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

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a