亚洲高尔夫月刊
Spencer Robinson's Blog Open Championship: Tiger Scents Major Opportunity
Open Championship: Tiger Scents Major Opportunity
 
 

 
Tiger Woods reacts to narrowly missing a birdie putt on the ninth green. Picture by Getty Images.
Gullane, Scotland (July 19): It may be five years since he last savoured the sweet taste of a Major success. But it would take a brave man to bet against Tiger Woods collecting a long overdue 15th Major crown at Muirfield this weekend.
 
 
 
Striking his irons with authority and expertly managing his game – and emotions – in trying conditions the world number one added an even-par 71 on Friday to his opening 69.
 
 
 
 
And with a two-day total of two-under 140, Woods finds himself just one shot off the pace being set by veteran Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez at the half-way stage of the 142nd Open Championship.
 
 
 
The leading Asian is Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama in equal 20th on 144 with Indian Shiv Kapur equal 24th on 145. Other Asians to make the cut were Koreans YE Yang (148) and KJ Choi (150) and Thai Thongchai Jaidee (150).
 
 
 
“I’m in a good spot,” said Woods who shares second place with Swede Henrik Stenson, England’s Lee Westwood and American Dustin Johnson.
 
 
 
Nonetheless, Woods is refusing to get too carried away. He said: “I just need to continue plodding along. Just continue being patient, putting the ball in the right spots and trying.
 
 
 
“We’re not going to get a lot of opportunities out there, but when I have, I’ve been able to capitalise, and hopefully I can continue doing that.”
 
 
 
One player who will not be in the least surprised should Woods go on to triumph here is Graeme McDowell.
 
 
 
The Northern Irishman has had a front row seat alongside Woods in the first two rounds and has been mighty impressed with what he’s seen.
 
 
 
McDowell said: “I said to him on the 18th green: ‘That was a clinic the last two days – that was very impressive’. He certainly looks like he’s very close to being back. There will be no surprise to me if he’s picking up the Claret Jug on Sunday night. I’m not writing myself off. But it would be very hard for me to beat him at this point if he keeps playing like he’s playing.
 
 
 
“He was very, very impressive the last two days. The flight control he has in his irons – he just hits the shot that you’re supposed to hit at all times. I’m not sure there’s a better iron player in the world. It’s incredible how well he controls his ball flight. I had to double check with Joe, his caddie, that the driver head cover actually had a driver underneath it, because it hasn’t seen the light of day, not even close. He’s using his iron play to devastating effect.
 
 
 

“And he’s putting exceptionally well. I lost count of how many eight, 10 and 15-footers he’s made for par over the last two days, how many comebacks for par, leaving them short, blowing them by. He’s putting them exceptionally well. You’ve got to play extremely well here to score, and I certainly watched how it’s done the last couple of days with TW.”