Top 10 Tiger Romps
No. 10 ' 2002 PGA Grand Slam of Golf
Poipu Bay Golf Course
66-61 ' 127 (-17)
The 2002 Grand Slam of Golf was Tiger Woods' final event of the year and ended up being the exclamation point to an historic four-year run. From 1999 to 2002, he amassed 26 PGA Tour wins, including seven majors. His 14-shot victory at the Grand Slam of Golf at Poipu Bay in Hawaii was impressive not only in size, but also because it came at a two-day event. Even if fellow competitors Rich Beem, Justin Leonard and Davis Love III had played a three-man best ball, their score still would not have beaten Tigers.
No. 9 ' 2003 Bay Hill Invitational
Bay Hill Club & Lodge
70-65-66-68 ' 269 (-19)
Most players buckle under the pressure of defending their title at a PGA Tour event. Like most other rules, however, this one doesnt apply to Mr. Woods, who won the Bay Hill Invitational for the fourth consecutive time.
Battling a case of food-poisoning, Woods showed no signs of fatigue as he cruised to an 11-shot victory. It was his 37th PGA Tour victory, and 28th out of 30, when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead.
No. 8 ' WGC-American Express Championship
63-64-67-67 ' 261 (-23)
Despite the event being held at its fifth venue in as many years, Tiger was undeterred, shooting four rounds in the 60s en route to his fifth World Golf Championships American Express Championship title, and 12th overall in the WGC series.
His win across the pond was his sixth in a row, and came during the same week as Lord Byron Nelsons passing. Tiger would go on to win one more event in succession, bringing his total to seven. It is the longest winning streak on Tour since Nelson won a record 11 straight in 1945.
No. 7 ' 2007 Tour Championship
East Lake Golf Club
64-63-64-66 ' 257 (-23)
With his 8-stroke victory at East Lake Golf Club, Tiger flirted with the 72-hole PGA Tour scoring record before settling for a personal-best 23-under-par score. In addition, Tiger achieved another first: hoisting two trophies at one tournament.
With his win at East Lake he also won the inaugural FedExCup title. The FedExCup is a points race that begins in January, with the points reset after the majors for a four-week stretch of PGA Tour playoffs. Woods skipped the first playoff event in New York, tied for second outside Boston, and then won the last two tournaments to win by an overwhelming margin.
The only thing Tiger left in question is why he didnt kiss the FedExCup trophy
No. 6 ' 2000 WGC-NEC Invitational
Firestone Country Club
64-61-67-67 ' 259 (-21)
At the 2000 World Golf Championships NEC Invitational, some might recall Tiger's course-record-tying 61 on Friday, his 21-under-par winning score and 11-shot victory. But what most people will remember ' and no one actually saw ' is the approach shot he hit into the 72nd hole, when the tournament was all but decided.
Battling to finish the event before darkness, tournament officials left it up to the players to decide if they'd like to continue playing or suspend play due to darkness. In the final group, Tiger and playing partner Hal Sutton were most affected by the dwindling sunlight, but agreed to finish. The last hole was played in almost complete darkness. As Tiger hit his approach into the final green, no one could follow the ball in the air. But when the ball hit the green and stuck one foot from the hole, the crowd erupted and Tiger tapped in for birdie, and the win.
No. 5 ' 2008 Buick Invitational
Torrey Pines Golf Course
La Jolla, Calif.
67-65-66-71 ' 269
With his 11-shot victory at the 2008 Buick Invitational, Tiger joined Arnold Palmer in 4th place on the all-time PGA Tour wins list. He also won his fourth consecutive Buick Invitational, which tied the record for most consecutive wins at one tournament (he has also won four straight titles at Bay Hill, and is the only player in history with such a streak at two different events).
Who knew that his romp at Torrey was merely a prelude to the drama that would unfold there later that year?
No. 4 ' 2006 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
La Costa Resort and Spa
Although Geoff Ogilvy won the event, Tigers dismantling of first-round opponent Stephen Ames was the most one-sided match of the tournament. On Monday while he was on the range, Ames was asked by a reporter if he would take a carefree approach into his round against the world No. 1, since he wasnt expected to win.
'Anything can happen,' Ames said. 'Especially where he's hitting the ball.'
When judgment day arrived, Woods made seven birdies on the front nine and won every hole. He eliminated Ames as early as mathematically possible, 9 and 8.
No. 3 ' 2000 Open Championship
Augusta National Golf Club
70-66-65-69 ' 270 (-18)
In his first Open Championship at St. Andrews as a professional, Tiger dismantled the field by a record 8 shots. In doing so he completed the career grand slam at age 24, two years younger than Jack Nicklaus was when he did it. Tigers record-setting performance included shot after shot hit with razor-like precision. Unfathomably, Tiger avoided all 112 bunkers every day of the championship. His 19-under-par score set a new record for low aggregate score at the Open Championship.
