Tiger Wins Open Championship Going Away


ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Tiger Woods captured his second British Open championship on Sunday to become the second player in golf history to win the career Grand Slam twice.
He did it on the same course where he completed his first slam.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods proudly showcases his second claret jug.
In 2000, Woods dusted the field at the Old Course at St. Andrews to win the British Open and become the fifth player in golf history to win all four major championships. On Sunday, he joined Jack Nicklaus as the only players to do it more than once.
'To have both of them here, this is as special as it gets,' admitted Woods, who pocketed $1,261,584 for the win. 'It's the home of golf. All players that want to win the Open Championship, you go back to St. Andrews.'
Woods posted a two-under 70 to win the tournament by five shots at 14-under- par 274.
Woods continues to put his name in the history books. It was his 10th major championship, putting him in third place on the all-time list, one behind Walter Hagen and eight off Nicklaus' 18 career major triumphs.
The same week Nicklaus bowed out of competitive golf, Woods completed another type of slam.
Every major championship Nicklaus stepped away from, Woods hoisted the trophy. It first started in 2000 at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, then a few months later at Valhalla, Woods claimed the PGA Championship.
Earlier this year, Nicklaus announced it would be his last trip to the Masters as a player. Woods defeated Chris DiMarco in a playoff, then on Sunday, he added the claret jug.
'When I first started playing the tour, I didn't think I would have this many majors before the age of 30,' said Woods, who went wire-to-wire for the victory.
Woods, who became the fifth player in golf history to win multiple claret jugs at the Old Course, collected his second major of 2005 after a playoff win at the Masters. This is his third season with multiple majors in one year.
Local favorite Colin Montgomerie managed an even-par 72 and took second place at minus-nine. This was his first runner-up finish at the British Open to go along with a pair of seconds at the U.S. Open and a playoff loss at the 1995 PGA Championship.
Fred Couples carded a four-under 68 on Sunday to tie Jose Maria Olazabal for third place at eight-under-par 280. The Spaniard drained a 10-footer for birdie on the last to shoot 74.
Despite the large margin of victory, Woods had to work to earn the claret jug. He began the final round with a two-shot lead, but both Olazabal and Montgomerie cut the margin to one on the front nine.
The championship turned at the 12th hole. Woods was two ahead of both players at the short par-four, but Olazabal ran into trouble off the tee and left himself with eight feet for par. He missed that putt, then Montgomerie dropped a shot at 13 when he came up short of the green with his approach.
Woods, who played with Olazabal on Sunday, drove left of the green at 12 and bumped his second into one of many slopes on the greens at St. Andrews and the ball stopped three feet from the stick. He converted the short putt to move ahead by four.
Woods padded the lead at the par-five 14th even though his second came up short of the green in some fescue. He hit a high flop shot that stopped three feet from the hole and the No. 1 player in the world drained the putt to move five clear.
Olazabal had fallen further down the leaderboard thanks to bogeys at 13 and 15. Montgomerie's six-iron second at the 16th fell short of the putting surface and he made bogey, but was still Woods' closest rival, although six back.
Woods bogeyed the Road Hole to drop his lead to five. He took iron off the tee at 18 to avoid any potential problems, then hit a poor approach that required he putt through the Valley of Sin. Woods lagged it to three feet and converted the par to earn his fourth win of the 2005 campaign and his 44th on tour, tying him with Hagen for seventh on the all-time list.
'I'm so excited to have my best ball-striking round,' said Woods, who became the first player to win the Masters and British Open in the same year since his good buddy Mark O'Meara in 1998. 'It was one of those rounds I'll certainly be thinking about for a long time. I'm thankful it happened at the right time.'
Woods began the final round with a two-shot lead over Olazabal and three ahead of Montgomerie. The Europeans trimmed the cushion early on Sunday.
Montgomerie ran home a 12-footer at the third to draw within two, then Olazabal sank a 20-foot birdie putt at four to cut the lead to one. Montgomerie two-putted the fifth green for a birdie to also close the gap to a single stroke.
Woods birdied the fifth to reclaim a two-shot lead, but his putter let him down on the remaining holes on the front side. He had four feet at the seventh after a spectacular approach that nearly went in the hole. Woods again almost sank his tee ball at eight, but the ball stopped three feet from the pin. He missed that putt to keep two ahead of Montgomerie and three in front of Olazabal, who bogeyed No. 6.
Both Woods and Montgomerie drove the green at the ninth and made birdie, as did Olazabal. Montgomerie's six-iron tee ball ran through the green en route to a bogey at the 11th, but Woods gave a shot back at 10 when he drove into a bunker and was forced to go out of the trap sideways.
Both Europeans were within two until their respective meltdowns at 12 and 13.
'I thoroughly enjoyed competing again at this level,' said Montgomerie, whose last runner-up finish in a major came eight years ago at the '97 U.S. Open. 'There's no disgrace finishing second to the best player in the world.'
Now Woods will have an eye on Baltusrol Golf Club for the PGA Championship. He can win three majors in one season for the second time in five years.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell (72), Sergio Garcia (73), Retief Goosen (74), Bernhard Langer (71), Geoff Ogilvy (69) and Vijay Singh (72) shared fifth place at minus-seven.
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