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It was pretty obvious the moment Eldrick Tont 'Tiger' Woods (his real name) showed a weakness the pack were going to devour the man that had won 14 majors...their 14 majors. His various but controlled bold press conferences worked to a point to clear the air, but this never about his philandering, his people wearily allowing the media the chance to ask him questions on performance enhancing drugs, meaning when he denied it they could print: 'Tiger Woods denies using growth hormone', a banner headline that dominated Masters week for his big return, but more importantly, appeased his detractors. Prince Edward was equally teed up when they asked him if he was gay and he denied it. It's a sneaky tabloid trick that always works.
Although the recent controversy over the escort ladies has damaged his appeal and lucrative contracts with the big companies those new drug allegations could finish him off in the long run, undermining his achievements in the game, losing what sponsors he has left after his dalliances, only Nike sticking with him. A Prominent US newspaper reported that Tiger has been visited by Anthony Galea, a Canadian sports doctor to the stars, his magic briefcase solving many ailments and complaints for athletes and stars alike. The theory is top sports stars fake injury and miss some games and matches to go abroad to have 'new treatments' instead of treatment for the reported injury. Many European athletes have also being seeing mysterious shrinks in various European capitals, quacks that have similar miracle remedies, the horse placenta treatment the most famous. Galea is currently under investigation by the FBI for 'allegedly' providing the drug Actovegin and human growth hormone to athletes. Galea visited Woods at his Orlando home (the one seen on the news) at least four times in 2009 to administer a special blood-spinning technique, and that Woods had responded well to the whacky but legal treatment to speed up his recovery from his various knee operations. There's no suggestion he has administered illegal drugs to Woods but the golfers injuries to his knees over his career are described by some as 'growing issues'. Woods could not give the media the answer why he needed to use this controversial doc for such a straightforward treatment that 1400 doctors could also administer it in America alone for a tenth of the price. When you father was 5ft, 9` and your mum 5ft, 5` and you are 6ft 1`, you have to ask questions how that little tiny Tiger cub we see in the grainy old footage swinging the tiny club with dad could grow so big so quick. The average height of US golfers over 25 years has increased three inches as power took over around the greens guile.
controversy aside Woods has achieved astounding feats in golf and reshaped a dreadfully stuffy sport, hitting it like a dusty old mat and bought young kids from all races to the game. Golf is a white middle-class world full of likewise people who
Pictures of Tiger Woods
Dr Galea- investigated by the FBI!
are more interested in rules, regulations and committees than enjoying the actual sport and drama on show and so it needed Tiger. A black man wasn't really that welcome in that world until Tiger turned up and made the sport billions of dollars and new friends.....and huge TV audiences, trebling those administrators' wages. Tiger is believed to have increased golf audiences world wide by 40% in the last decade alone. After blowing all that stuffiness' away with his well crafted PR image he was set to be sports first playing sports billionaire.
Notoriously aloof to the press, at least with the sex stories we now know he's now human, the same press that had been spoon fed the sanitized version of Woods by Woods to keep sponsors happy not surprisingly vengeful now, although Tiger, deep down, probably relieved to be free of that subterfuge and subliminally and probably why he acted the way he did, no one telling him not to. The idea that Erin didn't know about most of the women doesn't do it for me. I think she stayed put until the prenuptial was ready to pay out like a Vegas fruit machine. Erin is launching her new Nordic fashion line this year off the back of the publicity.
There's also a taboo about those girls Tiger bedded, all white, all blonde, his wife too cut from the same Arian stock. Was part of Tigers internal chaos really about being black in a white mans world and wanting to fit in by buying into the image 100%? Few black sports people marry black partners and a blonde white trophy wife seems the thing to have for ALL rich men of all colors to show they have made it, which is all rather sad. If you look at the Ryder Cup team photo of the wives the American ones are all platinum blondes that look like hairdressers. I worked on the European Tour for a couple of tournaments and it's very stuffy and white middle-class.
It all began with Tiger being the youngest winner of the Masters at 21 years, 104 days old when he won in 1997. In this Masters year Woods also broke the records for the widest winning margin (12 strokes), and the lowest winning score, with 270 (−18). He also won three other events to become world number one after just 42 weeks as a pro; the fastest ever rise to the top. He had also secured $80 million sponsorship deals by his 21st birthday. In 1999 he would win his second major, the PGA Championship, one of eight tournaments he would win that year, his best tally for any golfer since 1976.
His first victory in 2000 was his fifth consecutive on tour and began a record-setting season by winning his sixth straight tournament after being seven shots behind on the last round with seven holes to go at the Doral in Florida. He would win the US Open in 2000 by an incredible 15 shots at Pebble Beach, let alone breaking nine US Open records in the event that year. He would then go on to win three consecutive majors, nine PGA Tour events, and set or tie 27 Tour records. His six consecutive tour wins were the most since Ben Hogan in 1948. At St Andrews he would win The Open on -19 in the same year, the lowest ever score to win a major, joining Ben Hogan as the only other golfer to win three majors in a year. He would finish in the top three of 14 of the twenty events he entered that year. When he won the US Masters the following year he held all four titles, something not even Nicholas had done, the so-called 'Tiger Slam'.
