A Grand Slam gone for Woods, British Open all about survival
GULLANE, Scotland (AP) -- The real British Open began Saturday. The real Grand Slam ended.
Whipping winds raged off the Firth of Forth, spewing cold rain that sent Tiger Woods to his worst round as a professional -- an 81! -- and swept away his chances of winning all four majors in the same year.
Ernie Els survived with a 1-over 72, the best score among the final 10 groups that took the brunt of the brutal conditions at Muirfield. That gave him a two-stroke lead going into the final round, and a little more comfort knowing Woods was no longer in the picture.
''I can't take tomorrow easy,'' Els said after finishing at 208. ''I've got to play as hard as I can, like I've done all week. There is a lot of work left.''
Soren Hansen of Denmark shot a 73 and was at 3-under 210, while Sergio Garcia, Justin Leonard and 21-year-old Justin Rose were in the group at 211.
Woods was 11 strokes behind, far enough to offer a rare concession when asked whether his bid for the Grand Slam was over.
''Yeah, probably,'' Woods said. ''There are too many guys between me and the lead. All I can do tomorrow is shoot a low number and see what happens. It was frustrating to put myself this far behind.''
He wasn't alone in his misery.
Woods was among 10 players who failed to break 80 as the Muirfield links struck back with a vengeance. The Associated Press