Majestic Tiger wins 135th Open Championship

Home

Tournament: 135th Open Championship
Venue: Royal Liverpool GC, Hoylake, Cheshire
Winner Tiger Woods

Just 11 weeks after the death of his father, Tiger Woods majestically returned on Sunday to doing what he does best – winning major golf titles.
In only his third appearance since losing the guiding light of his life, the 30-year-old was in imperious form at Hoylake as he became the first player to make a successful defence of the Open championship since Tom Watson in 1983.
As was the case at St Andrews in 2000 and last year, Woods controlled events as only he of the modern generation seems able – before dissolving into tears in the arms of his wife Elin.
Fellow American Chris DiMarco pushed him almost as hard as he did at the Masters last year, but there was not even to be a play-off this time for the man whose mother passed away only on July 4.
Like a boxer taking one punch and then coming back with a combination of his own, Woods responded to everything his Ryder Cup team-mate threw at him.
With a closing 67, the joint best of the day, Woods missed out on his own 19-under-par major record by one shot and beat DiMarco by two – with Ernie Els three strokes further back in third.
By collecting the Claret Jug for the third time in a professional career still less than 10 years old, Woods took his haul of majors to 11 and now stands joint second in the all-time list with Walter Hagen.
The 18 of Jack Nicklaus – who in 1970 won the Open five months after his father died – remains a long way off, of course. But it is getting inexorably closer and closer.
This was the 11th time out of 11 Woods has taken a least a share of top spot into the final day and converted it into victory.
In all tournaments since he left the amateur ranks, he has done the same 42 times out of 47. They are simply sensational statistics.
Formidable though the challenge looked after his indifferent round yesterday – Sergio Garcia, Els and DiMarco were all only a stroke behind with 18 holes to play – the writing was on the wall from the moment the world number one rolled in a 20-foot eagle putt at the long fifth.
Els, playing in the group ahead, had birdied the hole to draw level – but after Woods’ putt dropped, nobody was to get back on terms.
DiMarco did cut his deficit back to two by two-putting the 534-yard 10th. But – surprise, surprise – Woods did the same.
There appeared only one result at that stage. But when DiMarco made a 25-footer on the 13th just as Woods was bogeying the 12th after missing a green for once there was suddenly the slenderest of gaps between them.
It remained that way remarkably when DiMarco salvaged par from 40 feet at the 14th. Yet when Woods came to the hole – the one where he sank a four-iron for an eagle two on Friday – he fired in another glorious iron to seven feet.
In it went for a two-stroke lead again – and although DiMarco managed a brilliant birdie from the right-hand rough at the long 16th, Woods made an eight-footer for a second successive birdie and made it three in a row by two-putting the 16th.
He was three clear again and, even with DiMarco birdying the par-five last, he was never likely to lose from there.
After an interruption at the 18th when a fan threw powder across the green and was ejected, he safely parred the hole – the putt which would have equalled his own record pulling up a fraction short.
For DiMarco, it was a third runners-up finish in majors. He also lost a play-off to Vijay Singh for the 2004 US PGA championship, but as then there was some compensation for him.
Having struggled with his game ever since a skiing injury at the start of the year, he now leaps from 21st to sixth in the United States Ryder Cup table and should be at the K Club near Dublin in September to partner Phil Mickelson just as he did in the Presidents Cup last year.
Garcia took another step towards securing an automatic place in the European side – but finishing joint fifth was not what he came for, of course.
That makes it 11 top-10 finishes in majors for the 26-year-old, and he has yet to win one.
ALL THE FINAL ROUND SCORES
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72 (x) denotes amateurs):
270 Tiger Woods (USA) 67 65 71 67
272 Chris DiMarco (USA) 70 65 69 68
275 Ernie Els (Rsa) 68 65 71 71
276 Jim Furyk (USA) 68 71 66 71
277 Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 72 68 66 71, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 68 71 65 73
278 Angel Cabrera (Arg) 71 68 66 73
279 Carl Pettersson (Swe) 68 72 70 69, Andres Romero (Arg) 70 70 68 71, Adam Scott (Aus) 68 69 70 72
280 Anthony Wall 67 73 71 69, Ben Crane (USA) 68 71 71 70, SK Ho (Kor) 68 73 69 70
281 Sean O’Hair (USA) 69 73 72 67, Retief Goosen (Rsa) 70 66 72 73
282 Robert Rock 69 69 73 71, Brett Rumford (Aus) 68 71 72 71, Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 68 69 73 72, Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 71 69 70 72, Robert Allenby (Aus) 69 70 69 74, Peter Lonard (Aus) 71 69 68 74
283 Mark Hensby (Aus) 68 72 74 69, Phil Mickelson (USA) 69 71 73 70, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 74 66 72 71, Greg Owen 67 73 68 75
284 Paul Broadhurst 71 71 73 69, Rory Sabbatini (USA) 69 70 73 72, Lee Slattery 69 72 71 72, Hunter Mahan (USA) 73 70 68 73, Jerry Kelly (USA) 72 67 69 76
285 Lee Westwood 69 72 75 69, Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha) 71 68 74 72, Simon Khan 70 72 68 75, Scott Verplank (USA) 70 73 67 75
286 Michael Campbell (Nzl) 70 71 75 70, John Senden (Aus) 70 73 73 70, Luke Donald 74 68 73 71, Rod Pampling (Aus) 69 71 74 72, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 70 71 71 74, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 68 71 72 75
287 Thomas Bjorn (Den) 72 71 73 71, Brandt Jobe (USA) 69 71 75 72, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 67 70 76 74, Stephen Ames (Can) 70 71 72 74, Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 71 71 71 74, Jeff Sluman (USA) 71 72 68 76, Mark Calcavecchia (USA) 71 68 68 80
288 (x) Marius Thorp (Nor) 71 71 75 71, Tom Watson (USA) 72 70 75 71, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 72 71 74 71, Simon Dyson 74 69 70 75, Simon Wakefield 72 71 70 75, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 70 69 73 76, John Bickerton 72 70 70 76, Andrew Marshall 72 71 68 77
289 David Duval (USA) 70 70 78 71, Jose Maria Olazabal (Spa) 73 68 76 72, Mike Weir (Can) 68 72 73 76, Keiichiro Fukabori (Jpn) 67 73 70 79, Tim Clark (Rsa) 72 69 69 79
290 Andrew Buckle (Aus) 72 69 72 77, Graeme McDowell 66 73 72 79
291 Marco Ruiz (Par) 71 70 80 70, Mark O’Meara (USA) 71 70 77 73
292 Chad Campbell (USA) 70 73 74 75
294 Vaughn Taylor (USA) 72 71 77 74, Fred Funk (USA) 69 74 75 76
295 (x) Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 73 70 77 75, Todd Hamilton (USA) 72 71 74 78
296 Bart Bryant (USA) 69 74 77 76
298 Paul Casey 72 70 79 77