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6:21: So glad I woke at 5:30 am so I could enjoy all of the commercials. Let's hope they were getting some out of the way. Early highlight: a dog painted like a Tiger and Nick Faldo talking about his fish and chips Masters dinner. Early theme: hole locations are brutal, wind is up a bit.
6:23: Sean O'Hair posts a 67, so there is a low score out there.
6:27: Ernie has 197 into #1. The wind is definitely up.
6:30: Tiger hits 3-wood off #1.
6:39: Cabrera triples #2, Faldo: "I think that was the Roberto cinderella story out the window already."
6:40: Tirico mentions Floyd Landis wearing the yellow jersey and likely winning the Tour de France today, segue's to Sergio in his all yellow outfit. Faldo: "it's certainly tight enough, isn't it, to be a yellow cycling jersey."
6:41: Sergio leaves his birdie putt on #1 way short after Azinger talks about how he left everything short yesterday. Faldo: "Zing there's your opener, your starter for ten, 6 feet short."
6:44: Ernie drives it 360 on #2. Tanihara looming just 2 back...
6:51: Tiger (2-iron) has 208 into #2, Sergio (driver) 112 from the fescue rough.
6:53: Phil's doesn't look hung over for today's interview with Terry Gannon.
7:12: Sergio misses second shortish par putt. Alliss: "he's missed two 'tiddly" putts." Sergio three back of Tiger, Els one back.
7:17: Alliss reviews the best scores from the week, "I think the course has stood up remarkably well. Every pundit has said they are going to eat this course alive, and they haven't done so. We've had four 65s, six 66s, bout 8 or 10 or 12 67s, so that's not ripping the course to pieces when you've had the most perfect weather, and hardly any breeze. So those great pundits, whether they be golf course architects or inky-fisted peasants, they really don't know much about the game."
Faldo: "We should bring a fire extinguisher into the booth to cool Mr. Alliss down."
Alliss: "It just makes me cross when...you come and you play and you have a winner. If it's 20 under, so what."
7:45: Well, not much was happening thanks to these hole locations. Tiger hits beautiful second into #5, eagles. Leads by 2. Alliss just mentioned Tiger's mom and the "Oriental" influence.
8:00: Alliss says he expects that Hoylake will see another Open in 6 or 7 years. He mentions it might be green just as I'm looking at the overhead shot thinking, soak up the lean conditions, because it'll all be lush golf the rest of the year!
8:05: Tiger three ahead of DiMarco and Els and "looking comfortable" according to Alliss. "But you never know."
8:06: Tirico asks Alliss if the school kids still operate the big yellow scoreboards. Alliss lists various public schools with names like Giggleswigs, Charterhourse, Cramley...and Faldo chimes in, "Hogwarts." You gotta love him!
8:06: ABC graphic: Tiger 54.3% on the PGA Tour this year in driving accuracy (179th), this week: 85.1%.
8:07: Note to BBC: the tee shot camera view that shows the spectators following the ball while the player is but a small speck on the screen? Getting old.
8:17: Garcia makes another bogey, Faldo and Azinger's bickering is the only thing keeping this entertaining, Lord knows it's not the R&A's anti-birdie setup. Oh, and Tiger and Sergio are a hole behind.
8:21: Azinger: "Tiger is putting on a clinic right now with his ball striking."
8:23: Els in furrowed lie in bunker on 10.
8:29: Tiger -15 (9), DiMarco -13 (10), Els -12 (10), Andres Romero -11 (12). Adam Scott -10 (12)
8:30: Tiger backs off 10 tee shot, yet another camera phone. "Everything over here is about 10 years late," Azinger on why there's no rule banning cell phones.
8:44: DiMarco is three through 11 about the only hope of anyone giving Tiger a run at this point.
8:59: Yet another camera phone causes Tiger to back off on 11, hits horrible approach, DiMarco drains long putt on 13, do we have a tournament? Yes, Tiger fails to get up and down.
9:04: Azinger: "if the R&A can't control the crowd, then they should not force these guys to play a pace that's unattainable." (On Woods-Garcia being on the clock and the camera phone nonsense.)
9:08: Another camera phone on 13, Tiger backs off. "This is getting really ridiculous. It's actually becoming part of the story, isn't it?"
9:12: DiMarco drains 45-footer for par, Scott chips close on 16 for a tap-in (3 back), Azinger has "chill bumps," and Els makes birdie to get within 3.
9:26: Tiger hits beautiful approach to 14, nails birdie putt. Well, we had some excitement for a few minutes.
9:35: Tiger birdies 15, DiMarco birdies 16, lead is still two.
9:45: DiMarco gives his birdie putt a great run on 17, Tiger continues his flawless play on 16, driving in the fairway, hitting it safely left of the hole and two putting for birdie. Andy North: "he's made it look so simple."
9:56: DiMarco and Els tell the camera "see you tomorrow," Els mentioning South Africa. Faldo: "it's nice to have a G-5 waiting for you at Liverpool airport."
9:59: Azinger: "Tiger has squashed anyone's question marks now" about his swing changes.
10:06: Azinger wonders if Tiger will "reign it in" from now on after this performance. "He's beaten the field from where the field is driving it."
10:09: Purple paint cannisters are thrown onto 18 green. Azinger: "that'll solve whatever they're protesting about." Azinger hopes no one writes about it. Sure.
10:10: Walking down 18 fairway, Tiger and Stevie try a handshake/hi-five of sorts. As usual, they miss.
10:12: First engraver shot. Tirico says he looks at 1999 every time and swears he sees a bit of a smudge. Faldo: "You mean Jean Paul Lawrie."
10:16: Tirico: 10 of the last 12 Open Champions are American.
10:17: Love the helicopter hovering over the green as Tiger's preparing to finish up. An all around great security effort this week. Oh wait, they are the security according to Tirico. Wonder what they'll see up there.
10:19: Tirico declares this one's for pops. Tiger hugs Stevie. Tiger's sobbing. Wow. what a moment.
10:26: Tiger to Terry Gannon: "It's been a long week. The golf course played very difficult."
10:28: Gannon: "You know in an era when they're making golf courses longer to Tigerproof them, now you come to a course that takes driver out of your hand, you're hitting longer approach shots than anyone else, yet you win the British Open again, that's a statement in itself." Tiger: " Well, from what I've been told by a bunch of people in the press is that I only do well on bomber's courses, so hopefully this will silence that a bit. This golf course, I just played it for what it was. I played very conservative. And I had a lot of lag putts and I just trusted my putting all week."
10:42: Tiger, holding the Claret Jug: "To come here and have the course in such fantastic condition and where you have to think and shape shots and be creative, I think all of us, all of the players, would like to thank the staff here for presenting just one of the greatest championships ever staged."
10:45: Tiger: "Today was my best ball striking day of the week."
10:47: Faldo: "I don't know how he can hang onto his emotions there in the final ceremony. It's been a fantastic week, the golf he played was absolute perfection. He talked about his inner calmness, which was great. I think it was also created by hitting iron off the tee. He didn't hit it all over the show, didn't put himself under any extreme pressure. Well done Tiger."