The Reuters global sports blog
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.
“Luuuke” screamed the crowds during the hustle and bustle of a weekend at Wentworth. For good reason. Donald was showing the galleries, TV viewers and his fellow professionals how to play the game.
Methodical rhythm in mind, I took to the course then range on a hot summer’s Monday and tried to replicate it, much like over a month ago, when, inspired by Bubba Watson’s US Masters win, I thought it best to go and swipe at the ball paying little attention to technique. That didn’t work.
Follow all the action and excitement of the Masters with our team of reporters and photographers at Augusta National as Tiger Woods goes in search of his fifth Masters title while a host of rivals, including Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and world number one Luke Donald seek the famous green jacket for themselves.
“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.
Tiger Woods returned to competition at last week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in the Arizona desert under increasing pressure to clean up his game and his on-course demeanour.
Although he showed distinct signs of improvement in the latter category, his week ended abruptly when he was eliminated by Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn after 19 holes in the opening round.
Tiger Woods returned from a five-month absence with a blistering first round at the U.S. Masters and we continue to live blog his bid for another win here. Join us for hole-by-hole coverage, commentary, discussion and on-the-spot analysis from the Augusta National.
The eyes of the golfing world will be firmly fixed on Augusta National at 1400 local (1900 GMT) on Monday when four-times champion Tiger Woods faces the media ahead of his highly anticipated return to competition at this week’s U.S. Masters.
It will be the first appearance at a news conference by the disgraced American world number one since his private life unravelled at the end of last year amid revelations he had a string of extra-marital affairs.
The world’s number one golfer has finally announced his comeback date but it is unclear whether Tiger is completely out of the Woods yet.
Woods told ESPN on Sunday that he didn’t have a clue what sort of reception he would get from the galleries on his return at next month’s U.S. Masters, admitting he was a “little nervous” about the prospect.
The long wait is nearly over. Tiger Woods, missing from golf since allegations about his private life emerged late last year, will return to the sport at the U.S. Masters tournament in early April and start the long process of rebuilding his reputation.
“The Masters is where I won my first major, and I view this tournament with great respect. After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta,” he said in a statement.
“Tiger plans to discuss his past and his future and he plans to apologize for his behavior. While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally a matter between he and his wife, he also recognizes that he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him. He also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends and that’s what he’s going to discuss.”
That was the email sent by Mark Steinberg, Tiger’s manager, setting up the world’s best golfer for his return to the public eye after he went into hiding following those revelations about his personal life.
Spectators who were fortunate enough to be at Augusta National for the final round of the 2009 U.S. Masters will never forget the experience as the birdie roars returned to the undulating, par-72 layout with a vengeance.
On a sun-kissed spring afternoon in Georgia, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods led the way with a sizzling display of shot-making, charging into contention after starting the last day seven strokes off the lead.