The last six times that he has entered he has won, so it is no surprise that Tiger Woods goes into today’s Grand Slam of Golf as clear favourite with the bookmakers to lift the title. Poipu Beach is the picturesque setting for what is traditionally the annual end-of-season showdown between the four Major championship winners over 36 holes.
This year Woods (pictured), who won the Open and the USPGA Championships, will be joined by US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, world number two Jim Furyk and Canada’s 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir. With Woods being a dual Major winner this season, Furyk has been drafted in to take one of the four places due to his status as the world’s second best player, while Weir qualifies in place of current Masters champion Phil Mickelson as the last man aside from Woods or Mickelson to win the coveted Green Jacket.
Woods was runner-up to South Africa’s Ernie Els on his first attempt at this tournament in 1997. Since then he has dominated the event each time he has played, winning in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2005. Last year he shot a closing round of 64 to win by seven shots from Mickelson, despite being plagued by a stomach bug that saw him lose half a stone in weight. Furyk is expected to run him close – he won on his only start in 2003 – as is Ogilvy, who proved he is in good form by finishing second in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney on Sunday.
“From May onwards Jim has been on an unbelievable run,” Woods said when asked about his biggest danger over the next two days.
“But over the years I’ve always felt comfortable here and seem to shoot some pretty low rounds. It’s a course I really enjoy playing.”
The winner will take home a cheque for $500,000 on Wednesday for just two days of golf, while even the man finishing in last place will pocket a cool $200,000. Despite the large amount of cash on offer, the tournament is usually one of the more relaxed for the pros and accessible for the fans.