Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Woods Is Just Another Roy Keane

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Woods Is Just Another Roy Keane

Article excerpt


RYDER CUP, schmyder cup - not! Yeah, I know, I pooh-poohed the cup last week. But, like all sports hacks, I'm a liar and a hypocrite. Half-seven on Friday morning, the telly went on - and it stayed on right through to Sunday evening.

Right from the start, the whole event was full of fun and surprises.

Who could have guessed that Colin Montgomery would turn out to be golf 's Mr Chuckles? But there he was, on the very first holes, making wisecracks at spectators.

Butch Harmon, for one, was nonplussed. "I can't believe how relaxed Monty is," he said. "I must have been watching a double every time he came to the United States."

We all must have. There simply wasn't any resemblance between the relaxed, all-conquering superhero of The Belfry and the gibbering, moaning, self-pitying jelly that turns up to US Masters, PGAs and Opens. Even Monty admitted as much when he was interviewed after his crushing win over Scott Hoch in Sunday afternoon's singles.

So what made the difference?

Simple: Monty was part of a team.

He wanted to do well for his captain and his team-mates, and his efforts were rewarded with their admiration and affection. All his introspection and self-obsession disappeared, and with them went the inhibitions that get in the way of his best golf.

Monty may have a talent for an individual game but his temperament is far better suited to team sports.

Compare that, if you will, with Tiger Woods. Here is a man whose entire existence is devoted to the crushing defeat of his fellow professionals. He has absolute concentration, absolute focus, absolute conviction in his own invincibility. And he does it on his own.

Put him in a team and Tiger goes to pieces. The greatest individual player the world has seen becomes an irrelevant sideshow. …

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