Tiger Woods Wins Again
Tiger Woods today strolled to his second British Open Golf title finishing fourteen shots under par, five shots ahead of the veteran, the Scot Colin Montgomerie. It was Tiger's tenth success in major tournaments and now only Walter Hagen's eleven majors, and Jack Nicklaus's total of eighteen lie ahead of him.
Earlier in the week on the Friday Jack Nicklaus had said an emotional farewell to a huge crowd of golf fanatics who applauded him and Tom Watson all the way around the famous old course at Saint Andrews on the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the headquarters of golf.
But this was Tiger Woods' tournament and he stretched his lead overnight as all of his rivals failed to put in a strong challenge. One by one they fell by the wayside, and in truth Tiger always gave the impression that should a real challenge have materialised, he would have been able to raise his game. Nevertheless he won by five clear shots to confirm once again, as Colin Montgomerie said afterwards, that he is indeed the leading golfer of his generation, possibly any generation. It wasn't all bad news for Colin, his second place moved him fifty-nine places up the world rankings to twenty-second.
Jose Maria Olazabal finished a creditable joint third on minus eight, sharing the third prize with a delighted Freddie Couples. As for the other challengers Retief Goosen and Vijay Singh fell away and were never able to land a blow, the same could be said for Sergio Garcia, and Kenny Perry. Ian Poulter finished the best placed Englishman in what was ultimately another poor overall showing by the UK based players.
The weather remained fine throughout the four days of competition with barely a shower of rain. Occasionally the wind blew but never gale force as it can do on this exposed Scottish east coast course. The crowds came in their droves, forty thousand more than last year, and despite the one sided victory everyone enjoyed the week. Once again the old course failed to throw up a hole in one, there hasn't been one on this course in the Open Championship since Ben Crenshaw's in 1984.
Before the championship began Tiger was available on the betting exchanges and in the betting tents at 3/1 against and a huge tip went round that Tiger was in the mood to do the business. Plenty of huge bets were struck and many of the professional punters went home happy to thoroughly toast Tiger throughout the evening. Just for once the bookmakers must have taken a battering. Aint that a shame!
Next year the championship returns to England, and to Hoylake for the first time since 1969. Hoylake is a seaside links too, set on the Wirral beside the Dee estuary that looks out across Hilbre Island and over to North Wales and Snowdonia beyond.
Tiger has already sent out a warning to all the others. They will have to improve considerably down on Liverpool Bay if they are to stand any chance of removing the coveted claret jug from Tiger's iron grip.