Over 40 days, GOLF.com is rolling out Tiger Woods’ 40 biggest moments. Our ranking started on Nov. 21 and will culminate on Dec. 30, which is Tiger’s 40th birthday. That’s 40 Tiger moments. In 40 days. Ranked. Click here to learn more about our list.
Tiger’s 40 Biggest Moments: No. 18 – Winning 2000 British Open at St. Andrews
In preparation for this millennial Open, the R&A had deepened and steepened the fabled bunkers at the Old Course, which doesn’t mean that they’d actually Tiger-proofed the track.
A little more than a month after blowing away the field by 15 strokes at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Woods winged into St. Andrews and stripped the home of golf down to its studs.
He went around on Thursday in 67, then tacked on scores of 66, 67 and 69 en route to a 19-under tournament total that was eight strokes clear of the closest competition, runner-ups Thomas Bjorn and Ernie Els.
By claiming the Claret Jug, Woods, then 24, became the youngest player ever to complete the career Grand Slam, snatching the honor from Jack Nicklaus, who was 26 when he pulled off the trick.
Parroting Bobby Jones, Nicklaus had once noted that Tiger played a game “with which I’m not familiar.”
No one else at St. Andrews had seen his likes before.
“He’s the best who ever played,” Mark Calcavecchia said. “And he’s only 24.”
Added Bjorn: “Somebody out there is playing golf on a different planet.”
Otherworldly as it was, Tiger’s performance was also largely uneventful. He racked up big red numbers without making an eagle. A three-putt on the second hole on Saturday gave him his first bogey of the event.
As for those steepened bunkers, they punished other players, including Tiger’s Sunday playing partner, David Duval, who required four strokes to escape the Road Hole bunker on 17. But they didn’t bother Tiger, who completed all four rounds without ever once finding the sand.
Check back on GOLF.com every day until Tiger’s birthday on Dec. 30 for a new moment in our [email protected] countdown.
No. 22: The Apology Press Conference
No. 25: Signs First Deal With Nike
No. 27: Winning Back-to-Back Masters
No. 30: Ugly Breakup With Steve Williams
No. 33: Relationship With Lindsey Vonn
No. 35: A Shot in the Dark at Firestone
No. 36: Television Debut at Age 2