Thursday, December 14, 2017
Golf

Tiger Woods keeps going in wrong direction at British Open

HOYLAKE, England — Tiger Woods was the last to tee off Saturday. He had the biggest gallery. It might have seemed like old times in a major championship, except for one tiny detail.

He was starting on the 10th tee in last place after rounds of 69 and 77. And his third round didn't get much better. He walked off Royal Liverpool with a 1-over 73, leaving him 19 shots out of the lead.

"Made a lot of mistakes," he said.

Woods was 5 over on the opening two holes going into the weekend. He was able to start on a par 5 Saturday, and he opened with a pair of birdies. But he made a double bogey for the second straight day, this time at No. 2. He drove into a gorse bush on the seventh fairway and made a triple bogey for the second straight day.

"I've made two doubles and two triples," said Woods, playing for only the second time since back surgery on March 31. "But on top of that, I missed a lot of shots for opportunities for birdies, and consequently I'm 3-over par."

father knows best: According to the BBC's Andrew Cotter, 10 years ago Rory McIlroy's father, Gerry, and three friends made a legal bet of 400 pounds (100 each, equivalent to $170.87 currently) that the then-15-year-old would win the British Open by age 26. Today, the Northern Irishman will be 25 years, 2 months and 16 days, meaning dad and friends could collect roughly $341,730.

within sight: McIlroy, who's won the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, could join Jack Nicklaus and Woods as the only golfers to win three different majors by the age of 25. … McIlroy would need 66 today to break the 72-hole record of 267 that Greg Norman set at Royal St. George's in 1993. … He would need 68 to break Woods' record for all major championships in relation to par — 19 under at St. Andrews in 2000. … Margin of victory is likely out of range. Old Tom Morris won by 13 in 1862, when the Open was played over 36 holes. But McIlroy would have a reasonable shot at the largest margin for 72 holes. Four players hold that record — eight shots — most recently by Woods at St. Andrews in 2000.

DIVOTS: Jordan Spieth, 20, has played with Woods five times this year — twice at Torrey Pines, twice at Congressional and Saturday. Spieth is 20 shots better than Woods in those five rounds. … McIlroy and Rickie Fowler are the only players to shoot in the 60s all three rounds. … Matteo Manassero didn't register a par until the eighth hole. He opened with two bogeys, four birdies and another bogey at No. 7. But the 21-year-old Italian finished 4-under 68 and was tied for seventh. … No player has blown a six-shot lead on the final day at golf's oldest major.

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