`He can do things with a golf ball that I can't relate to'

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The Independent Online
In terms of the impact he can make on the game, he's the most important golfer who has ever played. Tom Watson.

I played with him at the British Open two years ago when he was 19 and I thought his short game was not quite up to standard. I've got to take those words back now. He's a very determined man, he worked his faults and that's why he's No 1. Ernie Els.

He can do things with a golf ball that I can't relate to. Payne Stewart.

He's a fine young man. He has become a major superstar and his privacy is very limited now. I don't think that if I was 21 years old I could handle it as well as he has done. Mark O'Meara.

Augusta is made for one Tiger Woods and if he doesn't win the Masters every second year I'll be very surprised. At Troon this is more of a level playing field. Colin Montgomerie.

He shot 11 out of 12 rounds over par in a stretch and everyone was saying "What's gone wrong with Tiger?" That's going to happen, that's inevitable. Then, sure enough he wins the Western Open. He's great for the game. He's a good kid. He tries to come off sounding mature to the Press but when he's talking to me he's a 21 year old. Mark Calcevecchia.

The holes Woods needs to birdie he birdies. When he's in a position to win he very rarely goes backwards. Frank Nobilo.

Cut away the all the hype and Tiger is a nice young guy, he's good to be around with. All the other stuff that comes out is a little much at times but he's the real deal, I can tell you. He's going to be a hard guy to beat for the next whatever. Steve Elkington.

He has the potential to dwarf the impact that Jack Nicklaus and I made. Arnold Palmer.

The only way I can create such arm speed is when I drive with my elbow hanging out of the car window. Nick Faldo.

Tiger is the best player in the world by some margin. If the winds blow strong he could struggle because he hasn't got the experience of the conditions but if it stays calm his fluid, natural game and formidable mental strength will mean he can win the Open. Ken Brown, former Ryder Cup player and Sky television commentator.

He is learning about his game every day. I'm not taking anything away from amateur golf, don't get me wrong, but when you go out there day in day out against 140 players who can really play you learn about yourself. Tiger is constantly improving. Nick Price.

He's good enough to deal with any weather and any golf course. Greg Norman.

He's just going to get bigger, fellas. Earl Woods (his father).

From Young Tom to a hungry Tiger

Tiger Woods, the youngest winner of the US Masters, could become on Sunday, at 21 years and six months and 21 days, the youngest winner of the Open this century. Seve Ballesteros currently holds that distinction and was 22 years, three months and 12 days when he won at Lytham in 1979.

Woods would also become the third youngest winner of all time. Willie Auchterlonie was 21 years and 24 days when he became champion in 1893, but the record is held by Young Tom Morris (pictured). The son of three- time champion Old Tom Morris, Young Tom was 17 years, five months and eight days when he won at Prestwick, the adjoining course to Royal Troon in 1868.

Three years before Young Tom had become the youngest-ever competitor in the Open. When he won the Championship Belt for the third successive time in 1870 the event lapsed because Morris was allowed to keep the trophy. A silver claret jug was purchased when the Open was restarted in 1872 and Young Tom won it again.

Described as the finest player of his time, Morris died, supposedly of a broken heart, only three days later at the age of 24 on Christmas Day 1875. His wife had died a few months earlier while the two Morrises played in a match at North Berwick against the Park brothers, Willie and Mungo.

Old Tom played in each of the first 36 Opens, up until 1896, and when he died in 1908 he was buried alongside his son in the graveyard of St Andrews Cathedral.

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