EVENT: U.S. Open, Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
DATE: June 17-18
"On Saturday I was waiting on the 1st tee for the round to
begin. Tiger comes up the steps that lead to the tee, and he's
laughing and joking with his caddie, very loose, very relaxed.
Then he gets on the tee, puts his right hand on the headcover of
his driver and starts staring down the fairway. The smile is
gone. The eyes widen. Just staring, for a full two minutes. I
had never seen that kind of concentration. People are yelling,
'C'mon, Tiger! You can do it!' I don't think he heard a word of
"Then on the 3rd hole he hits his second shot short of the hole,
near a bunker. The ball sinks in the grass. He says to me, 'I
think my ball is embedded.' If it's embedded, he gets a free
drop. There's an intensity in his voice. He knows how he wants
this to come out.
"I say, 'Mark your ball, lift it and test the dirt with a finger.
If the plane of the dirt--not the grass, but the dirt--is broken,
December 18, 2000
"He tests it. He says, 'I think it is.' I say, 'Let me have a
look.' I put my finger down there. I say, 'It's not.' He doesn't
say a word. Replaces his ball. Hacks it out. Makes a triple
"On Sunday we're back on the 1st tee. He says hi. Doesn't say
anything about the ruling. He does his two-minute stare again,
plays his final round, wins the U.S. Open. I congratulate him,
and he says, 'Thanks, that means a lot. But I sure would have
liked to have gotten that drop yesterday on 3.' Twenty-eight
hours later and after winning the Open by 15 shots, he was still
thinking about it. I was under the clear impression that he
wanted to win by 18."
The year Tiger will be eligible for the Senior tour and get a
chance to become the only player to win the four major USGA
titles (junior, amateur, open and senior).
THE NUMBER OF MAJORS IN WHICH WOODS HOLDS OR SHARES THE SCORING