In the aftermath of his father's death and a missed cut at the U.S. Open, Woodsreasserted his dominance in the post-Earl era.
Day 3 featured superb play, including a 65 by Sergio García, a 66 by Jim Furykand a tense showdown between Woods and Ernie Els.
A group of players who'd had disappointing seasons coming into the Opensurprised the field by performing well: Els (below), García, Retief Goosen,Robert Allenby and Jerry Kelly.
Woods used his all over Royal Liverpool, getting just enough distance whilekeeping the ball in play, possibly doing for the long iron what Todd Hamiltondid for the hybrid at the 2004 Open.
July 30, 2006
On TV, Hoylake looked like a Texas muni with a broken sprinkler system, but thehard, fast conditions made for interesting strategic play.
He opened with a listless 77, then sparkled in the booth with his wit andstories and insights from his pairing with Woods.
With his wife, Amanda, expecting the couple's third child, Leonard pulled outof the Open, the only major he has won (1997), and was in Dallas to see thebirth of son Luke on Sunday.
Coming off the disappointment of his U.S. Open meltdown and weeks of intensivepreparation, Phil could not hit the shots he needed.
Except for a brief period when Chris DiMarco closed to within a shot, the finalround was one giant anticlimax.
Some players who came in on a roll and were expected to contend for the claretjug had disappointing weeks: Colin Montgomerie (left), David Howell, VijaySingh and Padraig Harrington.
Tiger took a divot out of the longer-is-always-better school of golf by lettingthe big dog starve while going 18 under par and winning his 11th professionalmajor.
The presumptive color of the game took a backseat during the tournament,showing up only in small random patches that looked strangely out of place.
The cable net missed the calming voice of Ernie Johnson, whose absencenecessitated an extra helping of Bobby Clampett (above). Calling CharlesBarkley?
With wife Carminita expecting their first child, Immelman rolled the dice anddecided to play, but after his son, Jacob, was born on July 18, he raced homeon the Tour's jet with his tail between his legs.
• For the bestphotos from the British Open go to SI.com/golf.