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Sunday, 18 August, 2002, 23:44 GMT 00:44 UK
A victory for golf?
Rich Beem's victory surprised many golf fans
Rich Beem defeats world number one Tiger Woods to claim the USPGA Championship at Hazeltine.

Will Beem's win inspire the rest of the chasing pack?


This debate is now closed.


World number one Woods was unusually not in control heading into the final round and had to produce something special to win his ninth Major.

And Beem took full advantage, buoyed by an eagle at the 11th, to hold his nerve despite Woods' blistering finish and claim his first Major.

Is it good for golf that Woods has not won his third Major of the year?

Or is it only a matter of time before Woods claims all the Majors in the same year?


Well done to Rich Beem - he played brilliantly. However, I think Tiger was equally impressive. After he bogeyed the 13th and 14th, he did not fall apart but birdied the last four holes - he shows incredible mental strength, as well as ability, to always be able to produce such quality play when the expectations on his shoulders are immense.

Likewise, Beem showed mental toughness and the ability to get into the "zone" and stay there. If the rest of the top players, as many of the writers below have said, are afraid of Tiger it proves only that they do not have the mental strength to compete.

However, I think that is very harsh - I think many of them are not so daunted or psyched out as people suggest - it is just that they do not enjoy the consistency of form that Tiger does. Tiger is a golf freak - seeing his talent as a bad thing for golf is like saying Mozart was bad for music.
Lawrence, New Zealand

I bet no-one remembers that Rich Beem played with Tony Jacklin in the first two rounds of the 1999 Open - both major winners at Hazeltine!
Neil Hagues, England


The nearly-guys should realise that they have the potential to challenge if they concentrate on their own game
Derek Barclay, Scotland

It was nice to see Beem win the tournament. However, if he was paired with Tiger, the pressure plus Tiger keeping an eye on him would have forced him to be more conservative.

The funny thing is, most of these unknown players win the PGA tournament but, unlike the Masters and US Open, their games fade very easily when going for risky shots, as Beem did in the PGA tournament.
Isaacs, USA

Tiger Woods is a great golfer - no doubt about that. He has the best technique in every department of his game. But there are two other reasons why he wins so much.

Firstly, look at his personality on the course. He is solely focusing on himself. Every time you here Montgomerie, Ernie, Mickelson and Garcia speak they compare their game to his. Maybe these nearly-guys (with the exception of the classy Ernie Els) should realise that they have the potential to challenge if they concentrate on their own game.

Secondly, the level of competition is undoubtedly weaker than fifteen years ago - then you had Woosie, Seve, Bernard, Sandy and Nick all challenging week in week out. Now it appears that the challenger who takes on Woods every week is someone different - a successful week but no consistency into the next month.

Golf was far better to watch in the eighties and nineties - the guys had better personalities and it was a delight to see them play.
Derek Barclay, Scotland


People loved Tiger, now we knock him because he is the best
Chris Hutcheon, Scotland

Beem's victory is great for the sport and himself; he proved that Tiger can be beaten, but Tiger was two shots behind him when he started so technically he should have won.

Why is it that when you're young and have never won an event you're loved like Tiger once was, but now he has won loads, people want to see you knocked down?? Do we not like success? Are we jealous of other people's achievement?

It happened to Stephen Hendry, David Beckham, Nick Faldo and probably even Jack. People loved Tiger, now we knock him because he is the best the sport has ever seen.

It happens to all top sportsmen, it's like we are just sitting waiting for then to fall from grace. Which I find extremely unfair.
Chris Hutcheon, Scotland

Nice to see that smug grin wiped off the Tiger's face for once - he thought he had done enough to win it. The American public's partisan support of the favourite (in just about all sports) does sometimes annoy a little. To Rich Beem - well done old boy
Tony, UK

I think this is great for golf. It was starting to get a bit boring seeing Tiger winning every major, but "Beemer" has shown the rest that he's beatable and this must inspire all those golfers who are seen as also-rans in the majors.


