Friday, August 01, 2003

A Golf Story

A friend of mine relates the following story. He swears that it is a true story and I believe him. It goes like this:

At the US Open at Pebble Beach in 2000, Tiger Woods pull-hooked a driver off the 18th tee into the Pacific Ocean. There followed a burst of profanity, for which Mr. Woods was later fined. That's the part of the story everyone remembers.

The part that followed, however, is astonishing. Picture the scene. Woods is standing there on 18 tee. His tee shot rests on the ocean floor. His caddy, Steve Williams, hands him a reload. As he does, he suggests that Tiger hit his two-iron. Tiger says no, he'll stripe the driver, knock it on the green in two, two putt and make the bogey 6. Williams says: "I really think you should hit the two-iron." Tiger says no, the driver is fine. Williams says: "I really, really think you should hit the two-iron." Tiger dismisses him, stripes the driver down the center of the fairway, knocks it on the green in two, two putts, makes his six.

And so the matter died, until a couple of weeks later, when Williams reminded Woods of their debate. "What was that all about?" asked Woods. "It was your last ball," responded Williams.

Incredible as it may seem, Woods only had two balls in his bag that day. Had he hit the reload into the sea, he would have been disqualified from the US Open, a tournament he ended up winning by 15 strokes.