10 years onMay 20, 2018 History
A decade ago Tiger Woods won his 14th and latest major title in spectacular fashion. Steve Carroll revisits his finest victory
If Tiger expects Mediate to go away in the play-off, he is surprised.
Leading by three after 10 holes, his rival birdies three in a row from 13 to 15 and holds a one-stroke advantage down the last.
But, just like the day before, Mediate can only par and Woods birdies to force sudden death. A par at the 7th brings to an end an exhilarating tournament.
Woods: I don’t know how it even got this far, but I’m very, very fortunate to have played 91 holes and then come out on top.
Mediate: I threw everything I had, everything I had. He had to burn the last to stay in it again and he did it. He’s remarkable. But I hung. I came out there in the middle, was three back, and I really didn’t play that poorly.
Woods: I missed that putt there at 14, I felt like I was still in control of the tournament until I missed that putt.
Then all of a sudden, okay, here we go. Now it’s a ball game. Now we are all tied up. He hit the putt there at 15 and if it doesn’t hit the hole it’s 10 or 12 feet by.
But he hit it dead centre and it went in. I missed mine on the top side and it was going a lot slower and it still went four feet by.
I was like ‘Oh, here we go. If I miss this putt, the tournament’s over’. I made that, thought I made the next one at 16. It’s, ‘Oh, geez, here we go’.
I need something. I need to birdie the last two holes’. And it came down to 18. Roc made a mistake, didn’t put the ball in the fairway, didn’t give himself a chance to go for it in two.
I did and I figured at least put myself in a position where if I had to make a long one, at least I was in a position to make one.
I wasn’t going after that pin, but at least give myself a chance to, if I had to make a putt, if he stuffed it in there, at least I had a chance.
And I played a little conservative on my second shot. And then Roc hit it over there about 18 feet and when he did that I knew four was probably going to get me into a play-off. Sorry, play-off, play-off.
Mediate: The putt on 18 … I said to myself ‘you’ve waited your whole life for it. Don’t lag it. Just give it speed’ and I just yanked it a touch. A little nervy. But I can’t complain. I did the best I could.
Woods: I’m glad I’m done. I’m done. I really don’t feel like playing any more. It’s (knee) a bit sore. All I can say is the atmosphere is what kept me going.
The tournament, being a major championship here at Torrey Pines, all the people, I couldn’t ever quit in front of these people. It wasn’t going to happen.
Mediate: I never quit. And I’ve been beaten down a few times and came back and I got what I wanted. I got a chance to beat the best player in the world and I came up just a touch short. But I think I had him scared once, which was great. He just said ‘great fight’ to me and that makes it a little better. I think.