Woods stunned by Aussie welcome


Thousands of fans turned out to watch Woods practice at the Kingston Heath course here in the lead-up to Thursday’s European Tour co-sanctioned Australian Masters, while television helicopters recorded his every move from overhead.

“No, it’s not normal. Trust me, it’s not. Thank God, it’s not normal,” Woods said when asked if the reception he had received in famously sports-loving Australia was par for the course. “You don’t normally see this many people at a practice round certainly, maybe at a major championship you might see this many people.

“I’ve never experienced the helicopters before, they were overhead but they didn’t interfere with my play.”

Tournament organisers paid a reported $3 million to lure the 14-time major winner to Melbourne, and the investment appears to have already paid huge dividends.

Huge galleries not seen since the heyday of local golfing idol Greg Norman in 1980s are expected to follow Woods this week.

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