Why We Miss Tiger At The U.S. Open

A look at Tiger Woods' illustrious past wins at the U.S. Open.

Released on 6/15/2016

Transcript

00:00
(orchestra violins)
00:06
I've known Tiger since he was 13 years old.
00:08
A young, incredibly talented prodigy of golf.
00:11
Who then developed into being
00:13
one of the greatest sports figures in history.
00:16
And when I think of Tiger in the US Open,
00:18
it's like, you want to see Baryshnikov,
00:20
and you want to see Jordan.
00:22
It's a chance to see a great figure.
00:24
When I think of Tiger Woods' first US Open
00:26
in 1995 at Shinnecock Hills.
00:28
Obviously my first thought is that he withdrew
00:30
with a sprained left wrist.
00:31
My second thought is,
00:33
that it reinforced his idea that weightlifting
00:35
and training was gonna become extremely important
00:38
for his longevity.
00:40
The first time Tiger contended in a US Open
00:42
was 1999 in Pinehurst.
00:44
Where he played erratically until the last round,
00:46
and really got it together with some late birdies.
00:48
However, bogeyed the 17th hole.
00:51
Missing an eight foot putt.
00:52
Ended up tying for third.
00:54
So the next year Tiger arrives at Pebble Beach,
00:56
and puts on one of the great performances of his career.
00:58
He wins by 15 shots, he's 12 under par.
01:01
The next closest golfer is three over par.
01:04
He putted incredibly.
01:05
34 one putts, no three putts.
01:07
It was a bravoure performance.
01:10
As good as golf's ever seen.
01:12
The biggest impression I had from him was how calm he was.
01:15
How serene he was that week.
01:17
He had a perfect attitude.
01:18
And that was Tiger at his best mentally.
01:21
Where he could forget and move on and stay in the moment
01:24
better than any golfer in the field.
01:26
It was one of his great advantages.
01:28
When Tiger arrived at Bethpage for the 2002 Open,
01:30
he was coming off a victory at The Masters
01:33
in the previous major.
01:34
He played quite well, he won quite easily.
01:36
At that moment,
01:37
Sergio was considered probably Tiger's future challenger.
01:42
And then in the Sunday round,
01:44
he and Tiger were paired together.
01:46
Tiger thoroughly dominated him.
01:48
Mentally, and certainly with the skills on the course.
01:51
And it seemed to me a turning point moment,
01:53
in terms of Tiger's relationship as a golfer with Sergio.
01:56
2006 Tiger's first major was The Masters
01:59
and he really wanted to win because his father was ailing,
02:02
and essentially dying.
02:04
And Tiger didn't win.
02:06
He finished tied for third.
02:07
He was really disappointed.
02:08
Earl passed away May 3rd.
02:10
He took a lot of time off,
02:11
and he kind of came to the US Open at Winged Foot.
02:14
Not particularly prepared,
02:15
but thinking that he could handle it.
02:17
And turned out that he realized his head
02:19
was not really in it, and he ended up missing the cut.
02:22
The one US Open that stands out for me the most
02:24
when it comes to Tiger Woods was 2008 at Torrey Pines.
02:28
It was a miracle week because after The Masters
02:30
Tiger had his knee cleaned out for cartilage damage.
02:34
And it was discovered that he had a completely torn ACL.
02:38
But Tiger actually played his first round at Torrey Pines.
02:40
It was the first 18 hole round he played without a cart,
02:43
since The Masters.
02:45
Each night he had to get massaged
02:46
by his therapist Keith Kleven to get the swelling out,
02:50
and Steve Williams would get worried about him, his caddy,
02:52
and say, Tiger, you know, are you sure you can keep going?
02:55
And Tiger would give him an epithet and say,
02:57
Steve, we're gonna win this tournament.
02:59
I'm goddamnit, I'm gonna win this tournament.
03:01
But it became kind of a funny theme,
03:03
and a way of sort of cathartically
03:05
getting past all the pain.
03:07
And it was like a rallying cry, a war cry that week.
03:10
He led the driving distance statistics 325 yard average.
03:14
So, while he had great pain,
03:16
he swung through it with great force.
03:18
Tiger comes into the 72nd hole trailing by one.
03:21
He hits his drive left, he tries to come out with an iron,
03:24
and he mis-hits it, hits it fat.
03:26
And gets it over to the right rough about 100 yards
03:28
from the green.
03:30
He wants to hit a 54 degree wedge.
03:33
Steve Williams overrules him and says,
03:35
You've got to hit a 60 degree wedge,
03:37
And swing really hard at it,
03:38
That's the only way you'll ever produce enough spin
03:40
To hold it close to the hole.
03:42
Tiger trusted him.
03:43
He had a great shot.
03:44
It stopped on the green.
03:46
Close, about 12 feet.
03:47
And then Tiger had that putt that tied for the US Open.
03:50
He calmed himself, he hit a great putt
03:53
and luck was with him with winning.
03:54
It's arguably the greatest putt ever hit
03:57
in major championship.
04:00
So Tiger goes on to defeat Rocco Mediate,
04:02
on the 19th hole of the playoff.
04:04
It's his 14th major championship.
04:07
So what we saw at Torrey Pines
04:09
was the most miraculous major championship
04:11
of Tiger Woods' career.
04:13
But it was also, at least for the moment,
04:16
the end of Tiger Woods' winning major championships.
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