Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Tigermania’ roars into France for Ryder




‘Tigermania’ roars into France for Ryder

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tiger Woods prepares to tee off during a practice session ahead of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National Course on Tuesday. AFP

‘Tigermania’ roars into France for Ryder

“Tigermania” is back after crowds mobbed Tiger Woods like a rock star to see him snap a five-year win drought, and it’s about to hit France in a major way at the 42nd Ryder Cup.

Like the Beatles in America in 1964 or Michael Jordan and the US basketball team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Woods will be the star attraction this week at Le Golf National.

The 14-time major champion, back on top form after spinal fusion surgery, leads holders the United States against Europe starting Friday, the Americans seeking their first victory on European soil in 25 years.

“The comeback is for real and it’s nice for him to prove that to the world,” Britain’s second-ranked Justin Rose said. “The weekend is a pretty good introduction into the Ryder Cup for sure.”

Woods won the Tour Championship on Sunday at East Lake for his 80th career US PGA Tour title, two shy of Sam Snead’s all-time record, and his first victory in 1,876 days, an emotional triumph highlighted by a spectator stampede surrounding a police-protected Woods in a rush to see him on the 18th green.

Fans chanted “Ti-ger, Ti-ger” and “U-S-A, U-S-A” and Woods fought back tears before making the final putt to become a champion once again after once fearing he might never play again.

“I was having a hard time not crying on the last hole,” Woods said, his voice choking at times. “I just can’t believe I pulled this off. It hasn’t been so easy the last couple of years. It’s hard to believe I was able to do it again.”

Nagging back injuries led to four operations since 2014, including a “last chance” spinal fusion that has helped him to regain the form of glory days at the age of 42.

“It’s certainly up there with obviously all the major championships I’ve won,” Woods said. “I just didn’t know whether this would ever happen again. It means a lot. It really does.

“Eighty is a big number. I’ve been sitting on 79 for about five years now, and to get 80 is a pretty damned good feeling.”

“Sam is still ahead of me. Maybe I’ll keep chipping away at that number and maybe surpass it. But what I’ve gone through and what I’ve dealt with, I’ve gotten lucky.”

‘About time!’

Rose watched with amazement at the endearing response Woods drew from US fans, then joked with him as he walked off the last green.

“Jokingly, I said to him: ‘About time!’” Rose said. “I think that it’s been a matter of time and we’ve all been waiting for him to win and we’ve all been wanting him to win. And I think it’s great for the sport.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.