No. 2 ' 1997 Masters
Augusta National Golf Club
70-66-65-69 ' 270 (-18)
In what CBSs Jim Nantz dubbed, A win for the ages, Tiger laid the smack down on Augusta National and all those who competed in the 1997 Masters. His 18-under-par total broke Jack Nicklaus 32-year-old scoring record, and his 12-shot margin of victory was the largest in tournament history. Tiger also became the youngest Masters champion ever, at the age of 21 years, 104 days.
On a spring Sunday in Augusta, Ga., the legend of Tiger Woods was born.
No. 1 ' 2000 U.S. Open
Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach, Calif.
65-69-71-67 ' 272 (-12)
The 100th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach was the stage for the most dominant performance in the history of golf. Tiger dissected one of the toughest U.S. Open venues ever to the tune of 12 under par, shattering the previous record by four shots. His 15-shot victory was the largest in any major in the history of golf. In all, nine records were either broken or tied.
LPGA lists April date for new LA event
The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.
When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.
The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.
The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.
Tour's Integrity Program raises gambling questions
The video begins with an eye-opening disclaimer: “Sport betting markets produce revenues of $1 trillion each year.”
For all the seemingly elementary elements of the 15-minute video PGA Tour players have been required to watch as part of the circuit’s newly created Integrity Program, it’s the enormity of the industry – $1 trillion annually – that concerns officials.
There are no glaring examples of how sport betting has impacted golf, no red flags that sent Tour officials into damage control; just a realization that with that kind of money it’s best to be proactive.
“It's important that in that world, you can operate not understanding what's happening week in and week out, or you can assume that all of our players and everybody in our ecosystem understands that that's not an acceptable activity, or you can just be proactive and clarify and educate,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan explained earlier this month. “That's what we have attempted to do not with just the video, but with all of our communication with our players and will continue to do that.”
But if clarification is the goal, a copy of the training video obtained by GolfChannel.com paints a different picture.
Although the essence of the policy is straightforward – “prohibit players from betting on professional golf” – the primary concern, at least if the training video is any indication, is on match fixing; and warns players to avoid divulging what is considered “inside information.”
“I thought the questions were laughable. They were all like first-grade-level questions,” Chez Reavie said. “I would like to think everyone out here already knows the answer to those questions. But the Tour has to protect themselves.”
Monahan explained that the creation of the integrity policy was not in reaction to a specific incident and every player asked last week at the Sony Open said they had never encountered any type of match fixing.
“No, not at all,” Reavie said. “I have friends who will text me from home after a round, ‘Oh, I bet on you playing so-and-so.’ But I make it clear I don’t want to know. I don’t gamble like that. No one has ever approached me about losing a match.”
It was a common answer, but the majority of the video focuses on how players can avoid being placed in a compromising situation that could lead to match fixing. It should be noted that gamblers can place wagers on head-to-head matchups, provided by betting outlets, during stroke-play rounds of tournaments – not just in match-play competitions.
Part of the training video included questions players must answer to avoid violating the policy. An example of this was how a player should respond when asked, “Hello, buddy! Well played today. I was following your progress. I noticed your partner pulled out of his approach on 18, looked like his back. Is he okay for tomorrow?”
The correct answer from a list of options was, “I don’t know, sorry. I’m sure he will get it looked at if it’s bothering him.”
You get the idea, but for some players the training created more questions.
How, for example, should a player respond when asked how he’s feeling by a fan?
“The part I don’t understand, let’s say a member of your club comes out and watches you on the range hitting balls, he knows you’re struggling, and he bets against you. Somehow, some way that could come back to you, according to what I saw on that video,” said one player who asked not to be identified.
Exactly what constitutes a violation is still unclear for some who took the training, which was even more concerning considering the penalties for a violation of the policy.
The first violation is a warning and a second infraction will require the player to retake the training program, but a third violation is a fine “up to $500,000” or “the amount illegally received from the betting activity.” A sixth violation is a lifetime ban from the Tour.
Players are advised to be mindful of what they post on social media and to “refrain from talking about odds or betting activity.” The latter could be an issue considering how often players discuss betting on other sports.
Just last week at the Sony Open, Kevin Kisner and Justin Thomas had a “friendly” wager on the College Football Playoff National Championship. Kisner, a Georgia fan, lost the wager and had to wear an Alabama football jersey while playing the 17th hole last Thursday.
“If I'd have got the points, he'd have been wearing [the jersey], and I was lobbying for the points the whole week, and he didn't give them to me,” Kisner said. “So I'm still not sure about this bet.”
