Associated Press
Sunday, July 23

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Paul Azinger feared that the way he hit the ball in practice before the British Open was too good to last.

PGA odds
Tiger Woods is rated a 3-2 favorite for the PGA Championship next month, the shortest odds for a major ever offered by the British bookmakers Ladbrokes.

Ladbrokes, which stopped taking British Open bets on Woods midway through Saturday's third round, is also considering a handicap for golf's No. 1 player to encourage people to place bets.

"What we may do, is handicap Woods with three or four strokes a tournament and then offer odds of something like 5-1," said Ladbrokes spokesman Ed Nicholson. "It's an alternative to taking bets on who comes second to Tiger Woods."
"I thought at the time: `I hope I'm not peaking early,' " Azinger said.

He wasn't, as he showed with a 5-under 67 Sunday to finish at 8-under 280 at the Old Course, 11 behind Tiger Woods.

Azinger birdied six of the first seven holes Sunday, carding a 6-under 30 on the front nine, and only two bogeys on the back nine slightly spoiled the day.

Azinger was 3-under after three rounds "and I could and should have been eight or 10 shots better without asking that much. I was really disappointed about where I was yesterday (Saturday). I felt like whining about my position all night."

Major void
Colin Montgomerie ran his record in majors to 0-for-37, closing Sunday with a 2-under 70 for a four-round 5-under 283.

The best golfer in Europe the last seven years, Montgomerie tried to joke about his strategy for winning next month's PGA Championship.

"I've got one left, so I'll go home and lift some weights and get ready for Valhalla," he said of the Louisville, Ky., course.

Montgomerie has vowed to improve his putting after recent majors. He did it again this time, describing his putting Sunday as "very poor."

"I can think I'm quite good and I'll continue what I'm doing," Montgomerie said. "Or I can improve ... and come back a better putter."

Lee Westwood, who dislikes the Old Course, didn't change his mind after rounds of 75 on Sunday and 76 on Saturday for a four-day total of 3-over 291.

The 27-year-old Westwood's first word to caddie Martin Gray when he holed out on the 72nd hole was: "Finished." Last year during the Dunhill Cup at the Old Course, Westwood ripped the legendary layout.

"I would say it's not in my top 200," he said.

39 years ago
When Arnold Palmer won his first of two British Opens in 1961 at Royal Birkdale, he picked up $1,350 and gave $450 to his caddie, Tip Anderson.

The 68-year-old Scotsman, who lives just a 9-iron from the Old Course, reminisced Sunday about his relationship with Palmer and the late Tony Lema.

When Palmer skipped the 1964 Open at St. Andrews, Anderson teamed up with Lema, who won that year. Lema celebrated with 40 cases of champagne, which he shared around the press area.

"I drank champagne for a month and ended up in the hospital, so I haven't touched the stuff since," Anderson joked. Help | Advertiser Info | Contact Us | Tools | Site Map | Jobs at
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