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Tiger Woods' new love affair
Ahead of Thursday's start of the British Open on Scotland's Carnoustie course Tiger Woods has publically declared his love affair with The Beast as the tough 71-par course is known.
Tiger Woods is attempting to become the first player since Australian Peter Thompson (1954 - 1956) to win the world's oldest tournament three times in a row.
"I miss my family, of course. But I love the Open in Carnoustie more than any other tournament because you can be as creative here as nowhere else on the world."
He dismissed reports that he was losing some of his focus over his family. "It is simply wrong to suggest that I could lose my focus to such an extent that it could prevent me from winning.
"My critics have always found a reason for possible weaknesses. First it was my engagement, then my marriage and now my child. They always find something."
Tiger Woods' love declaration is bound to have ensured him a fair share of the support of the 130,000 fans who are expected to watch the third of this year's four Majors.
But Tiger Woods is certainly not the only crowd favourite and many are hoping that European hopefuls like Ireland's Padraig Harrington, England's Luke Donald and Justin Rose, local favourite Colin Montgomerie or Spanish star Sergio Garcia can finally reclaim the title that has been in non-European hands since 1999, when Scotsman Paul Lawrie achieved a famous victory.
The winner of the tournament will pocket 1,11 million euros (1,52 million dollars) of the total purse of 6,24 million euros.
Tiger Woods is taking the tournament seriously - as he has all 12 previous victories at a Major. He is expecting tough opposition for the Claret Jug from golfers like world number two Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk (three), Ernie Els (four) or Vijay Singh (six).
After finishing second at the two other Majors this year (Masters and US Open) Tiger Woods is hoping to top the leaderboard again. "If the swing stays, the short game at the greens is good and the putts are right, I need only to put that into practise at the tournament," he said.
In 1999, when he finished no better than seventh, he renamed the course Car-Nasty. Strong winds and high grass on the roughs had made the competition unfair and ridiculous, he said at the time.
Tiger Woods will have read weather forecasts for the weekend with some trepidation for if the winds blows from the east and the rain comes down the course could well show why it is called The Beast.
Read more at www.bangkokpost.com
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