Tiger isn't always going to win, even if he is deservedly the over-whelming favourite
Tim, UK

My tip for another major within three years is a young Irishman called Richard Dunbar from Portadown - a young golfer with a very big future!
Wayne Kennedy, Armagh, N. Ireland

'Rich'ly deserved victory - good for golf no doubt - Els and co need to learn a few lessons.
Jaideep Singh, India

Well done Rich Beem! Whilst Tiger Woods' achievements are already legendary and he is a phenomenal golfer, I can't help feeling that his record is as good as it is because of the 'fear factor' and the other top players being so much in awe of him.
Mike Harrison, Wakefield, England

To talk of a victory for golf is a ponderous claim to make. Undoubtedly Beem's victory is a great result for him, and a reminder to the field (if they needed one after the Open) that Tiger isn't always going to win, even if he is deservedly the over-whelming favourite.

There are so many variables in this great game, not even Tiger will always triumph. One outcome ought to be a lessening of the silly obsession we've had with Tiger's chase for the Grand Slam (which is entirely made up anyway).
Tim, UK

Great for golf and great for Beem. Tiger, as always, magnanimous in defeat, but who would bet against him getting his clean sweep of majors in the coming years?


As Beem proved, the lesser-known can do it too
John Kicinski, Wales

I hope Rich Beem avoids the 'one-hit wonder' label which Paul Lawrie carried on his shoulders post the '99 Open until his recent victory in Wales but, I feel that he may be basking in his one and only well-earned glory.
Iain, Scot in US

I'm not sure Woods will ever win the calendar year grand slam. There are simply too many great golfers on the tour and, as Beem proved, the lesser-known can do it too.
John Kicinski, Wales, UK

Good or bad for golf, who cares. The guy deserved to win and played like a true professional, I say congratulations...
Nick Allum, England

Woods won't win all the majors in the same year. Holding all the trophies at the same time was a phenomenal achievement and it won't be repeated. That's good for the game and for Woods - it leaves him a world to conquer.
James Kovacs, US

Beem's win is certainly good for golf. There's no doubt Tiger is a great player, and possibly the best ever. But the game isn't just about Tiger - and the current approach in the US suggests that Tiger is bigger than the game!

Examples: fans moved aside a huge boulder in one tournament that was in Tiger's way - did the media comment or criticise Tiger for allowing them to do so? It wouldn't have happened for any other golfer.


I fear that TV - and the golfing authorities - are in danger of conceding too much to Tiger
John Maguire, USA

In the PGA play-off in 2000, Tiger hit a wayward drive well into the trees - yet we watched on TV how someone ran into the undergrowth and threw the ball back out onto the fairway. Did the media discuss this incident; was there any suggestion that Bob May was robber? Certainly not in the USA.

These days, whenever Tiger is in a tournament, the TV always shows his name as close to the top of the leaderboard as possible. For example, if Beem is at -7, Love at -6, and 6 others at -4, then tradition has it that the player who has played the most holes appears nearer the top of the leaderboard. Does that apply to Tiger? No!!!!

I fear that TV - and the golfing authorities - are in danger of conceding too much to Tiger, in pursuit of the holy dollar!! I like the guy, and he's a great golfer...but...it's not good for the game! Just one man's view!
John Maguire, USA

Tiger has been great for the game of golf, but his winning all of the majors is not. Rich Beem's win is encouragement to all of the world's professional players to go at Tiger with all they have and make him work harder to succeed.

Golf is best served by a very competitive match every week, including the majors.
John Baize, USA


Any sport needs good competition in order to survive
Mike, Germany

A great result for golf in general. Of course it would be great for Tiger to win, he has revolutionised the game of golf in many respects. However, Rich Beem has had a 'rags to riches' story unfold in many ways in the last three months, never mind the last three years.

