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Tiger Woods

Reuters / Libération

18 June 2004

















Frustrated and Clutching His Back, Woods Misses the Cut


P.G.A. Championship 2014:

Tiger Woods Out After Second Round


AUG. 8, 2014
























































golf        UK










golf        USA


















golfer        UK










golfer        USA
















Tiger Woods






































Robert Lee Elder    USA    1934-2021


In his prime

he played in a league for Black players,

but in 1975, at 40,

he became the first African- American

to take part in the Masters tournament.
























Bill Wright

in the Amateur Public Links Championship in Denver in 1959.


His victory there was a singular moment for Black golfers

at a time when the P.G.A. bylaws still had a “Caucasians-only” clause.


Photograph: Denver Post,

via Getty Images


Bill Wright, Who Broke a Color Barrier in Golf, Dies at 84

In 1959, decades before Tiger Woods,

Wright became the first Black golfer

to win a United States Golf Association event.


Feb. 25, 2021

















William Alfred Wright / Bill Wright    USA    1936-2021


 first Black competitor

to win a United States Golf Association event

in an era when African-Americans were not welcome

either in segregated country clubs

or in the top amateur and professional ranks,




Wright was attending

the Western Washington College of Education

(now Western Washington University) in 1959

when he won the U.S.G.A. Amateur Public Links

Championship in Denver.


After barely qualifying for match play,

he had little trouble in the tournament.


His skill on the greens

led The Spokesman-Review of Spokane

to call him a “slender putting wizard.”


Wright’s immediate reaction

to being the first Black golfer

to win a national championship

was to hang up the phone

on the reporter who had asked how that felt.


“I wasn’t mad,”

he said in an interview with the U.S.G.A.

in 2009.


“I wanted to be Black.

I wanted to be the winner.

I wanted to be all those things.”


But he was struck

by how quickly his victory was viewed

as one for his race.


As he saw it, he said, “I was just playing golf.”


Wright’s victory

was a singular moment for Black golfers

at a time when the P.G.A. of America’s bylaws

still had a “Caucasians-only” clause

(which would be abolished in 1961).


A Black man did not win

a PGA Tour event until 1964,

when Pete Brown finished first

at the Waco Turner Open in Texas.


The next two African-American winners

of U.S.G.A. tournaments

were Alton Duhon

(the 1982 U.S. Senior Amateur)

and Tiger Woods

(the 1991 to 1993 U.S. Junior Amateurs).










Calvin Peete    USA    1943-2015


Calvin Peete ('s) life

traced one of sport’s most triumphant arcs

— a school dropout with a crooked left arm

who did not pick up a golf club until his 20s,

did not join the pro tour until his 30s,

and still became one of the leading players of his era

and the most successful black professional golfer

before Tiger Woods










Edgar Mason Rudolph    USA    1934-2011


golfer who surged to prominence

as a youthful amateur,

became rookie of the year

on the PGA circuit,

then settled into a rock-solid 23-year

PGA career,

winning five tournaments

and almost never missing the cut

or hitting a ball out of bounds













caddie        UK










the defending British Open champion








swing        USA


















hole / hole








holed out for an eagle

with a 4-iron from the middle of the 14th fairway















go in





into the hole





the 18th hole











on the 17th tee        USA











the 72nd green





at the short seventh















stand at 12-under-par 132





stand at 11-under-par





break par with N





shoot a seven under-par 65






card a 65 on the strength of eight birdies

against just one bogey





chip in for a birdie on the 16th hole










shot        USA











miss fairways and greens





hit five fairways and half of the 18 greens in regulation





hit four under par





fire a seven-under-par 65





hold a one-shot cushion over N





end up in the fairway





in a two-over-par 72





dots (pin positions)















Masters        2015






Masters        2008







U.S. Open








The Open        2009






The Open        2006






Ryder Cup






Ryder Cup        2006



















The Guardian        Sport        p. 12        22 September 2006

















The Guardian        p. 32        14 July 2005















Corpus of news articles


 Sports > Golf




Glover Holding On to Late Lead


June 23, 2009

The New York Times



FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — With the pressure of the final round of the United States Open mounting and Bethpage Black snaring much of the field in its daunting rough on a windy, cloudy, muggy Monday, Phil Mickelson seemed ready to capitalize on the misery of others for a change.

