ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Meandering along toward the practice range, a reporter stopped by the makeshift clubhouse here at the 144th Open Championship. It was a day to just to soak in the ambiance of the finest golf atmosphere in the galaxy and the quiet was marvelous.
Until two players kidded the reporter. “Why aren’t you out watching Tiger and Dufner,” they both asked and immediately the quizzical look was translated into disbelief. The players picked up on it.
“Seriously, Tiger (Woods) is out playing a practice round with Jason (Dufner),” one of the players said.
The small talk ensued, the laughter was hearty, but the storyline was easy to understand. All those vicious rumors, the ones that the media went with haphazardly? You know, the ones about Woods being involved with Dufner’s ex-wife, Amanda? Pretty much we can put those to rest, eh?
In a trick as old as hickory, one that players use all the time at the Old Course, Woods and Dufner skipped the first hole and went straight to the tee at the par-4 second. It was early afternoon on a blustery day and Woods, with his swing coach Chris Como, and Dufner, accompanied by his coach, Chuck Cook, headed out to see what the Old Course had in store for them.
Whatever they talked about, who knows? But we can report that players have been joking about the rumors for weeks and few, if any, have believed them.
“I guess this proves there was nothing to them,” said one player before he headed to the practice range.