Woods looking forward to his year of destiny
Monday 10 April 1995
This will not be through any disrespect, or the nonchalance of a know- it-all 19-year-old, but because he will see it as the latest stage in a slowly unfolding destiny for which he has been fully prepared. The young man has loped intently but calmly through the not undaunting grandeur of Augusta National over the past week as if he had been doing it all his life. The slightly chilling fact is that, in his mind, he has done.
His father has conditioned his son to be ready for every challenge there is in golf. Since before Christmas the youngster has studied videos of every Masters for the past 15 years, using slow motion to study the very bounce of the ball.
Yesterday he completed his first Masters with a round of 72, his third level-par round of a debut marred only by Saturday's 77. If he did not set the world alight, the American amateur champion made a significant impression on a gallery of followers that grew as the tournament progressed, not least because he drove the ball further than anyone else.
While discussing his impending visit to the United Kingdom with a colleague, Woods asked if Royal Porthcawl was very windy. Members of the Great Britain and Ireland team had better hope that when he plays against them there in the Walker Cup in September that there is a swift sou'westerly whipping off the sea. After the first three rounds the Tiger's average drive was 307.8 yards, putting him well ahead of Davis Love's 295.2 and Jumbo Ozaki's 292.8.
His playing partner, Mark Calcavecchia, was 100 yards behind him on the ninth yesterday and there is no doubt that if his iron had been as accurate as his driving he would have finished much higher. He continually dropped shots by hitting through the green.
"I don't know what the trouble is. I was taking a wedge or sand wedge for my second shot on all the par fours and misjudging the distance. I tried to slow my swing down and then I began to be short. If my irons had been right, I might have been in contention," he said.
Between now and his next big test, the US Open in June, Woods will catch up on his studying at Stanford University where his subject is economics and go back to join his college golf team. Professionalism is still a few years off for him but there is still a lot he can achieve even in the unpaid ranks. He does not even rule out the possibility that he could win the Masters as an amateur, "given a few years and a lot of hard work".
He gives the impression that he considers every prize in golf as part of his plan. And he will not be fazed by the pressure. He has dealt politely and disarmingly with more media harassment than Jack Nicklaus over the past week.
"It has been a memorable experience and has given me so much confidence," he told a press conference yesterday. Has it been memorable for anything else beside golf, he was asked. "Is this week about anything else but golf?" young Tiger asked back.
Latest in Sport
Royal Rumble 2015: Roman Reigns triumphs after The Rock returns to set-up Wrestlemania showdown with Brock Lesnar
Google trolls Tottenham with Oxford dictionary definition of 'lackadaisical'
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Floyd Mayweather ends the carnival this week and picks his next fight - but will it be Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'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
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
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
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...
£30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are recruitment for an Assistan...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of design...
£23000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be a part of ...