EVENT: The Players Championship, TPC at Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra
DATE: March 27
"When you've got Tiger on your ass, the way we did at the Players
Championship, it's the worst kind of pressure. It's like somebody
putting 300 pounds on you and all you can lift is 285.
"On 16, last round, he makes an eagle and--wham!--all of a sudden
our three-stroke lead is down to a single shot. We know Tiger is
going to hit two-iron on 18, even though it's a pretty long
par-4. I want to make sure our tee shot goes past Tiger's, reason
being, Tiger has a certain reputation--deserved, deserved--for
putting on these shows on the last hole of a tournament. If he's
going to do that to us, we want to be in a position to answer
him. You do that by playing second into the green.
"So I say to Hal, 'Now, Hal, who's the best damn driver of the
golf ball in the whole damn world?'
"Hal says, 'I am.'
"I say, 'You're damn right you are.'
"See, we need to hit driver 'cause driver's the only club in our
bag that we know we can hit farther than Tiger's two-iron. We hit
that driver, and, I'm telling you, it flies right over Tiger's
ball, sails on by it. Then Tiger misses the green with his second
shot. Hal steps up with a six-iron from 187, and it's making a
beeline for the hole. That's when Hal says, real low and strong,
'Be the right club today!' See, it was five-iron distance, but we
hit the six because we were so pumped up. We were just hoping it
was right, and it was. Talking eight feet. Tiger makes par, and
Hal makes par, and we win by a shot.
"I'm waiting on Hal outside the scorer's tent, and Tiger comes
out first. He shakes my hand and says, 'Man, you guys were the
best--this week.' It may not have been Tiger's best, but it was
B/W PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN LANKER
TIGER'S RINGER SCORE--HIS BEST SCORE ON EACH HOLE OVER FOUR
ROUNDS--IN THE U.S. OPEN.
Woods's total when you add up his finishes in every Tour event
he played this year (one for first, two for second, etc., with
100 for a missed cut or a withdrawl). The next best total was
Ernie Els's 390.