Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why Tiger Is the Real Special One

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why Tiger Is the Real Special One

Article excerpt

Byline: By Tim Taylor

It's four weeks to the day until the start of the Masters. That's around the same time golf clubs stage their season's first comps.

Whether you're a county star playing off scratch or a long-handicap hacker feeding off unfulfilled optimism, you've got the same warm glow of expectation football fans get around the middle of July.

Except we're going to be doing it rather than watching it. And some of us are waiting for weather warm enough and dry enough to tempt us out on to our practice grounds.

This year will be our year and we read anything which works for the top pros. Which brings us round to the events of last weekend.

David Toms says he had "a lot of fun" on Sunday. Good for him.

But in having his fun the Ryder Cup star has highlighted a mindset which Masters champion Tiger Woods simply cannot comprehend.

Toms lost the Ford Championship in Florida after three-putting the final green.

It meant Woods, playing in the group behind and only one ahead when he drove into the rough on the same hole, could bogey and still land his third win in five starts this season. Anybody can three-putt, but what happened just before the first of those putts is the issue.

Toms, three behind Woods at the start of the round, had played the first 17 holes six under par.

But neither he nor his caddie had looked at a leaderboard all day. Coming to that final green Toms maintains they did not know whether he was in front, behind or level.

Or indeed whether the total he had to try to beat was by someone already in the clubhouse or still out on the course.

And then along comes television commentator Mark Rolfing.

Toms explains what happened like this. "I didn't see a board all day, but I could tell it was close by crowd reaction. Once I was on the green in two, I asked my caddie `How are we doing?' and he said `I think we're a few shots back.'

"He didn't even know because he had not looked at it either. Rolfing came over and told us we were only one shot back and Woods was in the rough.

"I think it was a mistake because I went from knowing I had to hit good shots to all of a sudden just trying to two-putt. …

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