Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Woods wins at last but is Tiger “back” this time round?

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“That was a huge win for Tiger Woods today. Our game just got a whole lot more interesting,” scribed world number 11 Dustin Johnson on Twitter on Sunday after his fellow American dominated the field at Bay Hill to clinch the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

This theme is already being discussed just hours after former world number one Woods won his first PGA Tour event since September 2009 after a much publicised fall from grace towards the end of that year and at the beginning of 2010.

Like him or loathe him, there is no doubt the 14-times major champion does wonders for the game of golf. You only had to listen to the raucous crowd chanting his name around the 18th green a few hours ago to appreciate that.

So, will this yield a new era of dominance by Woods? Commentators and experts were abuzz during his final round on Sunday, some saying he is now swinging the club better than when he was winning majors back in the middle of the last decade.

Major drought continues but U.S. in good shape behind Clarke

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If American golf is in crisis then it is a crisis every other nation would like a taste of as the sport’s most dominant country made a determined assault on the 140th British Open at Royal St George’s this week.

They came up short as Darren Clarke secured a third major triumph in 14 months for Northern Ireland but the final leaderboard was otherwise littered with the Stars and Stripes as Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson shared second and Americans filled five of the top seven places and 12 of the top 24.

Ballesteros fighting “for sixth major”

It’s heartwarming to read the interview with Seve Ballesteros in Marca today. The Spaniard had surgery (four operations in total) to remove a  brain tumour at the end of last year and it’s great to see him well enough to give an interview.

He admitted he had found the post-operative treatment “incredibly hard” at times and had had some low moments.

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