Woods tees off for Turkish bridge stunt

There was a traffic jam of different sorts in Istanbul this morning when World No. 1 Tiger Woods hit golf balls off the Bosphorus Bridge and the bridge that joins the European continent to the Asia continent.

There had been warnings to motorists on radio, TV and in local Istanbul newspapers the Bosphorus bridge would be closed for 28 minutes from 2pm local time for this unique publicity piece with the 14-time Major winning Woods.

Woods spent this morning in Istanbul attending to a number of publicity engagements ahead of this week’s inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in Belek.

It is Woods’ second visit to Turkey after competing in last year’s Turkish Airlines Invitational.

According to Wikipedia the length of the bridge is 1,560 metres or 5,118 feet while the clearance above the Borphorus River is 64m or 210 feet.

Construction of the bridge was completed in 1973 and it is the world’s fourth longest suspension bridge span.

In the past, the bridge staged an exhibition tennis match between Venus Williams and Turkey’s very own İpek Şenoğlu, a Sunday drive by Formula One’s David Coulthard or regular cross-continent activities such as Tour of Turkey and the Istanbul Marathon

Woods stood atop a makeshift tee and hit a number of shots to the bemusement of a good many observers.

Some 180,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day and most just for the ‘fun’ of being able to drive from continent to continent. There is a toll plaza located on the Asian side and payment imposed on those travelling from the European continent to the Asian continent.

“To be the first golfer to do this was very cool,” said Woods.

“I have really enjoyed my visit to Istanbul and to see the Bosphorus for the first time was a very enjoyable and memorable experience.”

Ahmet Ali Ağaoğlu, President of the Turkish Golf Federation, said: “We are delighted Tiger took part in this historical event. The presence of arguably golf’s greatest ever player in Turkey is wonderful for the profile of the game in the country.”

Woods has in the past hit golf balls off the stunning Burg Al Arab hotel in Dubai and he might not remember it, but he once hit golf balls off an artificial mat on the balcony of his Heidelberg Hotel and into the Nectar River while he was competing in the Deutsche Bank – SAP Open – TPC of Europe title.