ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) -- Five hundred years of legend and lore hardly prepared golf's hallowed home for Tiger Woods.
On the same linksland that Old Tom Morris nurtured and Jack Nicklaus conquered, along came a 24-year-old with a keen eye for history.
Woods not only became the youngest player to win the career Grand Slam, he completed it faster than any of the four greats who did it before him.
The final piece came Sunday, when Woods held the silver claret jug under the cool, gray skies of St. Andrews after another record-breaking performance to win the British Open.
"It's the ultimate," Woods said. "This is the home of golf. This is where you always want to win. To have a chance to complete the slam at St. Andrews is pretty special. I was able to bring it home."
He brought it home in style, strolling over the stone Swilken Bridge on the 18th fairway and right into history.
Challenged briefly by David Duval, Woods pulled away for an eight-stroke victory. It wasn't quite as overwhelming as his 15-stroke victory in the U.S. Open last month, but it was the largest in 87 years of golf's oldest championship.
Woods doesn't only win, he wins by record margins.
Perhaps Tom Watson, the only man to win a British Open at five courses but never at St. Andrews, summed it up best.
"He is something supernatural," Watson said. "He has raised the bar to a level that only he can jump."
Hundreds of daring fans tried to leap over the burn on the 18th fairway to watch Woods finish off his latest masterpiece. He didn't disappoint them, making a par on the final hole for a 69 that set another benchmark for years to come.
He finished at 19-under 269, the lowest score in relation to par ever at a major championship and the best score ever at St. Andrews.
Asked if he as good as he can get, Woods said: "No, no, no no. Definitely not."
He became the first player to win all four majors since Jack Nicklaus' victory in the 1966 British Open at age 26.
Having won three of the last four majors, Woods seems to be racing toward the record that matters the most -- the 18 majors Nicklaus won in a career that remains the standard.
"He is the chosen one. He's the best player who has played the game right now," said Mark Calcavecchia, who stuck around St. Andrews to watch history in the making. "If Jack was in his prime today, I don't think he could keep up with Tiger."
Comparing eras is never easy, but Woods' performance in the majors stands alone.
Woods won the British Open by eight strokes over Ernie Els and Thomas Bjorn, the largest margin of victory in the British Open since 1913, when J.H. Taylor won by eight strokes over Ted Ray.
Woods became only the third British Open champion to win with four rounds in the 60s, and he beat by one stroke the record Nick Faldo set at St. Andrews in 1990. "The guy is simply in a different league," Faldo said.
Woods also became the first player since Watson in 1982 to win the U.S. and British Opens in the same year, and the first since Nicklaus in 1972 to own three major championships at the same time.
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