Tiger Woods, 2000 & 2005
Major CV: With 14 titles under his belt, Woods is recovering his form and fitness after a difficult few years. However, he’s a double winner at St Andrews and will be hopeful of clinching the hat-trick. He also won at Hoylake in 2006.
St Andrews moment: He didn’t go in a single bunker in 2000, won by eight and set a new Open Championship scoring record (269, -19, £500,000 prize money). In 2005 he led all the way, finishing with 274 (-14, £720,000 prize money) and beating Colin Montgomerie by five.
Why is St Andrews so special?
It’s the Home of Golf. It’s my favourite course and I fell in love with it the first time I saw it. I played every single hole into the wind in 1995… what a great golf course! To be in with a chance of winning you have to try to putt or make a putt from 40, 50ft. That’s just the way it is playing St Andrews. I have the greatest admiration for this course, its conditions and history behind it. Every time I play it, I learn something new. There are mounds and bumps and sometimes you can’t get a ball close to the pin from 100 yards. It’s about the whole history of the place, going to the museum and seeing what the players had to deal with, what they played with, the history of the Old Course, how they used to play it, why it was changed to 18 holes. These are the things that are so neat and make it so enjoyable to come here and experience a piece of history.
What is your favourite hole?
I hate to pick a favourite hole, but walking up 18 with a lead at the Home of Golf is a pretty amazing feeling. The 17th, especially with the wind coming off the left, is among the most difficult holes I’ve ever played.
What would be your stand-out St Andrews moment?
Completing the career Grand Slam in 2000 at St Andrews is one of my favourite memories. To walk up 18 with the crowd cheering and yelling and have my fellow Tour pros following along was just incredible. I’ll never forget it. Also, to get the job done with four straight rounds in the 60s in a Major championship is very special. This is as special as it gets. The home of golf. This is it.
Is today’s Old Course too short and easy for the modern game?
No, in my view it’s stood the test of time. People say all you do at St Andrews is aim left and hit it. That’s not the case. If the