Battling the tournament he has come so close to winning four times, Mickelson mounted a fourth-round charge, with two perfect, booming shots, crafting an eagle on No. 13 to tie for the lead at minus-4 with Lucas Glover. With the Bethpage crowd roaring in approval, Mickelson pumped his arm and bumped fists with fans and seemed to be about the only player enjoying this tournament on Monday.

But heartbreak seemed ready to strike again. Glover birdied No. 16 to grab a one-shot lead, with Mickelson having bogeyed No. 15 and 17 to drop two shots back. David Duval passed him with four straight birdies and an inspirational charge of his own.

Mickelson was tied at two under with Ross Fisher and Ricky Barnes.

For a while, the third-round leader, Barnes, was unraveling — his swing springing more leaks than a crumbling dam — and the rest of pack near the lead was finding endless ways to complicate their rounds.

The contenders had so many issues that even Tiger Woods, who had spent much of this tournament unable to figure Bethpage’s bumpy greens and had been mired over par, made a bit of a run with consecutive birdies and looked dangerous at minus-1 after 14, but he bogeyed No. 15 to stall a potential charge. When he plunked his approach shot into the rough, he pushed his hat over his face and exhaled in frustration. He finished even par with a final-round 69.

Fisher and Hunter Mahan were plugging away successfully enough to give themselves a chance. Fisher was minus-2 through 15 holes and Mahan got a bad break, hitting the pin so hard on his approach at 16 that it bounced off the green, and he bogeyed, to fall to minus-1.

Mickelson, who started the day at minus-2, had two bogeys early — one after driving into an unplayable lie in Bethpage’s gnarly tangles of rough on No. 6 — but birdied No. 9 and made a great par save out of more rough on No. 10 to hang in contention at minus-1. He birdied No. 12 with a long putt and made his huge move on 13. It was the first eagle at that hole in the tournament.

Meanwhile, Duval, whose inspiring third round had put him in striking distance, buried a ball in a bunker and triple-bogeyed No. 3. He kept battling and three straight birdies got him to minus 2, good for a tie for third, after 15 holes. Barnes, trying to win his first event as a PGA Tour pro at 28, was having the worst time of all, with his swing coming apart as he repeatedly hooked his drives and landed in the worst of Bethpage’s knee-high rough. A hooked drive hit a tree on No. 5, which started a string of four straight bogeys that put him in freefall. Barnes started Monday trying to extricate himself from the pit he was falling into as darkness suspended the fourth round on Sunday.

His third round had been a roller-coaster ride that included a fast start — an eagle on No. 4 put him at minus-11, and for a time he had a six-shot lead — and a few holes he was lucky to escape with bogeys. He finished the round bogeying No. 18, despite driving into the fairway, and started his fourth round ominously. His swing came unglued as he hooked his drive left on Nos. 1 (which he bogeyed) and 2. Just as he contemplated that mess, the horn blew, calling play, and he left the course looking like a man emerging from a 10-car wreck.

He punched out, saved par on that hole and moved ahead of Glover again when he bogeyed No. 3.

The group waiting to pounce on every stroke given back by the leaders included Mickelson, a three-time major winner, and Duval, a former world No. 1. Those players also had the bonus of emotional fan support. New Yorkers cheered Duval’s comeback from the career collapse that has landed him ranked No. 882, a comeback he is making with smiles and bantering with the galleries. Mickelson became the fans’ favorite here in 2002 — even as Woods won — and only gained sentimental luster with the news that his wife, Amy, is battling breast cancer.

Mickelson put himself in a position for a final-round move with a wild third round, a rash of birdies interrupted by nearly as many bogeys, that left him confident he could make a move on Monday.

