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Witness: Notah Begay III Presidents Cup teammate

Dec. 18, 2000
Dec. 18, 2000

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Dec. 18, 2000

Sportsman Of The Year

Witness: Notah Begay III Presidents Cup teammate

By Notah Begay III

EVENT: Presidents Cup, Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, Manassas, Va.
DATE: Oct. 22

This is an article from the Dec. 18, 2000 issue

"Tiger and I were at Stanford together, we've played a lot
together, so we thought going into the Presidents Cup that we'd
make a good team. Tiger and I played together three times in the
first two days, Thursday and Friday. We won twice and lost once.
Then on Saturday, against Retief Goosen and Vijay Singh, we got
beat again. We played poorly. The U.S. team was way up, 14 to 6,
but Tiger and I felt that we hadn't done the job. On Sunday, when
I played Retief and Tiger played Vijay in the singles, it was a
chance for some redemption.

"Vijay's caddie was wearing a hat with the words TIGER WHO?
embroidered on the back. I'm sure the caddie thought it was cute.
The majority of players would never allow their caddie to wear
something like that. I'm sure it pissed off Tiger, and that's the
last thing you want to do to. Irritate him and you make him more
focused, more determined.

"On number 4, a par-3, Vijay had a putt, maybe eight feet, for
birdie. Tiger was in with a bogey. All Vijay had to do was
two-putt. Tiger made him putt. I know Vijay didn't like it, and
I'm sure that's what Tiger wanted--to get Vijay a little
irritated, so that he would play better.

"Why would Tiger want Vijay to play better? Because Tiger wants
to beat Vijay at his best. Vijay at his best is going to bring
out Tiger at his best, and Tiger at his best is the best in the
world. If he beats Vijay at the Presidents Cup, when Vijay's
playing his best, it's only going to help Tiger somewhere down
the road. Of course it's gamesmanship, but gamesmanship is part
of golf. Gamesmanship is about getting in another player's head.
To do that you've got to be extremely perceptive and observant,
which Tiger is. He sees everything and files everything away.
He's in the heads of a lot of players.

"He beat Vijay that day 2 and 1. Whether he's got Vijay's number
now, we'll find out. He's not going to beat the Vijays of the
world every time, but he will more often than not."

B/W PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN LANKER

15
WOODS'S MARGIN OF VICTORY IN THIS YEAR'S U.S. OPEN, THE BIGGEST
SPREAD IN THE HISTORY OF THE MAJORS. THE NEXT LARGEST ROUT WAS
OLD TOM MORRIS'S 13-SHOT WIN IN THE 1862 BRITISH OPEN.

12
Strokes under par by Tiger in the U.S. Open, which shattered the
old record by four strokes.