Feeling right at home
By BOB HARIG
Published November 15, 2006
Tiger's tour of Asia continues tonight, and for the golf junkie, the Golf Channel will be there. After finishing second to 34-year-old Korean Yong-eun Yang at the HSBC Champions Sunday in China, Tiger Woods is in Japan to compete in the Dunlop Phoenix, an event on the Japan Tour. Because of the time change, Thursday's first round near Tokyo actually begins tonight in the United States.
While the events are a way for his sponsors to be rewarded for their heavy investment, with exposure in other parts of the world, there is some value for Woods, too - aside from a reported $3-million per appearance.
While the competition is not always as keen as on the PGA Tour, he's not playing against a bunch of chumps.
The event in Shanghai was the first official tournament of the 2007 season for the European PGA Tour. And his victory in Japan two years ago was a significant step in his refinement of swing changes that have resulted in four major titles the past two years.
Woods has won 54 times on the PGA Tour, with another 10 in his bio listed as "international victories." But of his 54 PGA Tour wins, seven have been played outside the United States. He has won in nine countries - United States, Canada, Scotland, England, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Japan and Thailand.
A look at some of his most significant international victories:
1. Open Championship
With his victory at Royal Liverpool last summer, Woods has won the British Open three times. When he won it for the first time in 2000, by eight shots at St. Andrews, he completed a career Grand Slam at age 24. He won again at St. Andrews in 2005, giving him two victories in Scotland. His victory in July was his first in England.
2. World Golf Championships, American Express
Woods has won this five times, three on foreign soil. The first was in 1999 in Spain, the next in 2002 in Ireland and again this year in England - which happened to be his last event of the year on the PGA Tour.
3. Johnnie Walker Classic
Thailand, 1998: This was likely the first time he got into Ernie Els' head. Trailing by eight entering the final round, Woods shot 65 to tie Els, then defeated him in a sudden-death playoff
4. Deutsche Bank- SAP Open
Germany, 2002: Woods trailed Colin Montgomerie by one entering the final round, shot 68 then defeated Monty in a playoff to defend his title and win the event for the third time.
5. Dunlop Phoenix
Japan, 2004: Woods was undergoing a swing change and had not won since February. He has often said this tournament is where he finally felt comfortable. He won by eight strokes, won his own unofficial tournament a few weeks later at the Target World Challenge and has posted 16 worldwide victories since, including four majors and 14 on the PGA Tour.