Reunited and It Feels So Good
The award for player of the year goes to Tiger Woods. Woods won six times, including two major championships, collected $10,628,024, and topped the scoring charts. He won this award on the PGA Tour from 1999-2003, before Vijay Singh wrested it away a year ago.
Hey, Youre Just Like Tiger and Mark Carnevale
The award for rookie of the year goes to Sean OHair. The talk at the beginning of the season surrounding OHair concerned his relationship with his father. By years end it was all about his game. OHair won the John Deere Classic, was runner-up at the Byron Nelson and qualified for the Tour Championship. He finished 18th on the money list.
All Warm and Fuzzy, Like a Teddy Bear
The award for feel-good story of the year goes to Jason Gore. Gore nearly gave up the game in order to financially support his family; had his car broken into, everything down to his underwear stolen; nearly won the U.S. Open; went back down to the minors; won three consecutive starts to earn a promotion back to the big leagues; and then promptly won the 84 Lumber Classic to gain financial and professional security. All the while, doing so with a big 'ol grin and a teddy bear-comforting quality.
You Got That on TiVo, Right?
The award for best event goes to the Ford Championship. A great tournament is ultimately defined by its final round, and no final round was more compelling from start to finish than the Ford. With all the hype surrounding the Big 4 (or 5), Sunday saw Phil Mickelson vs. Tiger Woods head-to-head. Woods started the day two back and cut his deficit to one by the turn. He took a two-stroke advantage with a birdie on 10 and an eagle at the par-5 12th, but Mickelson birdied 13 and 14 to regain a share of the lead. Both men bogeyed 16 ' the only bogey posted by each man that day ' to remain tied. Woods then clinched the tournament by making a 28-foot birdie putt on 17 to win by one and reclaim the No. 1 position in the world rankings. The Masters certainly had an exciting finish, but it had a lackluster feeling until the 16th hole. Speaking of the 16th hole
I Dont Believe What I Just Saw, Part 1
The award for shot of the year goes to Tiger Woods on the 16th hole in the final round of the Masters Tournament. Tigers second shot on the par-3 16th Sunday at Augusta National wasnt just a chip-in; it wasnt just a birdie; and it wasnt just luck. It was one of the most memorable and thrilling moments in major championship history. Woods picked out a spot well left of the hole, hit it right to that exact point, and then watched his ball slowly trickle downhill and right ' right towards the cup. And after one second two seconds of hanging on the lip, the ball gave in and fell. Tigers subsequent high-five with his caddie was pretty lame, and he even squandered the two-stroke lead that miraculous stroke afforded him. But it was the signature moment of that tournament, and the most memorable shot of them all in 2005.
No, No, Nice Shot, Right on the Beach
The award for worst shot under pressure goes to Tiger Woods on the 18th hole in the final round of the Buick Invitational. Leading by one, Woods tried to hit the par-5 18th green with a 2-iron from 240 yards over a pond. No problem for the Great One, right? Wrong. Woods fanned it so badly that his ball went in the narrow landing strip right of the hazard. It was so bad that it actually turned out good, as he avoided hitting it in the water. I absolutely whiffed it, he would say after making birdie and winning by three strokes.
Weve Been Waiting for You, Mr. Bond
Actually, its Mr. Harrington. The award for breakthrough performance goes to Padraig Harrington. Regarded as one of, if the not the best European-born player in the game today, Harrington finally got his first PGA Tour victory this year at the Honda Classic. He then won the Barclays Classic with an improbable eagle on the 72nd hole.
And I Never Even Used Steroids
The award for comeback player of the year goes to Jim Furyk. Furyk may have lost to Harrington at the Barclays, but he did manage to win the Cialis Western Open and finish fourth on the money list. Not bad for a guy who was sidelined four months due to wrist surgery a year ago, a year in which he failed to win on tour for the first time 1997.
Wheres the Reset Button on This Thing?
The award for most disappointing season goes to Mike Weir. Weir didnt win a tour event for just the second time in the last seven seasons. The 2003 Masters champion has gone from fifth to 14th to 56th on the money list over the past three years. After a decent start to the year, in which he finished runner-up at Pebble Beach and tied for fifth at Augusta, Weir missed the cut in eight of his final 13 events and failed to record a top 10. Hes fallen from eighth in the world rankings to 40th.
