Anorak News | Tiger & Scorcher

Tiger & Scorcher

by | 15th, July 2003

‘THE British Open golf championship gets under way on Thursday with Tiger Woods as usual the focus of all attention.

Tiger misses yet again from 190 yards out

For the first time in a number of years, the World No.1 does not have any of the game’s four major trophies in his cabinet – and the more ignorant of the pundits are talking about a loss of form.

This despite the fact that Woods’ win-loss record for the year is actually better entering this tournament than it was in 2000, his annus mirabilis.

For instance, yesterday in the Times, Mark Chapman (apparently a presenter on BBC radio’s 6-0-6) tipped Ernie Els to win ‘because Tiger is out of form’.

Had he had a clue what he was talking about, he would have known that Tiger won his last tournament, the Western Open, by a country mile.

He would also have known that Woods has won in four of his 10 starts on the PGA Tour this year, finished in the Top 5 on a further two occasions and never finished out of the Top 20.

Make no mistake, the other players don’t believe any of this rubbish about a slump – they know that Woods is the player to beat this week.

That said, there are a lot of players (besides Els) who will fancy their chances this week on a links course.

It is probably no coincidence that the British Open is the only major championship that Woods has won only once, his solitary success coming at St Andrew’s three years ago.

Links golf is very different from what most of the players, especially the American players, are used to – and it takes a while to adapt.

Luck, in terms of the weather and in good or bad bounces, plays a bigger part at the seaside than it does on inland courses.

But so does imagination – and that is really what makes links golf and this championship in particular so special.

So for Woods to win, he not only needs to be in control of his game over the four days, but he also needs Lady Luck to smile on him.

If he doesn’t win, however, can we not hear any more absurd talk about the game’s greatest player being in a slump…

Posted: 15th, July 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink