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Sunday

Tiger Woods Wins British Open

Aired July 23, 2000 - 4:15 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: Twenty-four-year-old Tiger Woods continues his domination of the golfing world, winning the British Open today. Woods shot a record 19 under par on the course at St. Andrews in Scotland, fighting off an early challenge by David Duval. He's now the youngest golfer to win all four Grand Slam titles, the British, the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the PGA Championship. Woods is the fifth player to win the Grand Slam, joining Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus.

Tiger Woods continues to amaze. He -- of course, he played incredible golf in this year's British Open and last month at the U.S. Open. At times it seems like there is no one who can beat him.

To talk about whether that's the case, best-selling author John Feinstein joins us now by telephone. He's written two books on golf, including "The Majors."

Mr. Feinstein, how amazed were you?

JOHN FEINSTEIN, AUTHOR, "THE MAJORS": Well, just as amazed as last month, I guess, Andria, when he was just as dominant if not more dominant at the U.S. Open.

And as you mentioned, today, David Duval tried to make a run at him on the front nine, making four birdies to get to within three shots, and Tiger kind of went, OK, if you want to play that way, I'll just turn my game up a little more, and he pulled away and, as you said, won by seven shots. He's -- he may be the most extraordinary athlete of our time, and I'm including Michael Jordan in that, because Tiger still has so much more left to do.

HALL: What is it that you suppose is in Tiger that makes him an extraordinary athlete?

FEINSTEIN: Well, he has three characteristics that I think set him apart. One is obvious, physical ability. He can hit the ball as far as anybody. But the -- there are a lot of people who can hit a golf ball a long way. He also has remarkable drive, he always wants to get better, he's a perfectionist, no matter what he accomplishes he wants more. And third, he's as bright as any professional athlete I have ever met. When you put that package together -- intelligence, drive, and physical ability -- that puts him head and shoulders above others who might have one or two of those characteristics.

HALL: He also has the looks too, by the way, but that's just an aside.

FEINSTEIN: That's for you, not for me.

HALL: OK, who would you compare Tiger to, or is he now after this record-setting win really in a league of his own?

FEINSTEIN: Well, he's still going to be compared to Jack Nicklaus, because Jack Nicklaus has the all-time record of 18 professional major championships, and that is Tiger -- that is where Tiger wants to get. He wants to go by that record. That's one of the most unbreakable records in all of professional sports when you realize that Walter Hagan is second on the list with only 11. But Tiger now with four at the age of 24, if he averages one a year for the next 16 years, which may be a conservative estimate, he'll fly by Nicklaus by the time he's 40.

HALL: Just a last quick question, it seems almost ludicrous to ask what kind of legacy he's already left in the sport because he's only 24 years old, but what would you say that is?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I think the -- his legacy is yet to be determined because he has so many years left to play, but just what he's done for minority golfers and for minorities in general by showing that a minority can be a superstar is a great way to start.

HALL: And he's really resurrected a sport that more and more people are getting into.

John Feinstein, we thank you so much for joining us.

FEINSTEIN: You're welcome.

HALL: Appreciate it.

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