GULLANE, Scotland — Tiger Woods is popular, but it's fair to say he isn't the people's choice this week in Scotland. Lee Westwood is chasing his first career major, and as a U.K. native, the crowds are squarely behind him.
Just ask the man in the Tiger costume.
"I'm rooting for Lee, to be honest," said Clive Kirkham, while sporting a head-to-toe Tiger outfit Saturday afternoon at Muirfield.
As Woods and Westwood played through behind him on the 16th hole, the 56-year-old (pictured) was standing near the ropes all alone, but he said that 11 of his friends were scattered around the course in full Tiger regalia. Saturday marked an annual tradition for Kirkham and his crew; they travel from around the U.K. each year to meet for a buddies' trip at the Open, and every Saturday they attend the event dressed like a player in the field.
"Last year it was Rickie Fowler. The year before it was Ian Poulter," Kirkham said.
In case you were wondering where they purchased their costumes — and why wouldn't you? — Kirkham said they came straight off the rack at Primark, a discount clothing store that's similar to America's Wal-Mart. The sticker price: 12 quid.
"They were cheap as chips," Kirkham said. "And there may be a rush on them after tomorrow's papers."
Kirkham said the group planned to hit the town Saturday night while still in costume, but he also promised that Sunday the group would attend the Open dressed as ordinary golf fans.
"We're just a group of guys having fun," Kirkham said. "The point is to get attention.
"And women love it, obviously."