Tiger ready to shake up golfing world: Jacklin

Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:19pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Former British Open champion Tony Jacklin took a leaf out of the great Muhammad Ali's book on Wednesday by declaring that Tiger Woods could be ready to shock the golfing world at this week's British Open.

Many pundits have written off the 38-year-old American's hopes of landing his 15th major victory at Hoylake, largely because he has only played two competitive rounds since undergoing back surgery in March.

Ali famously "shook up the world" when he beat the fearsome Sonny Liston in a world heavyweight title fight in Miami 50 years ago and Jacklin believes Woods is capable of doing the same.

"Tiger hasn't been around much lately but it wouldn't surprise me to see him do very well here," the 1969 Open champion told Reuters in an interview on the eve of the tournament.

"The same things affect him as affect everybody else of course, tee times, different weather conditions etc, but I would think he'd relish this.

"We might get a shock from him this week and that would be great because it would resurrect the record talk again," said the 70-year-old Jacklin in reference to Woods's pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's mark of 18 major triumphs.

"It would be a very popular win if he could get it done this week."

Jacklin ended an 18-year wait for an English victory in the British Open, at Lytham in 1969, before romping to a seven-shot win at the U.S. Open 11 months later.   Continued...

Tony Jacklin of England tees off on the first hole during the first round of the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament in Haikou, China's Hainan province October 20, 2012. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu