Streaker and steward taint Tiger's special moment

While the drama of Carnoustie last year will never be forgotten, Tiger Woods' victory in the 129th Open Championship was about history in the making. Long before Woods arrived at the ancient setting at the 18th hole of the Old Course the contest had lost its competitive element, but that did not mean the finale to this year's championship was incident free.

While the drama of Carnoustie last year will never be forgotten, Tiger Woods' victory in the 129th Open Championship was about history in the making. Long before Woods arrived at the ancient setting at the 18th hole of the Old Course the contest had lost its competitive element, but that did not mean the finale to this year's championship was incident free.

As Woods accepted the traditional acclaim as the "champion golfer of the year", a female streaker pranced on the 18th green. "It's a shame," said Woods. "I wish I could have walked up there and had that special moment and not have it interrupted, I don't feel great about that. I had to gather my thoughts and make sure I two-putted to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish."

With a par at the last, Woods set a new major championship record score to par of 19 under, a new St Andrews aggregate of 269 andbecame the third champion to complete four rounds under 70.

An even more distasteful incident occurred as spectators attempted to leap across the Swilken Burn. One steward took it upon himself to start throwing people back into the burn.

"It was just awful," said Hugh Campbell, the chairman of the Championship committee. "That was unacceptable. We will make sure we look at the incident when we review the whole championship.

"The hardest part of the chief marshal's job is always controlling the crowd on the 18th and, on the whole, it works better than when Nick Faldo had to fight his way through the gallery in 1990. We had many discussions about the 18th but we hoped the Swilken Burn would act as a natural barrier."

There was a record crowd of 230,000 but quite why at least four people, of various sexes, during the week should wish to disrobe on the links is puzzling. "I think it is mindless," said the secretary of the Royal and Ancient, Peter Dawson, "and the way to get rid of it is to ignore it, not give them the publicity they want."

But Campbell, who gave the whole event "98 ticks out of 100", admitted it raised serious questions. "If it is easy for a streaker to get on to the course, I don't need to extend that thought. Security is a major problem when you are trying to patrol 120 acres.

"But I don't believe these are spontaneous acts. They are orchestrated and to protect 100 per cent against it would not be in the spirit of the Open. Hopefully, Tiger's tainted moment will fade into insignificance when he wakes up this morning with the claret jug.

"We had record crowds and the arrangements we put in place seemed to work. We would only go to an all-ticket situation as a last resort as it would immediately establish a black market. One of our main tenets is that we have an open Open. Anyone who is good enough to play can enter and anyone can come and watch."

Campbell's other concern was the slow play on the first two days. "It is a problem exacerbated at St Andrews with the double greens and double fairways. There was no problem on the final two days so the size of the field must be the cause. But to cut the field to 120 all-exemptplayers is another thing we would only do as a last resort."

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