The Reuters global sports blog
from Photographers' Blog:
By Jeff Haynes
The U.S. Open is always one of the toughest events of the year to work. As photographers working a golf tournament we have to deal with more challenges during a week of golf than we might during the whole rest of the year. Weather, Tiger, blisters, Tiger, hills, Tiger, tight leader boards, Tiger, long days, Tiger, a sore body, Tiger, fog, Tiger, marshalls, Tiger and 155 other golfers not named Tiger.
Working with three outstanding Reuters’ photographers - Robert Galbraith, covering what he figures is around his 80th Major Golf Tournament dating back to the 1982 U.S. Open where Watson and Nicklaus battled at Pebble Beach, Matt Sullivan and Danny Moloshok - made this a very enjoyable week. Each day these guys came up with amazing photographs telling the story of the day.
Luke Donald’s complete dominance of Wentworth’s brutal West Course has led the world to sit up and take notice, while his chanting fans have also made their mark.
Not that people were not aware of Donald before, just that his latest victory and the fashion in which he won Europe´s PGA have raised his profile in his native England and made him the golfer to beat again.
Inspired by Bubba Watson’s brilliance, beautifully encapsulated in that wedge from the pine needles on Augusta’s feared 10th hole en route to winning the Masters on Sunday, I took to the range for a good old clout of the golf ball rather than worrying about a textbook swing.
Ugly noise. Ball darts off right. Left-handed kid receiving a lesson two bays away, who when asked who his favourite player was replies “Bubba Watson”, hits it better with the same club (7 iron).
“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.
Rory McIlroy became the second youngest number one golfer on Sunday after Tiger Woods when the Northern Irishman survived a final-round special from the 14-times major winner at the Honda Classic in Florida.
Golf is in fine fettle. 22-year-old McIlroy can do no wrong, Woods is showing signs of a resurgence and the pair will meet again at next week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship in nearby Doral for another elite-field event.
There was no first full-field event win for the first time since November 2009 for Tiger Woods despite starting the final round of the Abu Dhabi Championship tied for the lead, but at long last the future seems bright for the 14-times major winner.
Englishman Robert Rock could barely believe what he had achieved in seeing off Woods in the final round to claim his second European Tour victory. It was a heart-warming triumph for the lesser known players who battle each season just to keep their tour-playing rights, galaxies away from the world Woods inhabits.
The photos depict it, Rory McIlroy’s been saying it, now it’s up to the Abu Dhabi Golf Club to confirm that at long last, Tiger Woods is happy and fighting fit again.
That the 14-times major champion should choose the European Tour’s first big event of the season to make his 2012 debut in favour of one of his favourite courses at Torrey Pines in California is one thing.
from Tom Pilcher:
So, those statistics. 25 tournaments entered, two money list titles (he became the first person to win both the PGA Tour and European Tour order of merit honours in the same season), four victories, 19 top 10s (including wins), and three top 20s. Crucially however, no major title.
The Spaniard’s flare and touch were what stood him apart, and here follows reaction from his friends and rivals. There will never be anyone quite like him again.