report from St. Andrews: moving day, Day 3

mulligan, 16 July 2005, Comments Off on report from St. Andrews: moving day, Day 3
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I’ve followed Tiger Woods plenty of times in the States. Today, it was a quite different experience: the fans at St. Andrews were overwhelmingly cheering for the Scottish hero Colin Montgomerie. I don’t know how many times I heard “C’mon Monty!” today. At the beginning, I’d say it was 90-10 percent fan support, Monty-Tiger. By the end of the round, after the heat and probably many beers, the fans were far more boisterous in favor of Monty — probably 95-5 percent. Unfortunately, some fans starting cheering when Tiger made a bogey on the backside. The fist pump — or overhand right — Tiger threw on 17 when he saved par probably was in part a response to the boisterous crowd.

Retief had a great round (66) today to go -9, and Ollie posted a nice 68 to pull into second at -10. Monty played pretty well, and seemed to have great momentum after birdieing 9 and 10. At that point, Monty was -10, only 1 behind Tiger. A bogey on 11, and a squirrely drive on 12, derailed some of that momentum for Monty. Like Monty, Tiger played up and down today. Tomorrow will be a horse race, with many big names within contention.

Some chip shots about Day 3:

1. Drivable par 4s: Today, there were 3 drivable par 4s — holes 9, 12, and 18. If the same holds true tomorrow, these holes can be pivotal. Monty got some major momentum by driving hole 9, right after Tiger stuck his drive in the gorse. Both Monty and Tiger drove 18 to make birdie.

2. Micro-climates: The temperature and wind can change dramatically by hole and by the minute. Tiger and Monty started out with a brisk, chilly wind — much harder than the morning times. But, over the course of the 18 holes, the wind and temperature changed back and forth between summer like and slightly chilly. At the very end, it was windy, but very hot.

3. Hard to see: Being the oldest golf course in Scotland (if not the world), St. Andrews wasn’t made for modern spectating. Given the parallel tracks with front and back nines adjacent to (if not on top of) each other, fans can really only stand on the outside perimeter. This means one side of the hole is cut off from spectating for just about every hole. So just imagine when all of Scotland was following Monty today — the lines were at least 5 rows deep and oftentimes 10 deep. Oh, and I forgot to mention the exceedingly large entourage of TV crew (with Andy North), photographers, foreign and UK press, and marshals following Tiger’s group. Some of the marshals were attired in Nike gear, but only in Tiger’s group — what’s up with that? Sometimes, you just have to depend on the crowd noise to determine the shot, good or bad.

4. Keep your eyes open: So the surprise of the day for me: I was waiting at the crossover for the fairway to get to 11 green. The marshal had us roped off, and the wait seemed to be a long time. I was kind of dazed or daydreaming, waiting there in the heat, but then I looked up at the pants worn by the woman in front of me: It said “Carin K,” meaning the designer (Carin Koch, I’m assuming), and made in “Sweden.” Then I looked up at the blonde hair and Nike hat and sunglasses, and then down at the Nike shoes. I had been standing behind none other than Mrs. Tiger Woods for about five minutes.

Day 3 Leaderboard
-12 Tiger
-10 Jose Maria Olazabal
-9 Monty, Retief
-8 Sergio, Brad Faxon
-7 Vijay, Michael Campbell
-6 John Daly, Sean O’Hair, Soren Hansen, Sandy Lyle, Darren Clarke, Kenny Perry, Maarten Lafebar

Full Leaderboard here


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