It’s unclear to some if Kisner’s remark, which was a joke and didn’t have anything to do with golf, would be considered a violation. From a common sense standpoint, Kisner did nothing wrong, but the uncertainty is an issue.
Much like drug testing, which the Tour introduced in 2008, few, if any, think sport betting is an issue in golf; but also like the anti-doping program, there appears to be the danger of an inadvertent and entirely innocent violation.
The Tour is trying to be proactive and the circuit has a trillion reasons to get out in front of what could become an issue, but if the initial reaction to the training video is any indication they may want to try a second take.
Lexi looks to shine as LPGA season begins next week
Lexi Thompson may be No. 4 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, but in so many ways she became the new face of the women’s game last year.
That makes her the headliner in a fairly star-studded season opener at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic next week.
Three of the top four players in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings are scheduled to tee it up on Paradise Island, including world No. 1 Shanshan Feng and co-Rolex Player of the Year So Yeon Ryu.
From the heartache at year’s start with the controversial loss at the ANA Inspiration, through the angst in the middle of the year with her mother’s cancer diagnosis, to the stunning disappointment at year’s end, Thompson emerged as the story of the year because of all she achieved in spite of those ordeals.
Next week’s event will mark the first time Thompson tees it up in an LPGA tournament since her season ended in stunning fashion last November with a missed 2-foot putt that cost her a chance to win the CME Group Tour Championship and the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and become the world No. 1.
She still walked away with the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot and the Vare Trophy for the season’s low scoring average.
She also walked away sounding determined to show she will bounce back from that last disappointment the same way she bounced back from her gut-wrenching loss at the year’s first major, the ANA, where a four-shot Sunday penalty cost her a chance to win her second major.
“Just going through what I have this whole year, and seeing how strong I am, and how I got through it all and still won two tournaments, got six seconds ... it didn’t stop me,” Thompson said leaving the CME Group Tour Championship. “This won’t either.”
Thompson was named the Golf Writers Association of America’s Player of the Year in a vote of GWAA membership. Ryu and Sung Hyun Park won the tour’s points-based Rolex Player of the Year Award.
With those two victories and six second-place finishes, three of those coming after playoff losses, Thompson was close to fashioning a spectacular year in 2017, to dominating the tour.
The new season opens with Thompson the center of attention again. Consistently one of the tour’s best ball strikers and longest hitters, she enjoyed her best year on tour last season by making dramatic improvements in her wedge play, short game and, most notably, her putting.
She doesn’t have a swing coach. She fashioned a better all-around game on her own, or under the watchful eye of her father, Scott. All the work she put in showed up in her winning the Vare Trophy.
The Pure Silk Bahamas Classic will also feature defending champion Brittany Lincicome, as well as Ariya Jutanugarn, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Brooke Henderson, I.K. Kim, Danielle Kang and Charley Hull.
One & Done: 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge
Beginning in 2018, Golf Channel is offering a "One & Done" fantasy game alternative. Choose a golfer and add the salary they earn at the event to your season-long total - but know that once chosen, a player cannot be used again for the rest of the year.
Log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to start your own league and make picks for this week's event.
Here are some players to consider for One & Done picks this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, where Hudson Swafford returns as the defending champion:
Zach Johnson. The two-time major champ has missed the cut here three years in a row. So why include him in One & Done consideration? Because the three years before that (2012-14) included three top-25s highlighted by a third-place finish, and his T-14 at the Sony Open last week was his fifth straight top-25 dating back to September.
Bud Cauley. Cauley has yet to win on Tour, but that could very well change this year - even this week. Cauley ended up only two shots behind Swafford last year and tied for 14th the year prior, as four of his five career appearances have netted at least a top-40 finish. He opened the new season with a T-7 in Napa and closed out the fall with a T-8 at Sea Island.
Adam Hadwin. Swafford left last year with the trophy, but it looked for much of the weekend like it would be Hadwin's tournament as he finished second despite shooting a 59 in the third round. Hadwin was also T-6 at this event in 2016 and now with a win under his belt last March he returns with some unfinished business.
Charles Howell III. If you didn't use him last week at the Sony Open, this could be another good spot for the veteran who has four top-15 finishes over the last seven years at this event, highlighted by a playoff loss in 2013. His T-32 finish last week in Honolulu, while not spectacular, did include four sub-70 scores.
David Lingmerth. Lingmerth was in that 2013 playoff with Howell (eventually won by Brian Gay), and he also lost here in overtimei to Jason Dufner in 2016. The Swede also cracked the top 25 here in 2015 and is making his first start since his wife, Megan, gave birth to the couple's first child in December. Beware the sleep-deprived golfer.