Woods, meanwhile, was trying to mount his charge despite being continually foiled by the slow, bumpy greens. He has puzzled over putts every round, leaving some so short he groaned aloud in frustration. But he had finished Sunday’s play with a birdie on No. 7 as darkness fell, giving himself a lift into Monday.

That all set up the drama for the Open’s first regulation Monday finish in 26 years, thanks to apocalyptic weather that has doused Bethpage with rain by the inch. Clouds continued to threaten more rain on Monday, but the United States Golf Association hoped to get in not only the final round today, but an 18-hole playoff, should one be necessary. With the course saturated, any downpour would render the course unplayable quickly.

Glover Holding On to Late Lead,






The Masters


Survives Pressure to Win Masters


April 14, 2008

The New York Times



AUGUSTA, Ga. — An unflinching Trevor Immelman won the Masters on Sunday by toughing it out, by staring down all challengers, by laughing at bad breaks and by doing what his lifelong golf idol told him to do.

He listened to a voice mail message left by his idol, his fellow South African Gary Player, on Saturday night, and it helped Immelman prepare for what he would see, feel and do Sunday in the crucible of the back nine at Augusta National.

“You know, it gave me goose bumps,” Immelman, 28, said. “He told me that he believed in me and I need to believe in myself. And he told me I’ve got to keep my head a little quieter when I putt. He said I’m just peeking too soon.

“He told me to just go out there and be strong through adversity, because he said that adversity would come today, and I just had to deal with it.”

He dealt with it. He shot 75 — the highest final round by a winner since Arnold Palmer in 1962 — and he beat back challenges from Tiger Woods, whose 72 moved him into second place, and Brandt Snedeker and Steve Flesch.

The Grand Slam, a topic Woods brought up by writing on his Web site that winning all four majors in a year was “easily within reason,” will have to wait for another year for him. Woods never got close enough to plant any negative swing thoughts in Immelman’s head. He began the day six strokes behind and finished three back, at five-under-par 283.

“I learned my lesson there with the press,” Woods said with a smile. “I’m not going to say anything. It’s just one of those things when you’re out there playing, you couldn’t care less. You’re trying to win a golf tournament. You’re trying to put yourself in position, which I did. I just didn’t make the putts.”

That is for certain. He lipped out a four-footer and bogeyed the fourth hole; he missed a four-footer for birdie at the 13th after nearly holing his approach from 100 yards; and he three-putted the 14th hole to kill whatever chance he might have had of getting Immelman’s attention. He did make a 70-footer at the 11th hole for birdie, but that was the extent of his fireworks.

For much of the afternoon, Snedeker, who began the day two shots back, was applying the pressure. A talented 27-year-old from Tennessee, Snedeker eagled the second hole with a long putt to pull even with Immelman, but he bogeyed the third hole to fall one shot back, the sixth to fall three back and the ninth to make the turn four strokes behind.

Although Snedeker tried mightily to apply some pressure, Immelman seemed impervious to it. This was evident after his quick turnaround after a bogey at the 12th hole. Immelman had launched his 8-iron into the pine straw behind the hole, and he failed to get up and down for par. Snedeker made a 35-foot, right-to-left putt that cut Immelman’s lead to three strokes. Game on.

Not for long. After Snedeker deposited his second shot at No. 13 into the tributary of Rae’s Creek, Immelman stuck a wedge from 85 yards within four feet and made birdie. After a wedge to eight feet, Snedeker’s putt for par slid past. Two more bogeys in the next three holes ended his chance for a victory.

“It was a tough day,” said Snedeker, who shot 77 and tied for third with Stewart Cink. “Trevor played fantastic. I obviously couldn’t get anything going, couldn’t make any putts when I needed to. I’m still a little emotional, as you can tell, but it’s one of those things. You’ve got of kind of pick yourself up, realize what you did wrong and go fix it.”

Immelman faced down two more near disasters as he headed for home. At the 16th, he hooked his tee shot into the water and made double bogey. His lead over Woods shrunk to three strokes with three holes to play. If he was going to collapse, it would be now.

