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Woods Again? ``Well, May Be Not This Time``

Posted July. 19, 2001 08:15,   


The golf gamblers declared that Tiger Woods would win the US Open last month with the probability of 100 percent.

But Woods had been out of the leader-board throughout the four rounds, and finally recorded 3-over-par 283 to share the 12th place.

Can Woods win his second consecutive title in the third major tournament this year, the 130th British Open? The British Open will raise its curtain with the first group`s tee shot at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Course in Lancashire, England at 3:00 pm (Korea Time) on 19th.

Unlike last month`s championship, since there is a discrepancy in the prospect of the winner candidate, this tournament has drawn much attention.

The US authoritative sports magazine, `Sports Illustrated`, analyzed that Sergio Garcia (Spain) has more possibility to win than Woods at Royal Lytham. And the Britain`s BBC marked Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) as a most plausible winner.

Meanwhile, Retief Goosen (South Africa Republic) who won the US Open last month in the playoff would also be the dark horse.

These three golfers, who has mainly played in the European tour, have in common that they do not have `the Woods-phobia`. Moreover, they are used to the links-course (seaside golf course).

Bjorn is the very hero who reversed the game in the fourth round at the Dubai Classic at the beginning of this year. The two-title holder in US PGA tour, Garcia is the fearless `Woods killer` who had beaten Woods in the face-to-face match. Especially, Goosen has maintained his best condition, winning the Scottish Open Championship just four days ago, whose course state is very similar to the Royal Lytham.

However, `the most excellent golfer without major title` Phil Mickelson and `the usual victim of Woods` David Duval, have not been counted on the winner candidate because of their `Woods-phobia`.

Ernie Els (South Africa Republic) who can hit the long shots comparable to Woods, and Davis Love III (USA) are also in the same state as Mickelson and Duval.

Woods has consecutively failed to advance the top-10 in three tournaments since the US Open.

The direction of the sea wind is so whimsical at the links-course, people used to say that the Royal Lytham is unfavorable to the long-hitters.

Hence, the experts prospect that the Woods`s second consecutive victory will be determined according to whether he can use properly his formidable major weapon, `Stinger Shot`. The `Stinger Shot` refers to Woods`s long iron shot, flying low in 5m on the surface up to the 100m from the target spot.

``If Woods`s Stinger Shot flies to the aimed direction through the gust, the rest golfers will fall into the gallery``. Much attention has been given to whether the forecast of an expert can hit the mark.

Ahn Young-Sik ysahn@donga.com