OFF THE TOP SHELF TIGER WOULD LIMBO, BUT HE'S GOT THE VAULT THING GOING.
--First read: ``The Major: 7 Days at Golf's Greatest Championship,'' written and edited by Scott Brown with the staff of the Monterey County Herald ($37.50, Sleeping Bear Press, 176 pgs)
--Second read: ``Raising the Bar: The Championship Years of Tiger Woods,'' by Tim Rosaforte ($24.95, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 309 pgs)
--Their relative importance: Trying to put Woods' beyond-belief golf feats into some sort of perspective for those of us who still don't understand what it all means.
The first coffee-table-sized work focuses not just on Woods' incredible U.S. Open win at Pebble Beach last June, but everything else which happened that week that could be forgotten - the tribute to the previous year's champion, the late Payne Stewart, and the farewell to Jack Nicklaus after the second round would have made this special in and of itself. Woods' record-setting tournament, as Tom Watson would say afterward, ``raised the bar and it seems that he's the only guy who can jump over that bar.'' (page 157).
Which leads nicely into the second book, by Rosaforte, a senior writer for Golf World magazine and commentator on the Golf Channel. Rosaforte takes that Watson quote and embellishes: ``He has raised the bar to a level only he can jump. He is something supernatural,'' says Watson on the book jacket.
--One or the other? What ``Raising the Bar'' does with words that ``The Major'' can't necessarily do with a bunch of breathtaking photos is actually dig deeper into the Tiger Phenomenon.
While many Woods bios have dealt with his earlier days on the PGA Tour and end with his `97 Masters win, this covers much of the past three years right up until last August, from his ``slump'' in `98, the reinvention of his swing and the records he squashed on the way to the career grand slam before his 25th birthday (which was Saturday, by the way).
Rosaforte's observations about how Tiger has handled the media crush in the chapter ``Reverse Spin'' reveals Woods has three don't-go-there areas when it comes to reporters' questions: His schedule, his workout program and his girlfriend, Joanna Jagoda.
Photo: ``The Major'' is one of two new books chronicling the rise of Tiger Woods.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2001|
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