He had two more chances. His approach to the 17th found the front bunker. He calmly got up and down for par. His drive at the 18th found a divot. He calmly sent his 8-iron shot into the fat of the green.

“It was so tough and I was just trying to be tough, to hang in there, because there’s disaster around every corner as I showed on those last few holes,” Immelman said before slipping into the green jacket awarded to Masters champions. “I knew it was going to be tough when I looked out the window this morning and saw the wind blowing.

“Last week I missed the cut in Houston and here I am sitting here as the Masters champion. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of.”

As he took the champion’s walk up the 18th fairway, bathed in shafts of soft light shining through the Georgia pines, Immelman smiled, waved and fought to keep his emotions in check. Nearly four months ago, he was in a hospital awaiting the results of a biopsy on a tumor. It was benign. He has a seven-inch scar on his back as a reminder of what could have been.

After parring the last hole for a total of 8-under-par 280, he wore a huge smile as a reminder of what is. He embraced his brother; his parents, June and Johan; his wife, Carminita; and his 1-year-old son, Jacob.

“I knew I had to go out there and just stick to my game, and stick to my game plan and play one shot at a time and just be tough,” Immelman said. “You know, I’m proud of myself for doing that.”

This was one of the craziest Masters final rounds. Wind gusts of more than 35 m.p.h., combined with the pressure of the final round, sent scores soaring. Only four players broke par, and 36 were over par, including every golfer in the last two groups. Flesch was three shots back entering the final round, but shot a 78 and finished tied for fifth. Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington were at two-under 286.

But Immelman survived. Toughed it out. As Player did in his three Masters victories, and in the 51 years he has continued to play here. Immelman did what his mentor told him to, and he did himself proud.

“You know, I took that all to heart, and I’m obviously thankful for the message and I’m sure he’s proud of me,” he said.

    Immelman Survives Pressure to Win Masters, NYT, 14.4.2008,






More Americans Are Giving Up Golf


February 21, 2008
The New York Times


HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. — The men gathered in a new golf clubhouse here a couple of weeks ago circled the problem from every angle, like caddies lining up a shot out of the rough.

“We have to change our mentality,” said Richard Rocchio, a public relations consultant.

“The problem is time,” offered Walter Hurney, a real estate developer. “There just isn’t enough time. Men won’t spend a whole day away from their family anymore.”

William A. Gatz, owner of the Long Island National Golf Club in Riverhead, said the problem was fundamental economics: too much supply, not enough demand.

The problem was not a game of golf. It was the game of golf itself.

Over the past decade, the leisure activity most closely associated with corporate success in America has been in a kind of recession.

The total number of people who play has declined or remained flat each year since 2000, dropping to about 26 million from 30 million, according to the National Golf Foundation and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.

More troubling to golf boosters, the number of people who play 25 times a year or more fell to 4.6 million in 2005 from 6.9 million in 2000, a loss of about a third.

The industry now counts its core players as those who golf eight or more times a year. That number, too, has fallen, but more slowly: to 15 million in 2006 from 17.7 million in 2000, according to the National Golf Foundation.

The five men who met here at the Wind Watch Golf Club a couple of weeks ago, golf aficionados all, wondered out loud about the reasons. Was it the economy? Changing family dynamics? A glut of golf courses? A surfeit of etiquette rules — like not letting people use their cellphones for the four hours it typically takes to play a round of 18 holes?

Or was it just the four hours?

Here on Long Island, where there are more than 100 private courses, golf course owners have tried various strategies: coupons and trial memberships, aggressive marketing for corporate and charity tournaments, and even some forays into the wedding business.

Over coffee with a representative of the National Golf Course Owners Association, the owners of four golf courses discussed forming an owners’ cooperative to market golf on Long Island and, perhaps, to purchase staples like golf carts and fertilizer more cheaply.

They strategized about marketing to women, who make up about 25 percent of golfers nationally; recruiting young players with a high school tournament; attracting families with special rates; realigning courses to 6-hole rounds, instead of 9 or 18; and seeking tax breaks, on the premise that golf courses, even private ones, provide publicly beneficial open space.

“When the ship is sinking, it’s time to get creative,” said Mr. Hurney, a principal owner of the Great Rock Golf Club in Wading River, which last summer erected a 4,000-square-foot tent for social events, including weddings, christenings and communions.

The disappearance of golfers over the past several years is part of a broader decline in outdoor activities — including tennis, swimming, hiking, biking and downhill skiing — according to a number of academic and recreation industry studies.

A 2006 study by the United States Tennis Association, which has battled the trend somewhat successfully with a forceful campaign to recruit young players, found that punishing hurricane seasons factored into the decline of play in the South, while the soaring popularity of electronic games and newer sports like skateboarding was diminishing the number of new tennis players everywhere.

Rodney B. Warnick, a professor of recreation studies and tourism at the University of Massachusetts, said that the aging population of the United States was probably a part of the problem, too, and that “there is a younger generation that is just not as active.”

But golf, a sport of long-term investors — both those who buy the expensive equipment and those who build the princely estates on which it is played — has always seemed to exist in a world above the fray of shifting demographics. Not anymore.

Jim Kass, the research director of the National Golf Foundation, an industry group, said the gradual but prolonged slump in golf has defied the adage, “Once a golfer, always a golfer.” About three million golfers quit playing each year, and slightly fewer than that have been picking it up. A two-year campaign by the foundation to bring new players into the game, he said, “hasn’t shown much in the way of results.”

“The man in the street will tell you that golf is booming because he sees Tiger Woods on TV,” Mr. Kass said. “But we track the reality. The reality is, while we haven’t exactly tanked, the numbers have been disappointing for some time.”

Surveys sponsored by the foundation have asked players what keeps them away. “The answer is usually economic,” Mr. Kass said. “No time. Two jobs. Real wages not going up. Pensions going away. Corporate cutbacks in country club memberships — all that doom and gloom stuff.”

In many parts of the country, high expectations for a golf bonanza paralleling baby boomer retirements led to what is now considered a vast overbuilding of golf courses.

Between 1990 and 2003, developers built more than 3,000 new golf courses in the United States, bringing the total to about 16,000. Several hundred have closed in the last few years, most of them in Arizona, Florida, Michigan and South Carolina, according to the foundation.

(Scores more courses are listed for sale on the Web site of the National Golf Course Owners Association, which lists, for example, a North Carolina property described as “two 18-hole championship courses, great mountain locations, profitable, $1.5 million revenues, Bermuda fairways, bent grass, nice clubhouses, one at $5.5 million, other at $2.5 million — possible some owner financing.”)

At the meeting here, there was a consensus that changing family dynamics have had a profound effect on the sport.

“Years ago, men thought nothing of spending the whole day playing golf — maybe Saturday and Sunday both,” said Mr. Rocchio, the public relations consultant, who is also the New York regional director of the National Golf Course Owners Association. “Today, he is driving his kids to their soccer games. Maybe he’s playing a round early in the morning. But he has to get back home in time for lunch.”

Mr. Hurney, the real estate developer, chimed in, “Which is why if we don’t repackage our facilities to a more family orientation, we’re dead.”

To help keep the Great Rock Golf Club afloat, owners erected their large climate-controlled tent near the 18th green last summer. It sat next to the restaurant, Blackwell’s, already operating there. By most accounts, it has been a boon to the club — though perhaps not a hole in one.

Residents of the surrounding neighborhood have complained about party noise, and last year more than 40 signed a petition asking the town of Riverhead to intervene. Town officials are reviewing whether the tent meets local zoning regulations, but have not issued any noise summonses. Mr. Hurney told them he had purchased a decibel meter and would try to hire quieter entertainment.

One neighbor, Dominique Mendez, whose home is about 600 feet from the 18th hole, said, “We bought our house here because we wanted to live in a quiet place, and we thought a golf course would be nice to see from the window. Instead, people have to turn up their air conditioners or wear earplugs at night because of the music thumping.”

During weddings, she said: “you can hear the D.J., ‘We’re gonna do the garter!’ It’s a little much.”

    More Americans Are Giving Up Golf, NYT, 21.2.2008,






Several Golfers Below Par at U.S. Open


June 14, 2007
Filed at 10:36 a.m. ET
The New York Times


OAKMONT, Pa. (AP) -- The rains came. The question now is whether lower-than-expected scores will follow at the U.S. Open. Tiger Woods was among a growing number of golfers below par as opening round play began on time Thursday at Oakmont Country Club, despite heavy fog that burned off just in time to accommodate the first groups off the tee.

A thunderstorm dumped slightly less than a half inch of rain on Oakmont late Wednesday afternoon, softening up its wickedly fast greens right when the USGA felt they were in prime condition.

As a result, there were plenty of scores in the red among the first golfers on the course -- something Arnold Palmer didn't predict Wednesday, when he wondered aloud if Oakmont might be too tough for this field.

With more than half those 156 golfers yet to tee off, Angel Cabrera was 3 under par through five holes, one stroke better than Jose Maria Olazabal (8 holes), David Toms (7 holes) and Pat Perez (4 holes). Six more were at 1-under, including Ernie Els, the 1994 winner at Oakmont, and Woods, who was a year away from playing in the U.S. Open the last time it stopped at Oakmont.

Woods took a bogey 5 on No. 1, birdied No. 2 and was 1 under through seven holes in his first competitive round at Oakmont.

This is a record eighth U.S. Open at Oakmont, but the first in 13 years, and only a dozen or so players have tournament experience on a course reputed to be the toughest in America.

This Oakmont doesn't look like that pre-Tiger Oakmont of 1994, not with 5,000 trees leveled since then, the bunkers made deeper and more threatening and the Church Pews bunker expanded.

With so much trouble awaiting, and so little Oakmont experience out there, Palmer predicted it could be a very shaky opening round or two for many. He hasn't missed an Open at Oakmont in more than 50 years, but he almost sounded relieved to be sitting this one out.

For all the changes, he said, what sets Oakmont apart are greens so fast and tilted that the USGA is having trouble finding four adequate pin placements on each hole.

''I've talked to some of the guys that have been out there and I've talked to some of the former champions who have been out there, and they tell me this field -- and this is just an observation -- is not really ready for Oakmont,'' said Palmer, the tournament's honorary chairman. ''That they haven't really learned yet how to play Oakmont.''

Palmer is certain of that, if only because he has played Oakmont for 66 years and even The King isn't entirely sure if he fully knows a course whose greens are so frighteningly fast, so unnervingly difficult to read.

''There are golf courses over the years that I could play a practice round or two and feel pretty comfortable that I knew how to play it,'' Palmer said. ''Oakmont just doesn't happen to be that kind of golf course. I've played, well, since I was 12 years old. And I'm not even sure now that I know every shot that I should hit, if I could hit it.''

Phil Mickelson, among the favorites, won The Players Championship last month and had a pair of third-place ties before that, and would seem to have plenty of momentum since switching to Butch Harmon as his coach. But even he didn't know until he got on the course how much his left wrist injury would affect him.

Mickelson played half a round Wednesday, and hasn't played a full round at Oakmont since injuring his wrist there chipping out of the thick rough last month. He wasn't scheduled to tee off until Thursday afternoon.

Even if the wrist weren't a bother -- he was resigned to playing in pain all week -- there was the issue of his 72nd-hole collapse at Winged Foot last year, one that cost him his first U.S. Open title and his fourth major.

Another question was how that late-afternoon thunderstorm Wednesday would affect play. It could soften the greens enough to permit lower scoring than expected -- remember, a similar rainstorm helped Johnny Miller shoot a final-round 63 and win the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont.

''It's not going to be what we planned for,'' said Tim Moraghan, the USGA agronomist. ''Things were moving along quite well (before the storm). We thought we'd have a true, hard test for players on Thursday. The rain has altered this a little bit. We're going to try and do everything we can to get the golf course back to where it was before this little rain.''

