Tiger was in fine form as he headed into the 2000 Open Championships, the third major of the calendar year. Barely a month back he had won his 3rd major from California in fine style by posting the biggest ever victory margin in any major.
The 2000 Open Championship or the British Open took place on the 20-23rd of July from St Andrews, Scotland. The tournament already guaranteed a place in history books as it was the first major to be broadcasted in high definition television.
Tiger finished day 1 tied for the second position as he shot a 67 on the 72 par course. By the end of the second day, he had a 3 stroke lead over the top thanks to a score of 66, placed second was David Toms. Day 3 saw him stretch his lead at the top as he matched his score from Day 1. Now trailing by 6 strokes at the top were David Duval and Thomas Bjørn.
Day 4 saw nothing change as Tiger sealed his 4th major with a score of 69. His total score of 269 over the 4 days meant that he was 19 strokes under par, a record for the most under par score at any major. The record lasted for 15 years before being broken by Jason Day at the PGA Championship of 2015.
His victory margin of 8 strokes over Ernie Els and Bjorn tied the largest winning margin at any Open since 1900. Tiger was simply redefining the level of excellence in the game.
More importantly, the 24-year-old became only the 5th man in history to win all the 4 majors at least once in their career, a feat which in golf is labelled as the career slam. At 24, Tiger was the youngest ever to achieve that feat, Jack Nicklaus was 26 when he did the same.
The win marked the 21st PGA Tour victory for Tiger as he strengthened his grip at the top spot of the World Golf Rankings. As David Duval rightly pointed out, Tiger was playing golf no one else could dream of playing. And as the critics of the sport remarked, he was already the best golfer in history at the age of 24.
At heart, Tiger was still very much a boy and this was reflected as the left the tournament hotel three hours after his triumph; In one arm was the winning trophy, and in another arm was a worn out bag which wore a sticker of cartoon character Cartman!
He might have been a youth of 24, but his achievements on the course had the aura of a mature man.