'I bottle things up but at the end it all came pouring out'
Monday 24 July 2006
Tiger Woods and Chris DiMarco, united by the recent loss of a parent and only separated yesterday by the majesty of Tiger's play, both paid emotional tributes to their lost ones here last night. Tiger's father, Earl, died of cancer in May. DiMarco's mother, Norma, died suddenly from a heart attack on the Fourth of July.
Sitting in the press conference tent, with the claret jug on the table in front of him, Tiger was asked whether his celebrations would take any special form given the nature of this win, his first since Earl's passing.
"This jug will be filled up, I'll tell you that," he said. "With a beverage of my choice. And not just once." He would not disclose what his tipple was. Nectar perhaps.
Of his extraordinary outpouring of emotion at the 18th green, where he wept after sinking his final putt, he said: "I don't know where to begin to explain what I was feeling. Excited. Worn out. So many different emotions. It all came out.
"I've never done that before. I guess all the things I've gone through lately. I bottle things up, try to move on, but at that moment it all came pouring out.
"I was bummed after not winning the Masters [in April] because I knew it was the last major my dad would ever see. It's a shame he wasn't able to see this today, but I know he was here with me.
"He was out there today keeping me calm. I had a very calm feeling the entire week, especially today. He thoroughly enjoyed watching me grinding out major championships."
Tiger arrived in the tent just as DiMarco, and his bereaved father, Rich, were leaving. There was a touching moment as Tiger halted for a quiet word with Rich.
"I know my mum would have been proud of me today," DiMarco said. "I miss her and I love her, and that's the hard part, knowing I'll never see her again. But when I close my eyes, she's there. And it helps that I know she was a big part of what happened out there today."
"There was a lot of divine intervention out there," he said. "I felt Mum was looking down on me. For some reason I played the back side of the course well all week and I made a bunch of putts."
Speaking of the thrill of playing against Tiger, he added: "It pumps me up. If you can't be up to face the best player in the world in a major, you can't ever get it."
DiMarco said of the manner of Tiger's victory, especially his hat-trick of birdies at a crucial stage on the back nine: "He's a hard guy to catch. He has an uncanny ability, when someone gets close, just to take it up to another level."
The heavens, they call it.
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