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Tiger Woods pitches for Olympics at Hyde Park

Tiger Woods got his hands on something he hasn't won and probably never will.

Holding a golf clinic at London's Hyde Park on Monday, Woods ran into British Olympic rowing champions Steven Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent.

"This is one thing that I've got that Tiger doesn't," Pinsent said as he pulled from his pocket his gold medal from the Sydney Games. "Until golf's in the Olympics you're not going to win one, so try this on for size."

Cheered by 5,000 golf fans at the park, Pinsent — who has won three golds to Redgrave's five in five Olympics — hung his latest gold medal around Woods' neck.

"I would like to see golf in the Olympics," Woods said. "It would be exciting for all the fans who watch golf.

"We have a World Golf Championship now and it would be neat to see the game at the Olympics. It's one of the oldest games and it's unfortunate that it's not an Olympic event."

Woods made his stopover as part of a promotion for American Express and the Save the Children Fund. He tied for fifth place behind Canada's Mike Weir at Valderrama in Spain on Sunday. He now heads to Thailand for this week's Johnnie Walker Classic.

On a makeshift driving range, he treated the large crowd to his full array of shots off the tee as well as his routine of juggling the ball on the clubface.

Organizers of the clinic built a small green 177 yards away for Woods to aim at.

"I hope this green is better than the 17th at Valderrama," he said. Woods found the water three out of four rounds at the 17th last week and did the same in last year's final round.

Before the clinic, Woods said he did not think U.S. tour golfers were weakening the sport worldwide by staying home to earn the most money.

Tiger Woods with Gary Linekar at Hyde Park. Allsport.

Most of the top Americans skipped the prestigious World Match Play tournament at Wentworth, England, and a weaker than usual U.S. team lost in the first round of the Dunhill Cup at St. Andrews.

"I don't think it's just us," he said. "I think that everyone, whether in Europe or America or around the world, we are all looking to make our financial status a little bit better. I think it's human nature."

On the driving range, Woods took questions from fans. He was asked how he would follow up this season in which he became the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win three majors in one year.

"Every year I have played, I have looked at the year and I can say I was better at the end of the year than at the beginning," said Woods, who won nine tournaments this year.

So where did he go wrong this year?

"At the 17th at Valderrama," he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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