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Big Play with Michael Breed
Michael Breed
July 31, 2006
WHO: Tiger Woods
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July 31, 2006

Big Play With Michael Breed

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1931 Johnny Hart, creator of B.C. comic, is born in Endicott.
1958 B.C. strip debuts.
1971 Inaugural Broome County Open. Unofficial Tour event is won by Butch Harmon--the only victory in his brief playing career; Harmon does not defend because he has taken a job as personal teacher to the king of Morocco.
1972 Renamed B.C. Open; character becomes tournament logo.
1973 Becomes official Tour event; Jack Fleck's caddie dies of a heart attack on the 8th fairway.
1974 Clubhouse burns down in early spring; Endicott native Richie Karl wins.
1975 National Cheerleaders Putting Contest, featuring NFL pom-pommers, is held during the tournament. Andy North sets Tour record with seven-under 27 on the back nine of the first round.
1983 Area resident Joey Sindelar plays in his first B.C. Open. (Resemblance to B.C. characters is noted.)
1984 New York State resident Wayne Levi wins.
1987 Sindelar wins second of two B.C. titles and joins the comic-strip character as de facto symbol of the event.
1989 New York State native Mike Hulbert wins.
1992 John Daly wins.
1995 Hal Sutton wins with course-record 61 on Sunday (since tied by Fred Funk and Robert Gamez).
1996 Tour rookie Tiger Woods makes his only appearance, tying for third; Fred Funk wins.
2001 Teenage amateur Ty Tryon is first-round leader; New York State native Jeff Sluman wins.
2003 B.C. Open Golf Shop debuts at Oakdale Mall inJohnson City, N.Y. (Baby blanket with B.C. Open logo sells for $18.99.) Craig Stadler, 50, wins a week after taking the Ford Senior Players.
2004 Tournament puts title sponsorship up for auction on E-Bay but receives no acceptable bids.
2005 Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim plays pro-am.
2006 Jason Bohn skips the British Open to defend B.C. Open title (he comes in 12th); the Little River Band plays a benefit for local flood victims.

WHO: Tiger Woods

WHAT: 191-yard knockdown five-iron to eight feet

WHERE: 456-yard par-4 14th hole at Royal Liverpool

WHEN: Final round of the British Open


Woods's unmatched arm and upper-body strength give him shots no one else has. One is the 275-yard stinger two-iron tee shot that helped him hit 48 of 56 fairways at Royal Liverpool. (His next-best total this year is 39 of 56, at Bay Hill.) Another is the knockdown approach shot. Because of his Popeye-like forearms Woods can reduce the rotation of the clubhead during the follow-through and delay the release of the club. That allows him to hit the low and straight approaches we saw last week, including the laser at 14 on Sunday that set up the birdie that gave him a two-shot lead over Chris DiMarco.


Go Under a Branch For a Knockdown

A modified address is the key to the knockdown shot. Put extra weight over your lead leg, and play the ball a bit farther back in your stance (A). Also choke down a little on the grip. During the swing keep most of your weight over the lead leg and make an abbreviated follow-through (B). Practice the knockdown by hitting seven-irons under a real or imaginary tree limb that's eight feet off the ground and 10 yards away.

Michael Breed teaches at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, N.Y.

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