Tiger Survives Tough Road Game Test in St Andrews

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- For a brief moment, the rocking, rollicking, howling mob sat on its hands.
Say what you want about Scots being boisterous, they know golfing etiquette. The place got so quiet so all of a sudden that you could hear the distinctive ``clink'' made by the coin clanking off the others already at the bottom of Tiger Woods' pocket.
Woods had just used it to mark his ball on the 13th green at the Old Course. And as he settled over a 6-footer for par little more than two-thirds of the way through his round alongside Colin Montgomerie at the British Open, there was the sense that the entire country was holding its breath. And praying for Woods to miss.

Which, on balance, may be only a slight exaggeration.
``It's so exciting and so lovely to feel the warmth of support from a whole nation,'' Montgomerie said, ``because golf is our national sport here.
``It might not be in your country,'' he added, ``but golf is, in this country.''
If Woods needed reminding that Saturday was going to be a road game, he didn't have to wait long. His tee shot barely landed in the first fairway when the ``clack, clack, clack'' of shoes pounding down the stairs of a fast-emptying grandstand told him the size of his usual huge gallery was swelling by the moment. Every grandstand the rest of the way around the course was packed, and the throng filling each rose to its feet every time Montgomerie strolled past.
``I expected it. It should be that way,'' Woods said. ``He's native born, he's never won a major championship and this is the home of golf.''
There's even more to the story.
Montgomerie grew up at Royal Troon on the other side of this British isle as the son of the club secretary and the most-promising golfer this golf-mad land had seen in a long time. Ever since, everything from his diet to his clothes to his facial expressions to his divorce have been grist for the tabloid mill. And then there's that 0-for-54 streak in the majors, a few punctuated by such spectacular crash-and-burn endings they make ``Braveheart'' look PG-rated by comparison.
And so, young men in the gallery don Montgomerie fright wigs with frighteningly exaggerated blond curls and don't feel the least bit silly. And blue-haired matrons scream ``Go on, Monty!'' with such ardor it's a wonder they don't faint dead away. And then there's the matter of Woods being cast as the perfect villain, the overwhelming overdog, a golfing version of the roundly hated -- at least in Scotland -- English King Edward.
But expecting Woods to turn tail in that hostile environment?
Even Montgomerie knew that was too much to ask.
``He copes with the pressure and the situation around him, with being Tiger Woods, incredibly well,'' Montgomerie said.
Some days, though, it's tougher than ever and the third round was one of those. In what felt like a Ryder Cup atmosphere, Woods three-putted for bogey at No. 2, drove his ball into gorse bushes at the sixth and ninth, and dropped to his knees often enough watching putts curl away from the hole at the last instant. It's a miracle he didn't gore himself with his own putter.
After a handful of the early starters got hold of the Old Course, the stiffest winds of the week rolled in off St. Andrews Bay in the afternoon and restored some of the Old Course's teeth. The greens dried up and drives skidded off the fairways like tabletops, making it tough to judge how far tee shots were running. And always, there was that wall of noise, plus the occasional Saltire, the Scottish flag, snapping in the breeze.
``Obviously,'' Woods said afterward, ``the people should be rooting for him and they were. Then again, they were very gracious. They applauded when I hit a quality shot and sometimes a quality shot would be 30 feet. That's all you can ask for.''
Woods had to make three nervy putts at the three closing holes -- the first two to save pars, the third to set up a tap-in birdie -- to card a 1-under 71. That left him at 204, with a 2-shot lead over Jose Maria Olazabal heading into the final round.
After a 70 that wasn't nearly as steady as it looked on the scorecard, Montgomerie was another stroke back at 207. He spent parts of the day soaking up cheers and striding the fairways with his head held high, and others, red-faced, studying the tips of his shoes,
``It was quite an unbelievable situation to find myself in here,'' Montgomerie said. ``The crowds have been quite fantastic. I'd like to do well for them tomorrow, especially.
``It would be fantastic,'' he added, ``if we could get though this together.''
Woods, on the other hand, still feeling very much alone, wasn't in the mood to look too far ahead.
``Today,'' he said without any hint of emotion, ``was tough.''
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 134th Open Champoinship
  • Daily Photo Gallery
  • Open Championship Trivia Challenge
    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

    The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

    There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

    President at the Presidents Cup

    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

    Cart on the green

    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

    Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

    Trump golf properties


    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers

    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

    Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.