Golf | Woods' opulent US Open base has practical side

Southampton – Tiger Woods made waves this week when he docked his 155-foot yacht “Privacy” in Sag Harbour as his base of operations for the US Open.

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But the 14-time major champion insisted on Tuesday there’s a practical benefit to the decision: missing the worst of the traffic in and out of Shinnecock Hills this week.

“Staying on the dinghy helps,” Woods said. “A few guys so far this week have said it’s taken them from the hotel two and a half to three hours … You get a little traffic, you get maybe a little fender bender, it’s not inconceivable someone could miss their (tee) time.”

READ: Woods aims to put it all together at the US Open

Shinnecock is located on the narrow eastern part of Long Island, accessible by just one road.

From Sag Harbour to the east, Woods will be travelling against the worst of the traffic.

He might also get a chance to explore the village, whose population of about 2 000 includes such celebrity residents as singer Billy Joel.

“Sag Harbour is a cute little town,” Woods said. “I’ve only been there for a few days now. I haven’t really got a chance to walk about a little bit, but certainly will this week.

“It’s been nice to kind of get away from the tournament scene and go there, to my dinghy there, and just really enjoy it.”

Woods’s self-deprecating description of the $20 million vessel, which includes a gym, movie theatre, full bar, eight-person hot tub and a scuba decompression chamber, as a “dinghy” might not seem so far off the mark in Sag Harbour, a magnet for wealthy vacationers where plenty of larger craft are to be seen.

Asked if it “felt funny” not to have the largest yacht in New York Woods answered: “I’m not opposed to that.”

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