Notes Equipment Malfunction Cant Slow Down Woods


ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- An equipment malfunction wasn't going to slow Tiger Woods down this week.
Woods broke his driver in practice before the Open began, cracking the face with one swing. He switched to his backup driver, a graphite shafted Nike Platinum with the same 460cc head, for the tournament.
Woods' instructor, Hank Haney, said he took the switch in stride.
``It went just a tiny bit higher than his other one, but it was no big deal,'' Haney said. ``He didn't let it bother him. He was swinging so good, he didn't even think twice.''
Scotland's favorite golfer, Colin Montgomerie, came up short in his bid to win the Open. But the country did manage to produce the low amateur.
Lloyd Saltman, a 19-year-old from Craigielau, shot a final round 71 to finish at 5-under 283.
Still, he had to birdie the last hole to claim low amateur from fellow Scot Eric Ramsay, who was a shot back at 284. Saltman knew what he had to do when he teed off after seeing Ramsay post a final round 68.
``I feel I perform better under the pressure because I need to switch on,'' he said. ``That's why you practice to play in things like this and to walk up the last needing a birdie to win the silver medal.''
Saltman said his performance doesn't change his plans to wait a few years to turn pro. A semifinalist in the British Amateur, he'll be on his country's Walker Cup team later this year.
Bernhard Langer can thank the driver of a golf cart carrying TV equipment for helping him out on the ninth hole Sunday.
Langer ended up making birdie on the hole after his ball, which was heading toward some thick gorse bushes, bounced off the cart instead.
Instead of a possible unplayable lie from the bushes, he was able to pitch a shot over the bushes and made a 25-footer for birdie.
The two-time Masters champion finished tied for fifth and joined Tiger Woods as the only players to post four sub-par rounds with his final round 71.
Tiger Woods might want Jack Nicklaus to stick around a little longer.
Woods has won all four major championships that Nicklaus bade farewell at, beginning with the 2000 PGA Championship.
Woods also won the 2000 U.S. Open and this year's Masters in the last appearance for Nicklaus in both.
Dozens of men wearing kilts, hundreds of blue and white Scottish flags and a standing ovation at nearly every grandstand still weren't enough to bring Colin Montgomerie his first title in a major championship.
He fell short, but it wasn't because of a lack of support.
Calling themselves the ``Full Montys,'' five young men wearing T-shirts saying ``We Love Monty'' and sporting blond Afro wigs followed Montgomerie around.
Four other Scottish men, each carrying large Scottish flags around the course, waved their support for Monty at every hole.
``This is your year Monty, and everyone knows it,'' Chris Pyle screamed when Montgomerie edged to within one shot of Woods when he birdied No. 9 -- leaving him at 12 under with Woods on 13 under. Alongside, his brother, Colin, waved the flag and shouted encouragement.
``I don't know if he'll ever be in contention again like this in a major, and a major in Scotland,'' said Calvin Cameron, one of the Full Montys. ``Probably not. This looked so much like his year. It's very disappointing.''
Woods had his own enthusiastic fans -- none sticking out more than Andy Kulina and Mike Peirce. The two Americans from Ohio, who work in London, followed Woods wearing Bengal-colored pants, topped with tiger ears and waving tiger tails.
The outfits were the brainchild of Peirce, who had them made for him a dozen years ago when he followed the Cincinnati Bengals NFL teams.
``A friend made them for me, but I put them in a box and never wore them until Tiger came along.''
They donned the costumes at the 2002 Ryder Cup at the Belfry in Birmingham, England, where the Americans lost to Europe.
``We were looking for a second chance,'' Kulina said, ``and today is it.''
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