations."
Well, his mother, Kutilda, probably doesn't heap pressure on her son like that, does she? "Tiger has Thai, African, Chinese, American Indian, and European blood. He can hold everyone together. He is the Universal Child." Oh.
Expectations, anyone? I'm lucky to have parents that believed I could do anything I set my mind to, but if any parent sees fit to start making prophecies in the national media likening their progeny to deities and martyrs, most kids, even adult kids, would develop a bit of a complex.
So Tiger has that on his plate. According to Google, people hate him just about as much as Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Barry Bonds, and Mike Tyson — combined. Why? Considering that Woods has never really said or done anything particularly egregious, selfish, or offensive (certainly not compared to Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Mike Tyson, and Barry Bonds), I think the answer to that question is pretty ugly. It has to do with the fact that Tiger is doing what he's doing in a sport that is, for the most part, lily-white, and a sport that too many of its defenders regard as the last bastion of civility.
Wilbon didn't put it this bluntly, but more people than would ever admit it rue the incursion of a dominant black guy in an outpost, golf, that serves as one of the last safe bastions of a white-civility sensibility. They would feel better about it maybe if he smiled more, as Wilbon said, or was more of a grateful Stepen Fetchit type, but maybe that wouldn't even matter. I wonder if Google numbers will back me up on that theory, as well.
Re: Tiger wins the british open
there will always be jealoused people, it's in human nature.
Tiger is more successful than most people on earth, so of course there will be losers hating on him and be resentful.
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