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Archive for Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Woods, Nicklaus come up big

Battle at Bighorn goes to Tiger, Golden Bear

July 30, 2002

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— Tiger Woods turned in another prime-time performance. Jack Nicklaus produced one last memorable shot.

The best two players of their generations were simply the best Monday night as Woods made nine birdies in 16 holes and carried his 62-year-old idol to a 3 and 2 victory against Sergio Garcia and Lee Trevino in the Battle at Bighorn.

The only disappointment was the way it ended, with Woods making a 3-foot par putt to halve the hole and win the match. It was the only hole won by a par.

This was more like the Battle of Birdies.

"I've never seen anything like it," Woods said. "You had to make birdie to win the hole. That was incredible."

Nicklaus had his moments, too.

The Golden Bea knocked down the flag with a 7-iron on the ninth hole for a tap-in birdie that sent the gallery into a frenzy.

It wasn't the 1972 U.S. Open, where Nicklaus produced the signature shot of his career by hitting the stick on the 17th at Pebble Beach. Still, Trevino has seen enough of Nicklaus to know what was coming.

"Jack loves to knock it stiff when he's got all the people watching," Trevino said.

Woods was so dominant that he was 9-under through 16 holes and didn't even get a chance at two birdie putts inside 10 feet.

"I did all right," Woods said in mock understatement. "I broke 80, didn't I?"

Trevino contributed three birdies.

Nicklaus had not played with Woods since the first two rounds of the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla. "I know now that I have no business playing on the regular tour," Nicklaus said. "If you see the way Tiger and Sergio play, there's no such thing as a par-5 anymore."

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