Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tiger Strays into Unfamiliar Terrain

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tiger Strays into Unfamiliar Terrain

Article excerpt

Byline: By Frank MalleyThe Journal

Tiger Woods lost a golf ball yesterday for the first time in a competitive tournament - but didn't lose his nerve.

Most golfers who had sliced their first tee shot into the sort of terrain which could have hidden a herd of wildebeest en route to an opening seven would have emerged with confidence shattered.

The world No 1, however, went on to record a round of 73. Not great, but respectable enough to leave him handily placed in the 132nd Open championship at Royal St George's.

Indeed, rarely can Woods have been more delighted to have finished a major round at two over par, his mood buoyant after battling back from the most brutal of beginnings.

"It was frustrating but I had to bear down and be focused," explained Woods. "You can shoot yourself right out of it but I tried to be as patient as possible. There were 17 more holes to get it back and I am pleased to have hung in there. I really grinded myself around.

"Anytime you start off the way I did and get back to two over it's good. I kept myself in the tournament."

If come Sunday night Woods were to wrap his arms around his second Old Claret Jug he would surely look back with pride on the way he recovered from that first hole, which was about as black as his attire on a day when showers, punctuated with sunshine and the stiffest of breezes, scudded across this Kent coastline.

His lost ball produced a frantic search - Woods, playing companions Sergio Garcia and Britain's Luke Donald, all three caddies and around 30 or so officials and television personnel clawing and pawing for the ball while a marshal in a flat cap set the clock going for the obligatory five minutes discovery time.

Former England footballer Gary Lineker, working for the BBC and a man not unaccustomed to sniffing out a ball in a tight spot, joined in. …

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