World number one Tiger Woods has brought Istanbul to a 20-minute standstill as he hit golf balls from one continent to another.
Special permission was needed for organisers of this week’s Turkish Airlines Open to close three lanes of the six-lane Bosphorus Bridge that links Europe with Asia.
Woods appeared on the front of a number of Istanbul newspapers, with the news that the world’s fourth longest suspension bridge would be closed from 2pm to 2.28pm local time on Tuesday.
The 1560m bridge spans the Bosphorus River, sitting 64m above the water.
Woods stood on 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, a large proportion just for the ‘fun’ of being able to drive from continent to continent.
A toll booth on the Asian side collects payment from those travelling from the European continent.
“To be the first golfer to do this was very cool,” Woods said.
“I have really enjoyed my visit to Istanbul and to see the Bosphorus for the first time was a very enjoyable and memorable experience.”
Woods also sounded a lot healthier as he could hardly talk following last Monday week’s Match at Mission Hills against Rory McIlroy.
This week is his penultimate event of 2013, with his final tournament again the World Challenge he hosts annually at Sherwood Hills in suburban LA.
Ahmet Ali Agaoglu, President of the Turkish Golf Federation, said he was delighted Woods had taken part in the event.
“The presence of arguably golf’s greatest ever player in Turkey is wonderful for the profile of the game in the country.”
Woods will join US Open champion Justin Rose, along with current European leading money-earner Henrik Stenson of Sweden in the opening round of the $US7.0m ($A7.4m) penultimate event of the Race to Dubai Final Series.