Tiger Woods, the hottest athlete on earth, searches for history at the Canadian Open
Oakville, Ont., may not be ready to be the centre of the sports universe, but it will have to adjust this week. Tiger Woods is going there to play in the Bell Canadian Open, and where Woods goes, a media blitz follows. Normally sedate golf tournaments are suddenly overrun with satellite-linked TV trucks, camera crews and reporters, all trying to get up close and personal with The Most Famous Athlete on Earth, successor to Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan. Woods delivers big crowds and bigger TV ratings, and in return, he has an endorsement portfolio worth an estimated $150 million.
The Open got lucky. It is the third-oldest tournament still being contested in North America, and to Woods, who plays
fewer than half the scheduled PGA Tour events, that is an attraction. The 24-year-old Californian is single-minded in his pursuit of history, and he has already made plenty of it this summer. With this seasons record-setting victories at the U.S. and British opens and the PGA championship, and his 1997 Masters triumph, Woods joined an elite club. Previously, only Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player had ever won all four major championships—golfs grand slam—in their careers. “To be mentioned in the same breath as those guys makes it very, very special,” Woods says. And with a victory in the Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club this week, Woods would match the feat of another legend, Lee Trevino, who is the only player ever to hold three national open championships in a single year, including Canadas. Despite a strong field that includes four of the top 10 money-winners on tour this season, Woods is the prohibitive favourite in Oakville. He can hit his drives the length of three football fields and he is deadly accurate. He also has won eight Tour events this year, and has already collected nearly $8 million (U.S.) in prize money, breaking his own single-season record for tournament earnings by more than $ 1 million. But the scariest part for his opponents is that Woods is especially tough to beat when a piece of golf s history is within his reach.
Two Dublins for Donoghue
For someone only 30 years old, Emma Donoghue has already written a considerable body of work—capped by her new book Slammerkin. The critically acclaimed novel takes its tide from an 18thcentury word for a loose dress and— by extension—a loose woman. It’s the compelling tale of Mary Saunders, child prostitute and murderer, based on an actual 1763 murder confession in Wales. The Dublin-born Donoghue, winner of the 1997 American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Book Award for her novel Hood, moved here in 1988 and now makes her home in London, Ont. There, she lives with Chris
Roulston, her partner since 1994 and a French professor at the University of Western Ontario. The author, the youngest of eight children—her eldest brother, David, is Ireland’s ambassador to Russia—has been in Ontario long enough to have seen a bookstore advertise her as a Canadian writer. “I was delighted,” she says, pleased with her new country’s “open
definition” of itself. Nor do Canadians “go on and on about being lesbian. I’m so impressed—I got very sick of that in Ireland.” Now Donoghue, for the first time, has turned to a Canadian setting. Her next novel will take place partly in Dublin, Ont., a hamlet 50 km north of London, and pardy in the original Dublin. And, in a neat ref versal of cliché, Donoghue | laughs, the booming Irish | capital “will be the modern J place and the New World I town the backwater.”
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