Golf: Woods alone in class of 62
Sunday 29 August 1999
The result was the conversion of a two-shot deficit into a five- shot lead, the eclipsing of Fred Couples' earlier 63, and the extinction, for this tournament at least, of Sergio Garcia's pretension to his mantle.
In the first couple of days the two sensations were paired together. As Woods was quietly putting himself in position for his Saturday move, Garcia was in under the trees, behind the trees, everywhere but inside one of the trees. Sometimes he could not even see Woods for the trees. It is a measure of the man's magic that he kept pace.
Come yesterday he did so again - until Tiger came to what is often, for very good reason, called the turn. At the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th and 16th he fired in short irons that left him birdie putts of no greater distance than eight feet. He converted five of them and found himself five ahead. Indeed, about the only blemish in his round was the six-footer for a 61 he missed at the last..
Garcia, meanwhile, was his usual entertaining self, sinking a couple of long putts for birdies, but then, at the 15th, finally tangling with the trees one time too many. It cost him a shot and suddenly a romp was turning into a hard day. It became even tougher at the 18th when a topped seven-iron from the rough went all of 20 feet on the way to a double-bogey six.
It was proving a similarly arduous day for Carlos Franco as he saw shots slip away and his second-round lead comprehensively overtaken. But, being raised in serious poverty in Paraguay, he is unlikely to describe any day among the trimmed lawns of the Firestone Country Club as hard work.
Hailed as this year's Tour "overnight" success by virtue of winning twice in his first year, he is, in fact, 34, and toiled for years on the Japanese circuit. He hails from a country that has just three golf courses and, just to add to the degree of difficulty, is a Paraguayan who communicates with his American caddie in Japanese. He, too dropped a shot at the last, and is now six behind.
To win, Franco would need Woods to have a series of brainstorms. There would also then be the little matter of overcoming the combined might of the two Ryder Cup sides. Or to be more accurate, one of them. The other one, the one from Europe, was - Garcia apart - less than than illustrious, averaging more than two shots a man worse than the US team in the first two rounds, and only marginally improving on that in the third.
Paul Lawrie let slip a share of the overnight lead as he dropped shots on the front nine; the Masters champion, Jose Maria Olazabal, brought up the rear, thanks to a second round 80; Lee Westwood had a 70 to remain six over par; Jarmo Sandelin had a 73; Darren Clarke and Jean Van de Velde were so far back that their sub-par rounds of 69 and 68 respectively were barely relevant.
Indeed, Europe had only one player in a 41-man field in the first 14. Come back, Nick Faldo, all is forgiven.
Latest in Sport
Royal Rumble 2015: Roman Reigns triumphs after The Rock returns to set-up Wrestlemania showdown with Brock Lesnar
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? TV details and full card
Brighton 2 Arsenal 3 player ratings: Did Tomas Rosicky's performance and goal make him man of the match at Amex Stadium?
Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Glen Johnson to stay; Fabian Delph move goes up in flames; Marc-Andre Ter Stegen for loan deal
Brighton vs Arsenal match report: Tomas Rosicky inspirational as Gunners avoid scare
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 2 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Office and HR Administrat...
£25000 - £26500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The On-Site division of the UK'...
£200 - £250 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...