Sometimes in golf, you simply have to carry your fingers up and settle for you have been overwhelmed by the higher participant. That is a sense that was as soon as all too acquainted for Tiger Woods’ rivals.
That was actually the case 20 years in the past at golf’s most iconic venue St Andrews, which was tamed by Woods in awe-inspiring vogue en path to the primary of three triumphs at The Open.
A profitable rating of 19 underneath par, eight away from the chasing pack, underpinned the brilliance of Woods and the chasm in high quality to the remainder of the sector in that interval within the sport’s illustrious historical past.
We make a journey down reminiscence lane to reminisce about Woods’ first really feel of the Claret Jug.
HOW IT UNFOLDED
There have been 22 birdies and solely three bogeys over 4 days of close to flawless golf, whereas Woods didn’t as soon as discover any of the 128 treacherous St Andrews bunkers – a staggering achievement even in benign circumstances.
By the tip of spherical one, it was Ernie Els who led the way in which, one stroke forward of Woods and Steve Flesch, offering hope of a duel between two of the sport’s greats.
Such a notion was fully obliterated on Friday. As Els stagnated, Woods moved three forward of the sector with an excellent 66. At the tip of Saturday’s transferring day, that benefit had doubled to 6 strokes.
There was the briefest of challenges from David Duval on Sunday, an electrical begin seeing him birdie 4 of the opening seven holes to get inside three – as shut as anybody would get to Woods.
Duval made a cringe-inducing eight on the 17th, needing 4 makes an attempt to lastly get out of the Road Hole Bunker, as Els and Thomas Bjorn have been left in a tie for second, a distant eight strokes again.
For Woods, the unerring manner he received his first Claret Jug would depart his rivals scratching their heads at how you can compete with, not to mention defeat, this profitable machine.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 18, 2020
WHAT HE SAID
“It is actually onerous to place into phrases the feelings and emotions going by means of me and the ideas which can be working by means of my head,” Woods mentioned on the time.
“To have a chance to finish the slam at St Andrews the place golf all began makes it much more particular.
“I’ve been lucky to have my recreation peak on the proper instances. I’ve at all times mentioned you’d prefer to have your recreation peak at 4 completely different instances a 12 months, however to really have it occur is a distinct story.
“So far I’ve had a beautiful, great younger profession and hopefully I can proceed the success I’ve. If I do not that is high quality too.
“I’m going to maintain engaged on my recreation, preserve attempting to get higher and we’ll see what occurs.”
THE NOTABLE FACTS
– Woods’ 19-under-par rating was a file for any main on the time. Henrik Stenson would file a -20 at Royal Troon in 2016, whereas Jason Day had additionally set that benchmark rating on the 2015 US PGA Championship.
– His profitable margin was the most important in The Open since JH Taylor received by eight in 1913.
– Woods turned simply the third Open champion after Greg Norman and Nick Price to shoot 4 rounds underneath 70.
– At the age of 24, Woods joined Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus in profitable all 4 majors and finishing golf’s Grand Slam. He is the youngest participant to have completed so.
— The Open (@TheOpen) June 25, 2016
AN UNTHINKABLE 2000
The millennium bug could by no means have come to fruition, however Woods’ performances within the 2000 majors had the look of a pc recreation glitch such was his utter dominance.
Vijay Singhfinished the primary main of the brand new century with a slick inexperienced jacket on the Masters in April, however Woods fully took aside the sector at Pebble Beach to win the U.S. Open a few months later.
There have been no three-putts on the course’s well-known glassy greens and Woods alone completed within the pink…at 12 underneath par! Miguel Angel Jimenez and Els, his nearest “rivals”, have been three over.
The 15-stroke margin of victory stays the largest in main historical past and was adopted by his astounding weekend at St Andrews a month later.
At the US PGA Championship, it was not fairly as easy because the unheralded Bob May matched his rating of 18 underneath, however Woods was to not be denied within the play-off.
By the beginning of subsequent 12 months, Woods was champion at Augusta to turn into the primary participant to be in possession of all 4 majors on the identical time.
Published 23 Jul 2020, 12:32 IST