Punch Shot: Which course do you most associate with Tiger?

By Jason Sobel, Randall Mell, Will GrayJanuary 20, 2014, 10:00 pm

As Tiger Woods prepares for his season debut at Torrey Pines - a course on which he's won eight times - GolfChannel.com writers debate which course they most associate with Woods. For more on the events Woods has dominated over the years, click here.


When we think Tiger Woods, we think major championships - and since three of the four rotate on an annual basis, that leaves one logical course for us to most greatly associate him.

Even though Woods has won more tournaments at Torrey Pines … and Bay Hill … and Firestone … his greatest successes and biggest failures have come on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National.

From that 12-stroke win as a precocious 21-year-old which ignited Tigermania to the 2001 victory that gave him the so-called Tiger Slam to the thunderous chip at 16 four years later that hung on the lip before dropping into the cup, Woods’ most memorable moments happened on the world’s most revered golf course. Even in defeat, he’s made major headlines there; we need only look back to last year for evidence, when his flagstick-to-water shot led to a bad drop which in turn led to a penalty and in turn led to one of the most controversial rulings in recent memory.

It’s not as if we’d think of venues such as Torrey or Bay Hill or Firestone and think of anyone besides Woods – he’s won a combined two dozen titles on those three courses, more than many Hall of Famers have won in their entire careers – but if there’s one course with which we most associate with him, it can’t be anything else other than Augusta National. 


Tiger Woods marveled just like the rest of us back then.

Not over his 15-shot victory at Pebble Beach in the 2000 U.S. Open, or his 12-shot triumph at the ’97 Masters, but with trophy in hand after limping home to win the ’08 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines on a left leg ravaged by a torn ligament and fractured tibia.

Woods looked at the trophy that day in a way we’ve never seen him look at a trophy before. He looked at it as if he couldn’t believe he won it. He has amazed us with his performances so many times over the years, but, for the first time that day, he looked like he amazed himself.

“All things considered, I don’t know how I ended up in this position,” Woods said back then. “It’s probably the greatest tournament I ever had.”

Tiger Woods has won eight times as a professional at Torrey Pines, seven times in the PGA Tour’s annual event there, and once in that U.S. Open. Yes, he has dominated at Firestone, Bay Hill and Augusta National, but his signature victory, the one even he couldn’t believe he won, came on his signature course, Torrey Pines.


He may have won more at other venues, but the course I most associate with Tiger Woods remains Augusta National.

It was at Augusta that Woods burst onto the scene with his runaway victory in 1997, demonstrating a combination of command and power the likes of which few have replicated before or since. No other venue took such overt lengths to “Tiger-proof” itself following that breakthrough win, though Woods now has a total of four green jackets despite those efforts.

Augusta is where he has had many of his most memorable moments, for better or worse – the fist pump on the 18th green in 1997, the chip-in at No. 16 eight years later and the drop from the 15th fairway just nine months ago. It’s also where he arguably reached the zenith of the game, winning in 2001 to hold all four of golf’s major trophies at the same time.

Augusta was where Tiger first asserted himself on golf’s biggest stage, and the link between player and venue remains strong to this day.


Augusta National, with its history and hierarchy atop the game’s most important tilts, will always be central to the narrative that is Tiger Woods’ career, but considered in recent context Torrey Pines is the course most easily associated with the world No. 1.

It was at the Southern Cal municipal gem where Woods last hoisted major glory, an ageless victory on one leg against a dogged opponent.

On a broken leg and a knee bound for a medical overhaul it was quintessential Woods during Round 3 at the 2008 U.S. Open complete with eagle putts at the par-5 13th and 18th holes to move into the lead.

He would finish 72 holes tied with affable everyman Rocco Mediate and through pain that wasn’t fully acknowledged until well after the fact he grinded out an 18-hole playoff lap for his 14th major championship.

Add to that historical masterpiece seven other professional victories at Torrey Pines, including last year’s four-shot rout at the Farmers Insurance Open, and the city fathers in San Diego could be forgiven if they renamed the seaside layout Tiger Pines.

San Diego may be Phil Mickelson’s home, but Torrey Pines will always be synonymous with Woods, at least until he wins Grand Slam No. 15.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.