Harriet Miers? Harriet Miers?
You Better Recognize
The award for most over-looked victory of the year goes to Ted Purdy at the Byron Nelson. There are plenty of forgotten winners every year. But even Byron Nelson would have trouble remembering to whom he handed the trophy ' and hes still very keen at the age of 94. This tournament will always be remembered for the man who didnt even play the final two rounds, not the man who won it.
Hes in a Better Place Now
The award for best move of the year goes to Jay Haas. The 51-year-old finished 15th and 27th on the money list in 2003 and 2004, respectively, and even was selected for the Ryder Cup. But this year, he had only one top-10 and finished 151st in earnings ' and remained winless on tour since 1993. He switched his focus late in the year to the Champions Tour ' which he had been avoiding while trying to compete on the regular circuit ' and ended up winning twice.
I Dont Believe What I Just Saw, Part 2
The award for most bizarre moment of the year goes to Rory Sabbatini and Ben Crane. Visibly upset with Cranes painfully slow pace of play during the final round of the Booz Allen Classic, Sabbatini stood on the green at the 17th while Crane was hitting his approach shot. After Crane finally fired, Sabbatini putted out of turn and then huffed off the hole. He then teed off on 18 before Crane could even finish 17. Sabbatini barely acknowledged Crane in the post-round handshake, and then stormed to the scorers trailer spouting expletives. Sabbatini refused to speak to reporters, while Crane handled the situation with class in interviews. Sabbatini issued an apology the next week.
In Lieu of Freddie Mitchell, Our Guest Speaker Will Be
The award for talking a good game and not backing it up goes to Vijay Singh. Singh, who all but blamed his partners and slow play for his 0-1-3 record leading up to the singles session in the Presidents Cup, didnt figure to have any problems with his one-on-one match with winless captains selection Fred Couples on Sunday. He advised officials to have a cart ready to pick up Couples on the 12th hole, believing he would have dispatched of his opponent by then. Couples birdied 18 to win 1-up.
Michael, What Are You Doing in There? Open the Door
The award for best use of a port-a-john this year goes to Michael Campbell. Campbell ducked in and out of portable toilets so much during the final round of the U.S. Open that you had to question his nerves, the size of his bladder and his sense of smell. It turned out that that they all were just fine ' especially the nerves. Campbell used the port-a-loos to practice eye exercises, because he didnt want to do them in public. They were performed to strengthen his eye muscles, so that he could better see putting lines. Campbell made three birdie putts in excess of 20 feet on the back nine, as well as numerable clutch par saves to capture his first major championship.
Ill Go With the 5-Year Finance, No-Interest Plan
The award for best abuse of exempt status goes to David Duval. In recent years, a handful of major champions have been criticized for their lack of pedigree. And most continue to show that their major triumphs were more fluke than a sign of things to come. Ben Curtis, the 2003 Open champion, Todd Hamilton, the 2004 Open champion, and Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA champion, all finished outside the top 125 on the money list this season. Rich Beem, the 2002 PGA champion, barely made it in, thanks to a late-season surge. Duval was expected to win a major. But he wasnt expected to completely lose his game thereafter. Duval played 20 events this year, making one cut and finishing 260th out of 268 players in earnings. Next year will be the end of his five-year tour exemption that is awarded to major champions.
The award for longest winless streak ended goes to Robert Gamez. Gamez won twice in his rookie season of 1990, but it would be 394 events before he would win again. That came at this years Valero Texas Open.
Just One More
The award for upholding the 'spirit of the game' goes to Brad Faxon. Faxon had to skip U.S. qualifying for the British Open, because he had to conduct his charity tournament. So he decided to fly to Scotland on his own dime for a 36-hole qualifier that awarded just three spots. He made it through, and then contended on the weekend before tying for 23rd. He went on to win the Buick Championship in his native New England area for his first tour victory in over four years. Honorable mention goes to Sean O'Hair, who unlike Mark Hensby the year before, did everything in his ' and everyone else's ' power to compete at St. Andrews after winning the John Deere.