Woods made the turn nine strokes up on Rocca. Surprise! It was not a record. In the 1980 Masters, Seve Ballesteros made the turn 10 strokes ahead of Gibby Gilbert, the dour Chattanoogan, and Jack Newton, the Australian. He lost six strokes coming in and won by four.
Woods came dressed in territorial taste, red and black. Red shirt, black trousers. If there was a gallery member who had any resentment of the black-Thai's course dominance, it was never reflected in spectator behavior. He drew applause even when he inhaled and exhaled. He was showing them a grade of golf this grand old course had never seen.
Colin Montgomerie put it in Scottish perspective Saturday after his round with Woods. There was just one brief comment he wanted to make, he said. “There is no chance. There is no chance humanly possible that Tiger is going to lose this tournament. No way.
“I appreciate that he hit the ball long and straight, and I appreciate his iron shots are very accurate. I did not appreciate how he putted,” in this case, “appreciate” used in the sense of understood. It was an experience that surely made a dent in the Scot's mental game. Sunday, he dropped out of sight with a 42 on the back nine and a round of 82.
Now it is done. The smile has been frozen in time, his Asian mother's smile. His name has broken out all over the Masters record book. His arms have slipped into the coveted green jacket, 42 long - “A dream of mine since I was a child"” - and in the ceremony on the hallowed lawn, where Bobby Jones once presided. Bill Clinton has made his presidential call and said nothing that will change the course of golf. There won’t be enough room on his bandwagon, but say: This old game has a new direction today.