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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 July, 2005, 19:29 GMT 20:29 UK
Tiger's tunnel vision
By Rob Hodgetts
BBC Sport at St Andrews

Woods has a remarkable ability to shut out everything on the golf course
Tiger Woods sees the world through tunnel vision.

St Andrews, the town, the history, the people - all of it is just a blur at the edge of his gaze.

From the moment Woods arrived on the Fife coast, he had only one thing on his mind.

Nothing and nobody was going to knock him off his path towards greatness.

It did not matter to Woods that a Colin Montgomerie win would send the home crowd, not to mention Monty himself, into delirium.

Woods has embarked on a relentless march reminiscent of the indestructible "Terminators" of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

Dented after two penalty drops on Saturday and bruised by Montgomerie's early onslaught on Sunday, Woods took the blows, shook himself off and got on with the job.

When Woods makes a rare mistake - he is human, but only just - his powers of concentration, determination and iron will pull him back on track.

His length off the tee is a boon at St Andrews, but so is his unwavering ability to manoeuvre the ball into the right places, avoiding the wrong ones whatever the temptation.

Superlative putting helps too, and, combined with his formidable record, it all combines to create what Monty and co might consider to be a supernatural force working against them.

You can always get better
Tiger Woods

Woods' second Open title at St Andrews, and 10th major in all, marks one of the most significant moments in the annals of golf.

As Jack Nicklaus brought the curtain down on his record-breaking career on Friday, so Woods waited patiently in the wings before passing the halfway mark in his quest to better the 65-year-old's 18 major titles.

Woods also became only the second player ever after Nicklaus to win all four majors at least twice.

Nicklaus won his first major in 1962 at the age of 22 and had landed six more by the time he was 30.

He went on to win 11 further majors, ending with a last Masters win at the age of 46 in 1986.

Woods, with wife Elin
Woods has not been distracted by his marriage to Elin

Woods, who won his first major in 1997 aged 21, could stretch his tally to 11 and equal Walter Hagen's mark by the time he reaches 30 in December.

Plenty of nonsense was spoken during Woods' much-publicised two-year "slump" from 2003 to 2004 but the truth is that he was rebuilding, constructing a mark II golf game - more advanced and more indestructible.

"You can always get better. It's a never-ending struggle and that's the fun of it," he said.

Marriage does not seem to have distracted Woods from his destiny on the golf course, and it remains to be seen whether a few saplings will either.

"Usually the golden period for golfers is in their 30s," said Woods.

The rest of the golf world must be delighted to hear he is only just warming up.




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