Or exactly what the field didn't want to hear. Rory Sabbatini predicted that Oakmont will be so difficult that the player who finishes last will be 40 over par -- the equivalent of a bogey every other hole.

''These are the toughest greens we'll ever play in U.S. Open history, or even any other tournament for that matter,'' Els said before the rain storm. ''With the rough and these greens, this is going to be a very, very tough test.''

    Several Golfers Below Par at U.S. Open, NYT, 14.6.2007,






Tiger Woods

Wins Final Masters Tuneup


March 26, 2007
Filed at 12:06 a.m. ET
The New York Times


MIAMI (AP) -- Tiger Woods felt stiffness in his neck from a bad night of sleep on his boat. For the first time in 3 1/2 years, he couldn't break par when he had entered Sunday with the lead. And he played so cautiously on the final hole of the CA Championship that the outcome was in doubt for as long as it took a 50-foot par putt to settle a few feet from the cup.

In his eyes, it was an ideal way to prepare for the Masters.

''You can't have any better way -- getting a 'W' right before you go,'' Woods said after a two-shot victory over Brett Wetterich.

Forget the details and consider the big picture.

He was so dominant at Doral that he didn't have to break par. He built such a commanding lead on a warm, blustery afternoon that the smartest play was to hit 3-iron off the tee, 8-iron to lay up and wedge some 50 feet beyond the cup on the demanding 18th hole.

''It looked easy to him out there today,'' Wetterich said.

Woods said it was a struggle, but he got the momentum he wanted heading into the first major of the year. He won his 31st straight PGA Tour event when leading going into the last round, never letting anyone closer than four shots until the final three holes.

He closed with a 1-over 73, only the sixth time in his career he has won by shooting over par in the last round.

''I figured if I shot under par, it would be over,'' he said. ''Didn't quite get it done, but ended up winning, anyways.''

And everyone knew it.

''If he's not already, he's getting pretty close to being the best golfer of all time,'' U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy said. ''It's fun watching. He's just a better player.''

They can move this World Golf Championship around country and continents, change its name and stick it in a different spot on the calendar. It doesn't matter. Woods still seems to wind up with the trophy.

Woods won this event for the sixth time, more than any other tournament. And while the others are held on courses he owns, Woods is believed to be the first player to win a tournament six times on six courses -- in Spain, Ireland, Atlanta, San Francisco, London and Miami, the latter on a Blue Monster course where he has won the last three years.

''I love this golf course,'' he said. ''And when it was decided that we were going to come here, I just through that this was a wonderful opportunity for me to win the championship.''

He finished at 10-under 278 and earned $1.35 million for his second victory of the year, and 56th of his career.

''He's good on Bermuda, good in wind, good in no wind, he's good on bent grass. He's just a good player,'' Ogilvy said.

Woods won for the 13th time in 24 starts in the World Golf Championships, and he's 11-of-16 when the WGCs are stroke play.

He kept everyone at least four shots from the lead until Wetterich made birdie on the 16th to get within three. Wetterich had birdie putts of 10 feet and 8 feet on the last two holes, but missed them both.

''That's not good enough if you want to try to beat Tiger,'' Wetterich said.

Equipped with a three-shot lead on the 18th, Woods went conservative for one of the few times in his career. He hit 3-iron off the tee on the 465-yard closing hole, laid up with an 8-iron and took the water out of play -- way out of play -- with a wedge 50 feet above the hole.

A three-putt double bogey and a Wetterich birdie would have meant a playoff.

Woods, however, found the perfect pace down to tap-in range, and Wetterich's birdie putt, which he left short, was meaningless. Wetterich closed with a 71.

Robert Allenby ran off six birdies in his first 14 holes and his 5-under 67 was the best score of the final round, the only drama was to see would finish second. Allenby wound up in a tie for third at 6-under 282 with Ogilvy (70) and Sergio Garcia (70), the only player to break par all for days at Doral.

