#2 THE OLD COURSE AND THE OLD TIGER
Tiger Woods’ runaway win
at the 2000 Open on the Old
Course made him, at 24, the
youngest to complete the
professional grand slam.
HOW LONG, WE ALL WONDERED,
could and/or would Tiger Woods command the golf world’s stage?
Injuries, followed by erratic play,
follow by embarrassing off-course
revelations, followed by awkward
apologies, followed by piling on by the
tabloid media, followed by divorce, followed by more erratic play followed by
The train was way off the tracks.
But the engine that drove the stories
refused to run out of steam.
Then Woods dropped out of the
world’s top 10, withdrew from this
year’s U.S. Open at Congressional
and at last the hype began to collapse
under its own weight. It was, blessedly, finally time for all of us to begin
to move on.
But it forever will be impossible
to forget all the important chapters
Woods writ so large while dominating his sport for 15 years. This is the
story about one of those chapters that
unfolded during the summer of 2000,
a season when Woods played the best
sustained golf pretty much anybody
had ever seen.
In July at the Open Champion-
ship, when Woods had finished beating
everybody by at least eight shots at the
Old Course at St. Andrews, Tom Wat-
son, a five-time winner of the event,
said this about Tiger: “He’s raised the
bar to a level only he can reach.”
Now Tiger is 35. There’s still time,
and room, for a Woods’ comeback.
Currently imprisoned at 14, he might
even still catch and pass Jack Nick-
laus’ record of 18 professional major
victories. But it is highly doubtful
Woods will ever play back to the rich
vein of form he mined for all it was
worth in June, July and August of the
first year of the new millennium.
... on a routing pocked
with 112 bunkers
(many of them
Woods didn’t set foot
in the sand once.
Confidence, it has been said, is the
strongest legal drug in all of golf. And
Woods turned up at St. Andrews dosed
to the nostrils with an unshakable
belief in himself and his game. That’s
what deconstructing a U.S. Open by 15
shots at Pebble Beach a month earlier
will do for you.