Ninety-eight players in this year's field are exempt from qualifying. Fifty-four players made it to the field by winning qualifying matches.
Woods' practice round on Monday (July 14) was mobbed by the biggest gallery of the day (some 400). One of his playing partners, Mark O'Meara, said:
"He's excited about playing here. This is the type of golf he
likes. He likes to play knock-down shots and creative shots.
"If he plays the way he can, there's no reason he can't contend
for the championship. His confidence is high.''
"If he plays the way he can, there's no reason he can't contend for the championship. His confidence is high.''
Bookmakers in England have odds that Woods will win at 5-1. UPI also reports: "Other than Woods at 5-1, the current odds for the favorites include Colin Montgomerie at 9-1, Ernie Els at 10-1, defending champion Tom Lehman and Greg Norman at 12-1 and Nick Faldo at 16-1."
HOLE PAR YARDS ---- --- ----- 1 4 364 2 4 391 3 4 379 4 5 557 5 3 210 6 5 577 7 4 402 8 3 126 "The Postage Stamp" 9 4 423 -- --- Out 36 3,429 10 4 438 11 4 463 Palmer says "the most dangerous hole I've ever seen" 12 4 431 13 4 465 14 3 179 15 4 457 16 5 542 17 3 223 18 4 452 -- --- In 35 3,650 == ===== Total 71 7,079The British Open courses are "links" courses, traditional fairways, greens, and rough that formed out of nature. Unlike the American "park" courses, links courses look more barren, and less green. Often, there are fewer trees, if any. Golf started on wind-swept courses like Troon.
UPI reports that Tiger came out "attacking" the course, but was bent back by the brisk, blowing wind on the back nine. He took a triple bogey on the par-4 11th, but recovered to hit two birdies over the last three holes.
Colin Montgomerie, who considers Troon his home course, shot a 5-over 76.
The final leader board:
Darren Clarke 32-35--67 4-under Jim Furyk 32-35--67 Fred Couples 31-38--69 2-under Justin Leonard 34-35--69 Greg Norman 32-37--69 Angel Cabrera 35-35--70 1-under a-Barclay Howard 32-38--70 Davis Love III 32-38--70 Andrew Magee 34-36--70 Jesper Parnevik 36-34--70 Tiger Woods 35-37--72 1-over
Tiger also bogeyed the third and fifth holes, according to Reuters.
The leader board at the end of the second round:
Darren Clarke 67-66--133 9-under Justin Leonard 69-66--135 7-under Jesper Parnevik 70-66--136 6-under Fred Couples 69-68--137 5-under David Tapping 71-66--137 Jim Furyk 67-72--139 3-under Tom Kite 72-67--139 Angel Cabrera 70-70--140 2-under Mark Calcavecchia 74-67--141 1-under Jay Haas 71-70--141 Davis Love III 70-71--141 Tom Watson 71-70--141 Tiger Woods 72-74--146 4-overRight now, it looks like Darren Clarke's tournament to lose. The 28-year old from North Ireland is displaying amazing form, and with 13 shots up on Tiger Woods, Mr. Clarke looks like he's going to escape Tiger's claws this tournament.
According to UPI, Tiger claims "I can still win. I was 13 shots behind at Pebble Beach this year with two rounds to play and I almost won." Brash but true. When I tuned into the final day at Pebble Beach earlier this year, I was amazed to see him 5-back from the leaders, since he was most assuredly out of it based on Friday night's scores.
The leader board from this year's Pebble Beach Pro-Am:
1. Mark O'Meara 67-67-67-67 268 T2. David Duval 65-71-62-71 269 T2. Tiger Woods 70-72-63-64 269However, I don't recall Tiger saying that he was going to make a big comeback at Pebble. He just did it.
Reuter's quoted Tiger as saying: "If you take away those two bad holes (from the first two rounds), I'm three under. So I'm not playing that bad. I just happen to have had two bad holes."
Tiger shot a record-tying 64 at Troon. Greg Norman was the last player to shoot a 64 at Troon in 1989.
Tiger's round was extremely highlight friendly. His score card:
Out 4 4 4 5 3 5 4 3 4 36 Woods 3 3 4 4 4 4 3 3 4 32 In 4 4 4 4 3 4 5 3 4 35 71 Woods 4 5 3 4 3 4 3 2 4 32 64UPI reports that his round included a bounced ball of a little girl's head on the 7th, but the ball found its way on the green, and he took a birdie. The girl was taken off the course for further examination, although UPI reports she was not seriously hurt.
Trouble on the 11th seemed to cloud Tiger's round. He found himself in danger, but his fourth shot on this par-4 rolled to within two feet of the hole. He made the bogey, and then took the stroke back with a birdie on the 12th.
On the 16th hole, Tiger's approach shot was a driver, and he rolled it onto the green, and by draining the 15-foot putt, he carded his first eagle of the tournament, putting him at 2-under.
On the 17th hole, he hit a 4-iron off the tee, but his ball found the left spectator area, a trampled down lie, leaving him with an uphill chip play. A par seemed in the making, but instead he holed out his pitching wedge bump and run, making a birdie to put him at 3-under.
In the end, Tiger totaled an eagle, and seven birdies, passing 39 players with his third round heroics, surely shaking the knees of the bettors who have odds on Tiger at 40-1 starting today's round.
Darren Clarke, on the other hand, had a tough round, shooting a 71, after getting himself into trouble a few times. He relinquished his first place position to Jesper Parnevik, who shot a 66.
Jesper lost a heartbreaker in 1994's Open to Nick Price. Jesper took a risky 18th hole shot with his driver, and eventually made a bogey. Afterwards, he told the press that he failed to notice that he was in the lead by two shots over Price, and if he had played a safer shot, perhaps 1994 could have been his first British Open win.
The third round leaderboard:
Tot 3Rd Jesper Parnevik -11 66 Darren Clarke -9 71 Fred Couples -6 70 Justin Leonard -6 72 Jim Furyk -4 70 Eduardo Romero -4 67 Stephen Ames -4 66 Tiger Woods -3 64
He carded a 74 today, and finished even for the tournament, tied for 24th.
UPI reported that the little girl who got hit by Tiger's errant tee shot on the 7th in yesterday's third round is Vanessa Black. She is fine, and is in possession of the infamous ball.
In a dramatic finish, Justin Leonard's game held up to the Sunday pressure, and he won with a 65 in today's round. His putting was fantastic, including a 12-foot birdie on 16 after a bad chip shot, and a 35-foot birdie on 17 which put him the lead for good. He finished two shots ahead of Jesper Parnevik and Darren Clarke.
Justin Leonard maintains the streak of 20-somethings winning the majors this year, at the age of 25. He is from Dallas, TX, and this is his third title as a professional.