Regaining the Masters in 2002 he became only the third person to do that, joining Nicholas and our very own Nick Faldo. After various injuries and his father's death he returned to form in 2006, passing Ben Hogan's record of 51 tournament wins, including those 12 majors, Tiger up to 54, still behind Arnold Palmers 76. In 2006-07 he became the first golfer to win the PGA back-to-back twice.
After a little dip mid decade (not that kind of dip guys) due to injury he was dominant again. Tiger would win 12 of his 14 majors in this decade. On his 30th birthday he won his 50th tournament, again the youngest ever to do it. In 2009 he would bag his 70th tour win, third in the all-time list.
Those major wins ...
It will be an interesting decade for Woods coming up and you do wonder if he will still be playing golf at the end of it. Golf's previous naughty boy in John Daley was reduced to selling autographed T-Shirts and beer coolers outside Augusta after his third wife filed for divorce, Miranda jumping out of a bush on the fifth tee at another event to serve him his papers.
Tiger watch at the 2010 Masters.....
"If they have a golf course in heaven then this is what it will look like"
(The retiring Gary Player)
Nike, as smart as ever, stuck with Woods and the clever advert released on the first day of the tournament where his deceased dad gives him a ticking off from the grave seemed to do the trick to settle Tiger nerves, shooting an impressive 67, four under par for the opening round, his second shot to the 9th was an astounding piece of club control and bend. What people may not know is Tiger learned how to cheat on his wife from his father Earl, who saw women behind his second wife Tida's back when Tiger was a teenager, breaking his son's heart at the time. This is not to do with Tiger being in a promiscuous family but because most men cheat in their lifetime and so why the fans have forgiven him so quickly, clapping him onto the first tee. If the drugs story is true then it is game over for European fans although American sports fans seem to tolerate steroids in sport.
The 67 would be Tigers best ever opening round in the Masters and his first under 70 and first opener here with double eagle. The biggest surprise of the opening day was 51- year-old Fred Couples leading the thing with 67-year-old Tom Watson second, the smaller generation of greats. But with Tiger sitting level 5th the pack would be grumbling that he's back.
Day two and Woods odds collapse from 6-1 to 7/4, hot favorite. Fred Couples back would give out and Tom Watson was also drifting as the sharks moved up the board. Woods would shoot 69 to stay exactly where he needed to be at the half way point at -6, level 3rd with his big rival and two-time Green Jacket Mickeleson. Likeable Phil is still getting over the shock of both his wife and mother contracting breast cancer, this one for them. It was very pleasing to see Englishman Westwood and Poulter at the top of the board going into round three. The achievement of the day was young amateur Manassero of Italy, just 16-years-old, the youngest ever player to make the cut at Augusta with the lowest ever score of +2. Three Koreans also featured in the top 10, Tigers legacy right there.
For the first time in History there were two Englishman leading the Masters going into day three. But Poulter would fall away and leave Westwood (-12) going out in the final two for the final day, paired with Mickelson (-11) after a spectacular round of 67 with two eagles, the final pairing traditionally producing 19 of the last 20 winners. Tiger, as ever was lurking in 5th at -7. My tip Choi was there next to him on -8.
Tiger was never won a major when he hasn't lead off on the final round and didn't look like he would here until he chipped in for eagle on seven and revved up his failing round. There's no doubt the course was cut for high scoring this year to substitute the likelihood Tiger wouldn't show up. But he did and the golf was attacking all the way with a record number of eagles produced from general play from the competitors over the week.
Approaching Amen corner - which means water and small fast greens to hit - Mickleson and Westwood were locked together at -12, Fred Couples still there and in the hunt, Choi and Woods lurking just three back, a total of seven green jackets between them shooting it out on golf's most deadly turn. On 13 big Phil hit the shot of the day from the pines, over the water, to within three feet for eagle, but only getting birdie, as did Westwood, the turning point for Lee perhaps? Woods three putted from four feet and that was that for him on 13...or not. Kim, also from Korea, posted the clubhouse lead with the highest score of the week with a round of 65 and -12. But Micklesons` birdie kept coming and he was three up with three to go, Westwood just not getting it going on the final day but would birdie on 17, just two down to Mickleson. Choi and Woods, who have been paired together every round, would finish level fourth (-11) behind Kim (-12) in third. But it was not to be for Lee Westwood (-13) and Mickleson (-16) took his third Green Jacket, doing it for his wife and mom. Tiger said he would take a rest from golf. No one believed him.
Position: full sun Soil: well-drained soil enriched with leaf mould or a loam-based ... more
potting compost, such as John Innes no2 Rate of growth: average Flowering period: July to August Flower colour: rich pink and white Other features: excellent cut-flowers Hardiness: fully hardy Lavishly speckled and streaked petals form large (up to 15cm across), highly scented flowers in midsummer. These look magnificent in the border and if cut will fill your home with their perfume. An elegant and eye-catching lily that performs well in the garden. Garden care: Lilies can be planted at any time from early autumn, to mid-spring. Planting in autumn often helps them settle in and become better established before they start to put on their new spring growth, but spring planting is a better option if your soil is heavy and wet during winter. Choose a sunny spot, preferably where the plant receives a little light shade at its base, and plant each bulb 15-20cm (6-8in) deep in a well-drained soil, enriched with well-rotted organic matter or leaf mould. Space them at approximately 30cm (12") intervals and provide support before the flowers appear. Deadhead the faded blooms promptly and cut the dead stems back to ground level at the end of autumn.