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Tiger Woods Draws Media Focus at St. Andrews

Tiger Woods is the focus of the British media at the Open Championship Tiger Woods is the focus of the British media at the Open Championship

With the Open Championship at the famed St. Andrews set to take place this week, the British media get their first chance to interact with Tiger Woods since the sex scandal that rocked the golf world last year. Woods is still struggling to regain his pre-scandal form, while fellow golfers like Phil Mickelson head to Scotland looking to capture one of golf’s biggest prizes.

Woods is trying to stay focused on golf amidst his personal turmoil. The world’s top ranked golfer has so far avoided questions about his impending divorce and his composure in the face of his personal trials while in Scotland.

To date, eight consecutive majors have been played without Tiger winning any of them. He missed two of those while taking time away from the game to deal with his family crisis and trying to rescue his tarnished image, but played in the other six. The winless streak is the third longest of Woods’ career and threatens to continue.

That said, Woods is slowly finding his form again. Only he and Mickelson finished in the top ten in each of this year’s previous two majors, which gives them both a psychological edge headed in the Open Championship. Woods tied for fourth in both the Masters and the U.S. Open, while Mickelson won the Masters.

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell will be looking to add his name to a very short list of golfers who have won the U.S. Open and the Open Championship in the same year. Legendary golfers Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, and Bobby Jones along with Tiger Woods form that exclusive group.

Woods is grabbing the majority of golf headlines this week, as usual, but the course at St. Andrews itself is also making news. The famous 17th hole, best known as the “Road Hole,” has been lengthened by 40 yards. In the modern era, golf courses are expanding all the time, but for a hole that has been played at 455 yards since 1900, the expansion to 495 yards has raised eyebrows.

The infamous six-feet deep “Road Bunker” has made approaching the green a daunting task for any golfer since even before this year’s change. In fact, when Woods won his championship at St. Andrews in 2000, he shot two over on the 17th. The new changes put a twist on an already treacherous hole.

Tiger Woods has historically had great success at St. Andrews, but to win the 2010 Open Championship, he’ll have to set aside all the media attention and the personal distractions that have plagued him lately. Meanwhile, the likes of Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell will look to capitalize on any of Tiger’s shortcomings and pull out their second major championship of the year. Will this be Tiger’s return to form, or is the completion of his comeback still in the future?

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Last modified on Friday, 01 July 2011 10:14

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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