This can only be good for the game - Tiger Woods is undoubtedly the world number one, but who wants to see him win 20 majors before he is thirty? Any sport needs good competition in order to survive. Tiger will be back. He will win the Masters in next year's first major!
Mike, Germany

It's a dismal result for golf, because it's another example of a one time winner. Beem won't win again. It would've been good if someone like Mickelson or Garcia had won.
Robin Greenall, Mexico

Yes, it is good for the game. But forget Tiger, what happened to the rest of the pack? It seems like they were resigned to being second or third best. Rich Beem certainly showed them that if you believe in yourself, even the best of the best can be vanquished.
Dee, Zambia

Well done Beem! His second shot on the 11th to within eight feet of the hole was the best of tournament. You have to admire Woods' incredible competitiveness to make four birdies in the last four holes, but at the same time Beem's nerve and intelligent play showed us that Woods isn't always the best on the day. A great day for golf.
Mark, Hong Kong


Beem has shown others that it is possible can take on Tiger in the heat of the final day battle and win
David Miller, UK

It is a good thing for golf that he won - simply because of the manner in which he did it. He shot 68 under the most extreme pressure. He played attacking golf to get himself into contention on the final round and then had the courage of his convictions to close out the competition.

He has shown others that it is possible can take on Tiger in the heat of the final day battle and win. He won with style, playing great golf, and deserves all the credit he will surely get.
David Miller, UK

It was good to see Woods fight for the title and play amazing golf in the process. However, like David Toms before him, Beem showed a steel nerve and great confidence to win. That will inspire the rest of the Tour Professionals.
Peter Barlow, Scotland

Well done Rich Beem. It is good to see someone who can play the course and not be put off by Tiger Woods. He showed both the physical and mental strength to be a winner, and we will see him at the top in the future.
Noreen Tattam, England

Beem's win was great and showed so-called better players how to play against Tiger - simply play your own game and the course.
Ashley Wood, UK


Beem's victory was a triumph of cool nerve and concentration
CT, UK

Golf is the winner. Too often we have seen Tiger Woods railroad opponents on the final day - it seems that as soon as his name is mentioned the leaders collapse. Maybe now other golfers will realise he is not infallible and can be beaten.
Stewart Smart, United Kingdom

Beem's victory was a triumph of cool nerve and concentration. He has proved to some of the brighter lights in golf that Tiger can be beaten if you can concentrate on your own game and ignore the pressure he exerts. Hopefully now we'll see the other top players competing more regularly.
CT, UK

Sometimes I think that Tiger's rivals are a little scared of him. I just hope this proves to the other top players that Tiger can be beaten - even when he finishes with 4 birdies.
Mark Ashcroft, England

If his win doesn't inspire the others then maybe they should listen to Beem's tips! He claimed that clenching his stomach muscles helped him relax and free nervous tension from his upper body during the final round. Perhaps others can learn from this, as they seem to be clenching their buttocks when Tiger is about! Well done Rich!
Ian, UK


Beem's win is like a breath of fresh air
Neil, Germany

It is pleasing to see an outsider win a major, but why is Tiger's dominance seen as a bad thing? He has raised the level of competition to a new level and has increased interest in his sport like no one else could.

The way he played the closing four holes on Sunday was pure sporting excellence and could not have been achieved by anyone else on the planet. I hope he wins lots more majors - it's not his fault that his competition can't keep up.
Alex Brouner, London, England

This will only help the other golfers see that they are responsible for allowing Woods to dominate golf. Beem has shown that if you concentrate on your own game you can reap the rewards, whereas in the past too many golfers have resigned themselves to losing before hitting their first ball. Well done Beem.
Bal Gahunia, UK

Beem's win is like a breath of fresh air - it's just not interesting if you know that Tiger is going to win every time before a tournament even begins.
Neil, Germany

It is good for golf that Woods was not handed the title. This shows that with mental toughness and self belief, anyone on the pro tour can win a major if their game is in tune. No more excuses, please.
Rhys Jaggar, England

Beem's win is as good for golf as South Korea beating Italy in the World Cup was good for football - it makes a nice change, but doesn't change the world order. It was a fluke and I'd put money on him hot getting any more majors. Like South Korea, his memory will fade and the Tiger will reign supreme for many years to come.
David Richardson, Scotland

I'm not happy that Woods lost today, but I like it when someone new wins a major in a sport that's dominated by one name. Maybe this could be the genesis of a new phenomenon in Golf. Well done Beem!
Lester, US


Beem takes title

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