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July 24, 2006 - Image 16

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-07-24

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16 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 24, 2006 SPORTS
Woods captures third British Open, 11th major

HOYLAKE (AP) - Tiger Woods bottled up
his emotions when he buried his father in May.
Even as he stalked the brown, baked links of
the British Open on Sunday, his steely focus
never wavered.
Until he tapped in his final putt.
That gave him his third claret jug, his 1lth major
championship, but the first victory he couldn't
share with Pops.
And that was all too much for him.
"I saw this coming last night," said Steve Wil-
liams, the caddie and confidante who stood with
him at Earl Woods's gravesite. "He played at
the Masters, and it was the only time I saw him
try too hard. Today, there was a calmness about
him. No doubt he wanted to win this for him."
Woods plucked the ball from the cup after a 5-
under 67 gave him a two-shot victory over Chris
DiMarco. With his face awash in sadness and
satisfaction, he thrust both arms in the air and
screamed, "Yes!"
He buried his head in Williams's shoulder, sob-
bing uncontrollably, chest heaving. Tears streamed

down both cheeks as he hugged his wife, Elin, for
the longest minute.
The emotions that poured out of him on the 18th
green were as inevitable as his victory at Royal
Liverpool.
"I've never done that," Woods said. "But at that
moment, it just came pouring out. I was pretty
bummed out after not winning the Masters, becauseI
knew that was the last major he was ever going to see.
That one hurt a little bit. Andto getthis one ... it's just
unfortunate he wasn't here to see it."
It sure would have looked familiar.
Woods was ruthless as ever, running his record
to 11-0 in the major when he has the lead going
into the final round. And when DiMarco closed to
within one shot with a mixture of birdies and a 50-
foot par save, Woods fired off three straight birdies
to put him away.
"He's got an uncanny ability, when somebody
gets close to him, to just turn it up another level,"
DiMarco said.
Woods became the first player since Tom Wat-
son in 1982-83 to win golf's oldest championship

in consecutive years.
He captured his 11th major at age 30, tied with
Walter Hagen for second on the career list, one
step closer to the 18 professional majors won by
Jack Nicklaus, the benchmark that drives Woods.
"He knows how to win these things," said Ernie
Els, who shot 71 and finished third. "And it's going
to be tough to beat him now."
It was only the third time Woods has played
since his father died May 3 after a brutal bout with
cancer. Some questioned whether he could regain
his focus after taking nine weeks off, especially
after his 76-76 at the U.S. Open to miss the cut for
the first time in a major.
Some took issue with his strategy for Hoylake,
hosting a British Open for the first time in 39 years.
Woods hit driver only once - on the 16th hole of
the first round - instead staying well short of the
bunkers and relying on iron play so impeccable
that his caddie kept a list of all the shots his boss
missed during the week.
It was a short list, indeed.
There was that 6-iron that missed the 14th green

on Thursday, a 7-iron into the bunker at No. 7 on
Saturday, and the 4-iron that went long and left at
No. 12 on Sunday, leading to his only bogey of the
final round.
It was his 49th career victory, and the $1.3 mil-
lion for first place put him atop the money list and
pushed him over $60 million for his career.
The next stop for Woods is the PGA Cham-
pionship at Medinah, near Chicago, where he
won in 1999.
Woods now has three British Open titles, the
same as Nicklaus, and his victory at Hoylake
carried another comparison. The first major
Nicklaus won after his father died in 1970 also
was the British Open.
What would Earl Woods have thought of
this victory?
"He would have been very proud," Woods said.
"He was always on my case about thinking my way
around the golf course and not letting emotions get
the better of you."
He didh't. Not until he had the claret jug firmly
in his grasp.

LANDIS
Continued from Page 15
the Champs-Elysees. "He proved he
was the strongest, everybody wrote
him off."
Landis becomes the third American
to win the world's most prestigious bike
race, behind Armstrong and three-time
winner Greg LeMond.
Landis learned discipline at an
early age.
His devout Mennonite parents, Paul
and Arlene, shunned organized sports
and were all about hard work. That,

in turn, was passed onto their six chil- with The Associated Press last week.
dren. Landis didn't have much idle "I don't blame them for thinking that it
time, helping his dad at the car wash, was absurd that you want to ride your
fixing washing machines and mowing bike that much."
the lawn. Though he learned key lessons from
Though the family had a car and Armstrong - for example, how to
electricity in the house, they adhered build a team around a single rider -
to a simple life with no television or he insists his drive was different from m
radio. ' Armstrong, a cancer survivor. Fewer
As he grew up, Landis wanted some- U.S. flags lined the famed Paris avenue
thing more - and biking provided the for the finish this time, perhaps an
escape. indication that Americans didn't think
"Riding my bike wasn't the problem, there was much of a chance for victory
it was just that I got obsessed with it," without Armstrong. HP PH
Landis recalled during an interview Landis showed them. Floyd Landis proudly displays the American flag after winning the Tour de France.

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