Garcia bristled when asked if he was embarrassed by spitting into the cup after missing a putt on Saturday.

''I apologized already,'' he said. ''Are you embarrassed that I didn't spit today, that you didn't have anything better to ask me? Next.''

Woods' victory comes one week after he took two double bogeys and a triple bogey on his back nine at Bay Hill, and some players wondered whether those scars would be fresh.

Apparently not.

He is 31-1 when leading on the PGA Tour going into the final round, the loss coming in 1996 Quad City Classic when he was 20 and playing his third tournament as a professional.

He led by four shots Sunday, and Woods immediately stretched it with an 18-foot birdie on the opening hole.

But he shoved a 5-foot par putt on the third, then rapped a 50-foot birdie attempt on the next hole some 10 feet past the cup. Wetterich made his 35-footer for birdie, but Woods poured in his par putt.

After another bogey on the sixth, Woods' approach on No. 7 caught the face of the bunker. He blasted out to 5 feet and again saved par to keep rolling toward victory. Consecutive birdies on the par-3 ninth and par-5 10th gave him his largest lead of the round at six, and by then it was matter of finishing the tournament.

''I didn't see anyone catching Tiger,'' Allenby said. ''When he's in front, he's a hard man to beat.''

The CA Championship is the fifth tournament that Woods has won at least three times in a row, and he has won more times at this tournament than any other in golf.

Woods has won 27.5 percent of his tournaments, an astounding rate that even got the savvy Ogilvy doing some quick math.

''He only wins 30 percent of the time he tees it up,'' Ogilvy said. ''I probably only play 13 or 14 tournaments that he plays in a year. I've got seven or eight chances he's not going to win. It's kind of inspiring.''

    Tiger Woods Wins Final Masters Tuneup, NYT, 26.3.2007,






October 31, 1899


Golf: its importance in the Empire


From the Guardian archive


A sportsman

Tuesday October 31, 1899



The type of the hunter is one, the type of the footballer is another, but the type of the golfer, candidly, does not exist.

One can distinguish almost at the first glance the man who hunts, for hunting appeals to one particular kind. Again, the young man who plays football is easily distinguishable from his less fully blooded fellow.

Each of these two sports has its own clearly defined constituency. That they may both attract the same men in no degree weakens the fact. But with golf it is different. It is singulary catholic.

In proof of this it would seem sufficient to refer to the continuous stream of photographs, likenesses of all sorts and conditions of men, which flows week by week in the pages of a golfing contemporary.

Yet even in golf by consistency in habit men group themselves into classes. The division is in no way affected by their play or based on their handicap.

There is one type of golfer who represents too large a class to suggest personalities but is not without his share of human interest. Golf, like everything else, is to him a serious business.

For whatever ostensible reason he has "taken it up", he is determined to make it a success. He is as ambitious and persevering as George Eliot's Tom Tulliver. Nothing can seduce him, nothing can turn him from his purpose.

It is to such a man that success of a kind comes. The studied care with which the grip and stance are taken, the earnest attention to all the attitudes of swing and finish in the preliminary trials on the tee are convincing.

Most strokes are corrected in subsequent pantomime. He talks but little, and then only about getting his left shoulder well down, his left arm straight out, and the discipline of the eye. Any approach to the social amenities is ignored. He simply does not hear you. In a bunker he is grim. On the green he is a study of emphatic, patient concentration. His attitude to his caddy is that of a field marshal to a subaltern; to his opponent passive toleration, with a suspicion of the schoolmaster.

In the clubhouse he is exactly the same. A little conversation, but in the nature of a concession. Over his tea he silently studies Badminton or the attitudes in Golf and Golfers. He may miss much, but he has his certain reward.

He is the admired model of purposeful, persevering industry, and it is some compensation for the lack of the more social qualities to reflect that it is to such men that we owe our Imperial greatness.

From the Guardian archive,
October 31, 1899,
Golf: its importance in the Empire,
republished 31.10.2006,










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