Tiger beats Jack in Ultimate Match Play final

By Randall MellFebruary 19, 2013, 11:00 am

When Jack Nicklaus lashed his opening tee shot in the finals of the Ultimate Match Play Championship, lightning slashed over Pebble Beach Golf Links and thunder cracked across the Monterey Peninsula.

Even the golf gods appeared to react to the Golden Bear’s perfect little fade into the first fairway in his epic showdown with Tiger Woods.

Woods, though, would bring down more thunder on this remarkable day.

In the end, at the Pebble Beach’s famed 17th hole, the cosmos hushed with Woods and Nicklaus stepping to the tee box. In fading light, the winds there died, the clouds stopped rolling, the surf quieted and even the sea lions stopped barking.

This is where the ultimate match was won.


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Leading 2 up, Woods opened the door for Nicklaus, carving a draw too hard into the wind at the classic back-left pin placement and watching it skip into the heavy rough behind the hole. Nicklaus made the most of the opportunity. With that famous waggle, then a cock of his head before the takeaway, Nicklaus lashed a low, knock-down shot into the wind, a bullet right at the flagstick. His ball, just as it did in the final round here when he won the ’72 U.S. Open, caromed off the flagstick, stopping inches from the cup for a sure birdie.

A colossal roar echoed over Stillwater Cove, but history wasn’t done repeating itself here.

Nicklaus marked his ball, but he wouldn’t get a chance to putt again.

Woods, with a hard, clever swipe of a wedge, popped his ball out of the rough and watched it track straight for the cup. With his ball slowing to a trickle, it appeared to stop on the lip, but only for an agonizing second. The ball had more wobble in it, one more quarter turn that toppled it into the hole.

Woods won in shades of Watson’s chip-in that beat Nicklaus here at the ’82 U.S. Open and in shades of Woods’ chip-in at Augusta National when he won The Masters in ’05 after holing out off 16th green.

Tiger beat the Golden Bear, 2 and 1.

The golf gods let it be known they were watching again.

The cosmos shook when Woods’ last shot disappeared, sending a minor tremor through the ground beneath the feet of all the fortunate patrons who were lucky enough to witness the ultimate showdown between the two greatest players who ever lived.

No matter how you imagined the Ultimate Match Play Championship would unfold, this is the result you wanted.

You wanted Woods winning it all.

Over five weeks, you cast your votes to determine who would win a match-play championship featuring the 16 greatest players who ever lived.

With nearly 22,000 votes cast in the final match alone, Woods claimed 58.1 percent of the vote to Nicklaus’ 41.9 percent.

That feels like a 2-and-1 victory.

Nicklaus advanced to the finals defeating Phil Mickelson with 93 percent of the vote in the first round, beating Gary Player in the quarterfinals with another 93 percent pull and eliminating Bobby Jones in the semifinals with 74.9 percent.

Woods made it to the finals defeating Seve Ballesteros with 79 percent of the vote in the first round, knocking out Tom Watson in the quarterfinals with another 79 percent pull and eliminating Ben Hogan in the semifinals with 64.5 percent.

While Woods had an answer to Nicklaus in our imaginary final of the Ultimate Match Play Championship, we now get to see if he has an answer in the real game, in Woods’ quest to surpass Nicklaus’ record of most professional major championship victories. The question whether Woods or Nicklaus is the greatest who ever played is a good debate even with Woods having 14 majors to Nicklaus’ 18, but if Woods ever passes Nicklaus, then Woods’ answer becomes definitive.

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Woods: Fan who yelled had 'tipped back a few'

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:37 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee and thought he needed birdie to have a chance to win The Open. He pulled driver out of his bag, a sign he wanted to boot the ball as far down the fairway as possible.

Woods took a mighty swat and - right in the middle of his downswing - someone yelled. Woods flinched.

Luckily his ball still found a decent spot just off the right of the fairway.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I’ve had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it,” Woods said Sunday at Carnoustie after shooting 71 to tie for sixth place. “They tipped back a few, and it’s late in the day.

“Unfortunately, that’s part of what we have to deal with in today’s game. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be in social media or whatever it may be. That was too close to the game of play.”

Woods hit his approach to 6 feet and missed the birdie putt. He tapped in for par to shoot even par and finish 5 under for the week, in a tie for sixth.

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Pros melt down on Twitter as they watch Tiger

By Grill Room TeamJuly 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

Tiger Woods mounted a final-round charge and, for a little while, took the outright lead at Carnoustie on Sunday.

His fellow pros were watching and tweeting like your average fans.

We compiled some of their missives below:

Woods would go on to finish in a tie for sixth at 5 under par for the week.

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Woods shares emotional embrace with his kids

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 6:21 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tiger Woods missed a birdie putt on the last hole that would’ve vaulted him into a tie for second place at The Open. It was a difficult way to end an otherwise successful week for the 14-time major champion, who is just happy to playing majors again.

Then he walked off the 18th, saw his two children, daughter Sam and son Charlie, and they all took a moment for a long embrace. Turns out, that was the perfect way to end the week.

“I told them I tried and I said, 'Hopefully you’re proud of your pops for trying as hard as I did,'” Woods said Sunday after putting the finishing touches on an even-par 71 to end at 5 under for the week.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It’s pretty emotional because they gave me some pretty significant hugs there and squeezed. I know that they know how much this championship means to me and how much it feels good to be back playing again.”

In 2008, when Woods won his last major, the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, Sam was a year old and Charlie was not yet born. They don’t know how much their father used to dominate this game, especially majors. The last time Woods won a PGA Tour event was five full years ago. Woods has joked in the past that they only know him as a YouTube sensation.

“So, for them to understand what I was doing early in my career,” he said. “The only thing they’ve seen is my struggles and the pain I was going through. Now they just want to go play soccer with me. Man, it’s just such a great feeling.”

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TT postscript: Not a win, but an amazing week

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 6:04 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods had a chance to win his 15th major Sunday at The Open at Carnousite:

• Tiger shot 71-71-66-71 to finish at 5 under par and tie for sixth place.

• When Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele both bogeyed the fifth hole Tiger was in the solo lead. Amazing to think that only last September he said he never knew if he’d ever play golf again. Here he was, nine months later with a chance to win a fourth claret jug. Amazing.

• For 10 holes, Tiger was the calmest, coolest, most composed player on the golf course. Birdies at Nos. 4 and 6 looked easy, while most everyone else was struggling to make par.

• To me, the biggest mistake of the week, and certainly of the final round, was Tiger’s decision to get cute and hit a flop shot up and over a bunker into the 11th hole. It checked up and rolled back down and off the green. He failed to get up and down and made double bogey. If he’d have pitched the ball 12-15 past the hole he’d had have a chance to save par and would’ve made no worse than bogey.

• The double bogey felt worse when Tiger made bogey on the 12th hole. This two-hole stretch cost him three shots and he finished three shots off the lead.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


• Tiger moved to 50th in the Official World Golf Ranking, which qualifies him for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which he has won eight times.

• One of the best moments of the week came after Tiger’s round when he gave his kids, daughter Sam and son Charlie, long hugs. Tiger said it was especially emotional because both kids knew how much this week meant to their old man. They had only seen Tiger struggle; it was great for them to see his success.

• Tiger: “Today I did everything the way I thought I needed to do it to win the championship. This entire week, I felt like I needed to keep building my way into this championship. It's one of those where, as I said earlier in the week, it's going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win it on Sunday because we're all driving the same areas. Kind of turned out that way. There are a bunch of guys packed, a bunch of guys with a chance to win, and I was one of them.”

• Overall, an amazing week. Truly tremendous to watch.